The truth is that a shocking number of migraine patients have “vitamin D deficiency”. This could mean cardiovascular disease, bone pain, and even depression and allergies. But will more vitamin D mean fewer migraine attacks?
Dr. Steve D. Wheeler is one of those who has advocated for investigation of vitamin D and migraine. In 2008, Dr. Wheeler was involved in a study which showed 41% of people with migraine also had a deficiency or insufficiency. Although the study did not investigate vitamin D as a migraine treatment, it does seem to help some patients. Dr. Wheeler suggests some reasons why this might be the case:
- Anti-inflammatory effects mediated through reductions in matrix metalloproteinases, C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and other inflammatory mediators
- Analgesic effects
- Nitric oxide reduction
- Magnesium absorption increased
Read the rest of the article at Vitamin D, Migraine, and Health – Medical Complications: Optimize Therapy!
Another specialist in the use of vitamin D is Dr. Michael F. Holick. Dr. Holick navigates the recent research and presents guidelines for vitamin D dosages, sun exposure, and treatments of specific symptoms in his book The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problems. In his book he discusses migraine, along with other diseases and symptoms such as fatigue and pain.
More recently, researchers in Iran compared migraine patients and healthy patients to check vitamin D levels. They found that there really was no difference – the non-migraine patients were just as prone to vitamin D deficiency as migraine patients. In fact, a more severe deficiency did not seem to worsen headache symptoms. The 2014 study can be found here: Vitamin D Status in Migraine Patients: A Case-Control Study
Does this prove that there’s no relationship between migraine and vitamin D? Not at all. It’s still entirely possible that improving our intake of vitamin D may help many with migraine. A deficiency may show itself in different ways – for someone with migraine, might it make their symptoms worse?
Many still think so. Although the clinical trials so far haven’t been targeted enough to give us a definitive answer, some migraine patients have found relief after increasing their vitamin D intake. Again, the suggestion is not that vitamin D is the ultimate cure of migraine. More likely it’s part of the complex web of issues that are making the problem worse.
For more information, check out:
- Vitamin D Deficiency (WebMD)
- Vitamin D Deficiency and Depression (Psychology Today)
- Vitamin D and migraine headaches. (NY Headache blog)
- Vitamin D Low in Patients With Headache and Migraine (MedScape)
- Vitamin D and headaches: A look at current evidence (Vitamin D Council)