Magnesium supplements: a potential remedy to relieve migraines, which offers relief of weakening headaches and associated symptoms.

Magnesium supplements: A potential remedy for migraine relief, offering relief from debilitating headaches and associated symptoms.

Magnesium, a vital mineral in the human body, has drawn attention for its possible role in control and prevention of migraines. The migraines, a neurological disorder characterized by recurring headaches from moderate to intense, affect millions of people worldwide. Although the exact cause of migraines is not yet known at all, investigations suggest that magnesium deficiency may be related to their appearance and severity.

Several studies have investigated the relationship between magnesium levels and migraines, with promising results. A study published in the Neurology magazine discovered that people with low levels of magnesium were more likely to suffer frequent migraines than those that had normal levels. In addition, researchers have discovered that magnesium levels tend to be significantly lower in individuals during an acute migraine attack compared to migraine free periods.

Important: The lack of magnesium has been associated with a higher risk of migraines. A magnesium supplement can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

It is believed that magnesium plays a crucial role in the prevention of migraines due to their various mechanisms of action in the body. First, magnesium intervenes in the regulation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, who play a key role in pain signaling and mood regulation. In addition, it has been shown that magnesium has a vasodilator effect, which means that blood vessels can widen and improve blood flow. This can be especially beneficial for people with migraines, since abnormal constriction and dilation of the blood vessels of the brain have been linked to the physiopathology of migraine.

Important: It is believed that magnesium prevents migraines regulating the neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling and improving blood flow by dilating blood vessels.

To better understand the relationship between magnesium and migraines, clinical trials have been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of magnesium supplements in the treatment of migraines. Although the results have been disparate, some studies have reported a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of migraines in individuals who received magnesium supplements compared to a placebo.

Study Participants Treatment Results
Smith et al.(2012) 60 individuals with episodic migraines 600 mg/magnesium oxide day Significant reduction in the frequency and severity of migraine
Wang et al.(2019) 120 individuals with chronic migraines 500 mg/day of magnesium citrate No significant differences compared to placebo

The Role of Magnesium in Preventing Migraines

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, such as nervous function, muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation. It also intervenes in the synthesis and release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which is known to play a role in the pathogenesis of migraine. Low levels of magnesium have been associated with an increase in neuronal excitability and the constriction of blood vessels, which are believed to contribute to the development of migraines.

Research studies have shown that magnesium supplements can be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines.

  • A study published in Headache magazine discovered that the daily administration of magnesium supplements significantly decreased the number of migraine attacks compared to a placebo group.
  • Another study published in the European Journal of Neurology revealed that intravenous magnesium infusions can be effective in relieving serious migraines.
  1. In addition to its possible preventive effects, it has also been shown that magnesium increases the effectiveness of migraine medications, such as tryptans.
  2. A review article published in the Head and Face Medicine magazine stated that the combination of magnesium supplements with the standard treatments of migraine can improve treatment results.
Benefits of magnesium supplementation for migraines:
Reduction of the frequency and severity of migraine attacks
Acute relief from serious migraines
Improvement of the effectiveness of migraine medications

How magnesium deficiency is linked to migraines

1. The correlation between magnesium deficiency and migraines:

Studies have demonstrated a significant association between low levels of magnesium in the body and a greater risk of experiencing migraines. People who suffer from migraines usually present serum levels of magnesium lower than those who do not suffer. This deficiency can contribute to neurovascular instability associated with migraines, causing more frequent and intense headache episodes.

2. Role of magnesium in the physiopathology of migraine:

  • Magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker, helping to regulate the flow of calcium ions into nerve cells. This feature has important implications for migraine prevention, as increased calcium levels in the brain have been associated with the onset and spread of migraine attacks.
  • Inadequate magnesium levels can alter cerebral blood flow, causing a state of cerebral hypoperfusion that is often seen in people during a migraine attack. The vasodilatory effects of magnesium may help alleviate this ischemic state and potentially reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Key points
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines, underscoring the importance of maintaining optimal magnesium levels.
Low levels of magnesium in the body are associated with a higher risk of suffering from migraines.
Magnesium’s regulation of calcium ions and its vasodilatory effects contribute to its potential role in the prevention and treatment of migraines.

According to medical professionals, including magnesium-rich foods in your diet or taking magnesium supplements can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. The recommended daily intake of magnesium for migraineurs varies depending on factors such as age, gender, and general health. However, in general, the suggested intake for adult males is about 400-420 mg per day, while adult women need approximately 310-320 mg per day.

  • Adult men: Recommended daily intake of magnesium – 400-420 mg
  • Adult women: Recommended daily intake of magnesium: 310-320 mg.

Note: It is important to consult a health professional before making significant dietary changes or starting new supplements. Additionally, excessive magnesium intake can cause adverse effects, so it is essential to follow the recommended guidelines and not exceed the recommended daily intake.

Effectiveness of magnesium supplementation in reducing migraine frequency

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many physiological processes in the body, such as nerve function, muscle relaxation, and maintaining blood vessel health. It is often recommended as a supplement for people with migraines as it can help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.

Several clinical trials have investigated the effectiveness of magnesium supplements in reducing the frequency of migraines, and the results have been promising.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal Headache, researchers examined the effects of magnesium supplements on migraine frequency in 133 participants. Study participants were divided into two groups, one that received 600 mg of magnesium daily and another that received a placebo. The results showed that the magnesium group experienced a significant decrease in migraine frequency compared to the placebo group.

  1. One of the possible mechanisms by which magnesium supplements reduce the frequency of migraines is its ability to relax blood vessels in the brain. Migraines are thought to be caused by the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the head, and the muscle relaxing properties of magnesium may help alleviate this phenomenon.
  2. Another possible explanation is the role of magnesium in modulating neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, have been linked to migraines, and magnesium’s ability to regulate these levels may contribute to its effectiveness in reducing migraine frequency.
Study Participants Method Results
Randomized controlled trial 87 individuals with migraines Magnesium supplements or placebo Significant reduction in migraine frequency in the magnesium group
Cohort study 245 participants with chronic migraines Dietary intake of magnesium was evaluated A higher magnesium intake is associated with a lower frequency of migraines

Best Food Sources of Magnesium for Migraine Prevention

Increasing magnesium intake through dietary sources can potentially reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Including foods naturally high in magnesium can be an effective strategy for preventing migraines. Here is a list of some of the best food sources of magnesium:

  • Green leafy vegetables: Spinach, kale, and Swiss cabbage are excellent sources of magnesium. Including these vegetables in your diet can provide you with a significant amount of this essential mineral.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium. Snacking on these nutritious options can help boost your magnesium levels.
  1. Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel and sardines not only provide omega-3 fatty acids, but also contain magnesium. Including these fish in your meals can offer a double benefit for migraine prevention.
  2. Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread are examples of whole grains that are excellent sources of magnesium. Including them in your diet can contribute to your total magnesium intake.

It is important to note that although these foods are rich in magnesium, individual dietary needs may vary. It is best to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to determine the optimal magnesium intake for you.

Food source Magnesium content (per 100 g)
Spinach 79mg
Kale 47mg
Almonds 268mg
Pumpkin seeds 262mg
Salmon 30mg

Possible side effects and precautions when taking magnesium for migraines

Possible side effects:

  1. Gastrointestinal discomfort: Taking high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. To avoid these side effects, it is recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time.
  2. Low blood pressure: Magnesium may have a mild hypotensive effect, meaning it can lower blood pressure. This can be especially worrying for people with low blood pressure or who take medications that already lower it. In these cases, it is important to regularly monitor blood pressure.
  3. Interaction with other medications: Magnesium supplements may interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics and diuretics. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting magnesium supplementation to ensure there are no potential interactions with any current medications.

“Taking high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.”


  • Kidney problems: People with kidney disease or impaired kidney function should use caution when taking magnesium supplements. The kidneys help regulate magnesium levels in the body, and taking too much magnesium can put an additional burden on the kidneys.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to magnesium supplements, with symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If any allergic reaction occurs, it is important to discontinue use and seek medical attention.

“People with kidney disease or impaired kidney function should use caution when taking magnesium supplements.”

Summary of possible side effects and precautions when taking magnesium for migraines
Side effects Precautions
Gastrointestinal discomfort Renal problems
Low blood pressure Allergic reactions
Drug interactions

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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