Mineral for people with migraine: Magnesium can help
What’s the connection between migraine and magnesium? We still don’t know the complete answer to that question. But studies have shown that migraine patients have lower levels of magnesium in their brain. So, magnesium deficiency is likely to be involved in the onset of headaches. Taking magnesium as a preventive measure can in fact help to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
The relationship between migraine and magnesium
Studies using a special scanning technique (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) have detected lower magnesium levels in the brains of migraine patients. And levels of magnesium in blood, saliva and cerebrospinal fluid were lower than usual in people with migraine.1
That’s easier to understand if you bear in mind what magnesium does in the body and how migraine is caused. Amongst other things, magnesium controls the transmission of nerve impulses to muscle cells, helping to keep the nervous system working properly. A lack of magnesium can lead to disorders.And this is where migraine attacks come in. According to the latest research, they are caused by hyperactive nerve cells in the brain stem.2 Although magnesium deficiency does not trigger nerve excitability it can reinforce it. So it’s a good idea for migraine patients to take magnesium to reduce the severity and possibly even frequency of attacks.
Combating migraine with magnesium: reduce the frequency of attacks
Taking magnesium as a preventive measure can be a helpful alternative to conventional migraine medication. Taking 300 mg magnesium a day for a period of at least six months can alleviate it: both the frequency and severity of attacks can be reduced.3 And unlike other analgesics, the mineral is very well tolerated. One reason why magnesium is recommended for migraine, particularly to prevent migraine during pregnancy and breastfeeding by the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG).4
Magnesium deficiency can also make normal headaches worse. It’s a good idea to take the mineral for headaches that are caused by tension in your neck or shoulder muscles. So, magnesium is not just recommended for migraine.
Take magnesium to prevent migraine
Useful to know: Magnesium (Biolectra® magnesium products, for example) occurs naturally in the body, so it is well tolerated making it perfect for taking over the long term as required when used to prevent migraine. Another benefit is that the mineral can be taken in combination with migraine medication and analgesics without any problem.
1 Sun-Edelstein C., Mauskop A., Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine, Expert Rev. Neurother. 9 (3), 369-379 (2009)
3 Österreichische Ärztezeitung: Praxis der Migränebehandlung, Ausgabe 10, (25.05.2017).