List of Ingredients
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, has important roles throughout the body. Most importantly, it functions in the mitochondria of the cell – the part of the cell that produces energy necessary for cell maintenance and growth. Riboflavin helps the body to metabolize proteins and fats, and is important for a healthy liver, skin, hair, eyes and nervous system. Vitamin B2 also works as an antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system and possibly fight against damage from free radicals that can lead to cancer.
Vitamin B2, like the other B vitamins, is water soluble and the body cannot store them.
Deficiency of riboflavin can lead to fatigue, slowed growth, sensitivity to light, eye fatigue, cracks in the skin around the mouth, and other problems.
One theory about the cause of migraines suggests that they may be caused by abnormal functioning of the mitochondria and energy production. So, a group of scientists in the Netherlands decided to test this theory and see if supplementing people with large doses of riboflavin would lead to an improvement in migraines. They had people take 400mg of riboflavin each day for three months. What they saw was very impressive. There was a vast improvement in the number and frequency of migraine headaches in the people who took the riboflavin. Since that original study, there have been at least eleven additional studies that either looked at riboflavin alone or in combination and the results were generally very similar.
Magnesium is one the most abundant minerals in the body. It has been shown to be an important element in over 200 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium plays an important role in migraine headaches. Studies show that more than half of migraine sufferers have a magnesium deficiency. In this setting, many brain processes do not function properly:
- Slow, spreading abnormal electrical waves may cross over the surface of the brain
- Platelets may clump together too readily, impeding blood flow and brain function
- Serotonin receptors may not function normally
- Creation and release of many neurotransmitters are affected
About 67% of a body ‘s magnesium is in the bones; 31% is inside other cells in the body; less than 2% is in the blood. Because so little magnesium is in the blood, routine blood tests cannot show a deficiency. Over eight separate studies have shown that supplementation of magnesium significantly reduces the frequency and severity of migraine headaches in almost 60% of patients within three months. No serious side effects were observed. Because of the safety and lack of significant side effects, Dr. Alexander Mauskop concluded that a trial of *oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers” (Journal of Neural Transmission. 2012 May; 119(5): 575-9.
Ginger is a common spice used in cooking for at least 2000 years. Folk and Ayurvedric medicine has used it for nausea and upset stomach, two common symptoms of migraine headaches. Ginger is the underground stem of a flowering plant. It contains over 200 substances in its oils including chemical which may block prostaglandins. Prostaglandins play an important role in migraine headaches, including:
- Stimulating muscle contractions
- Affecting the action of hormones.
Blocking prostaglandins may prevent and stop migraine headaches.
Several studies have looked at the effect of ginger on migraine headaches. One study showed that people who took a compound containing ginger were almost twice as likely to have at least some pain relief after two hours compared to people who took placebo. Another study found ginger was as effective as sumatriptan (a commonly prescribed migraine medication) without significant side effects.
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the pineal gland in the brain. It helps to regulate people’s internal clock and their circadian rhythms (cycle of sleep and wakefulness). In most people, the pineal gland normally secretes a large amount of melatonin between 10 and 11 o’clock at night. It has been available as a natural supplement since the 1990’s and people commonly take melatonin to help with sleep at night and to recover from jet lag.
But it turns out that it has a powerful effect on migraine headaches. If the amount of melatonin produced is decrease (such as in sleep apnea, insomnia, or inadequate sleep), then people have disrupted sleep. This disrupted sleep often leads to headaches. Indeed research has found that people with migraine have:
- Low levels of melatonin in plasma and urine, and
- Altered peak time in melatonin levels.
It would make sense, then, that supplementing with melatonin would decrease migraine headaches. And this is just what research studies have shown.
One study showed that a low dose (3mg) of immediate release melatonin worked as well as 25 mg of amitryptiline, an old and powerful antidepressant commonly used in the prevention of migraine, and it did this with far fewer side effects. People who used melatonin in this study, even lost weight, whereas some people with the amitryptline gained weight.