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The "Willner Window" Radio Show. Your source of nutritional supplement information and interviews, weekly, for 18 years. Listen to archived mp3 audio files.

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Vitamin B2 & Migraines

 Vitamin B2 & Migraines

Question: I have heard that vitamin B2 can help with migraine headaches. Is there any truth to this recommendation?

Answer: (Dr. Michael Murray) Yes. One of the theories used to explain what causes a migraine headaches is that they are caused by a reduction of energy production within the mitochondria (energy producing units of cells) of blood vessels in the head. Therefore, because vitamin B2 (riboflavin) has the potential of increasing mitochondrial energy production it was thought that it might have preventive effects against migraine. A preliminary study showed excellent results with high-dose riboflavin therapy. To further determine the effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin therapy, a recent double-blind study compared riboflavin (400 mg) and placebo in 55 patients with migraine in a three month trial (Schoenen J, Jacquy J and Lenaerts M: Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis. A randomized controlled trial. Neurology 50:466-70, 1998). Riboflavin was superior to placebo in reducing attack frequency and headache days. The proportion of patients who improved by at least 50% was 15% for placebo and 59% for riboflavin. Three minor adverse events occurred, two in the riboflavin group (diarrhea and increased urinary frequency) and one in the placebo group (abdominal cramps). None was serious. The results of this study makes high-dose riboflavin therapy an attractive option as a preventive measure against migraine headaches because of its high efficacy, excellent tolerability, and low cost.

(from Dr. Michael Murray’s Web site,


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