B Vitamins Supplementation as Treatment for Episodic Migraine in Women

Sheila Jacobs


The use of vitamins B1, B6, B12, and B9, both alone and in combination, might be effective as an adjuvant for the treatment and prophylaxis of episodic migraine in women, according to study findings presented at the 2022 American Headache Society (AHS) Annual Scientific Meeting, held from June 9-12, in Denver, Colorado, and virtually.

Recognizing that sufficient studies have demonstrated the efficacy of vitamin B2 in migraine prophylaxis, the researchers sought to examine the effects of supplementation with other B vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), and B9 (folic acid), as well as a combination of these vitamins, in women with episodic migraine. They conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, 16-week clinical trial in Iran.

A total of 120 women with episodic migraine were divided into the following 6 groups, with 20 participants enrolled in each of the groups: (1) vitamin B1; (2) vitamin B6; (3) vitamin B12; (4) vitamin B9; (5) vitamin B complex; and (6) placebo. Paper-based headache diaries were used to record the number of abortive medications used and the frequency of headache attacks experienced among participants. Migraine disability was evaluated with use of the Migraine Disability Assessment Questionnaire (MIDAS) at baseline and after completion of the intervention.


Results of the study showed that mean changes in the frequency of headache attacks were significantly decreased in all vitamin groups compared with the placebo group. A significant improvement in MIDAS scores in each vitamin group compared with the placebo group was also reported. Further, participants who received 12-week supplementation with vitamin B9, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin B complex had significant decreases in the number of abortive drugs used compared with those treated with placebo.

The researchers concluded that “Further large trials with long-term follow-up will be required to confirm our results.”


Reference

Nematgorgani S, Jahromi R, Jafari E, et al. Effects of B vitamins supplementation on migraine characteristics and disability in women with episodic migraine: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Presented at: AHS 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting; June 9-12, 2022; Denver, Colorado. Poster 161.