Doctors and scientists still don’t exactly know what causes migraines, but many think it may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, a new study from researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center may provide some answers.The researchers examined the health records of nearly 7,700 children, teenagers, and young adults who suffered from migraines. The data revealed many of them had deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10. These nutrients help the body create and sustain energy.

Significant lack of vitamin D.

The researchers found 15 percent of the participants had riboflavin levels below the standard recommended range and 30 percent had low levels of coenzyme Q10.

More than half of the patients had very low levels of vitamin D. Those with coenzyme Q10 deficiencies generally suffered from chronic migraines more than patients with episodic migraines. The study also discovered teen girls and young women were more likely to have lower levels of coenzyme Q10 than boys. The boys and young men, on the other hand, were mainly deficient in vitamin D. While some of the patients were taking a vitamin supplement, most were not. Since so few of the participants took a supplement, the researchers could not determine if adding vitamins would alleviate the migraines. Nearly all of them were taking migraine relief medication.

No irrefutable link.

The idea that vitamin shortages lead to migraines has been studied before, but the research was inconclusive.

A 2014 examination of seven published papers on migraines and low vitamin D levels did not find a direct connection to the condition. In that analysis, less than 15 percent of the headache sufferers had a vitamin D deficiency. While it probably doesn’t hurt to take a vitamin supplement, more research is needed before scientists can definitely link a vitamin deficiency with the cause of migraines.

The new study was presented at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society on June 10.

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