Study Identifies Dietary Nutrient Patterns Linked With Migraine Severity, Duration

Researchers have identified a link between migraine characteristics and diets rich in certain nutrients.

Results of a cross-sectional study identified relationships between dietary nutrient patterns and the severity and duration of migraines among women with migraines. The results have been published in British Journal of Nutrition They suggest that dietary nutrient patterns should be closely monitored in individuals with migraines, the authors wrote.

Disruption of the endogenous pain modulation system, sensitivity to altered hemostasis, and vascular alterations have been discovered as possible roots of migraine pathology. The researchers explained, “Although migraines may arise from genetic causes, many other internal and external conditions, such as daily diet, certain foods, alcohol, hormonal fluctuations, stressful situations, and lifestyle may affect the severity and duration of migraines.” “.

Previous research has also focused largely on the role of individual foods in migraines, while less attention has been paid to the impact of dietary patterns. To address this knowledge gap, researchers evaluated the relationship between dietary nutrient patterns and migraine duration among 266 women in Iran.

“Nutrient patterns can provide a forward-looking view between total food intake and disease, as the effect of all nutrients is considered,” the authors wrote. “In addition, the study of diet and nutrient patterns could also include both nutritional synergies and nutrient interactions.”

All study participants ranged in age from 18 to 50 years and had BMIs between 18.5 and 30.0 kg/m2. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess physical activity, and nutritional intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. In addition, Nutritionist-IV software was used to analyze the data, while dietary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals were calculated from the total intake.

To assess migraine severity, the researchers used the Migraine Disability Assessment Questionnaire (MIDAS) and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Fifteen nutrients were selected for factor analysis and used to derive 3 dietary patterns. Specifically, “The first dietary pattern consisted of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B2 and magnesium. The second dietary pattern included vitamin B1, carbohydrates, vitamin B3, vitamin B9, protein, and total fiber. The third included Vitamin D and Vitamin B12″.

The analyzes revealed:

  • Significantly positive relationship between type II and VAS in the raw model (: 0.27; 95% CI, 0.00-0.53; s= .05), which remained significant in a model adjusted for all confounders (β: 0.37; 95% CI, 0.13–0.61; s <.001)
  • An inverse relationship between MIDAS and dietary pattern I (β: -2.80; 95% CI, -5.20 to -0.41; s = .02), which remained in an adjusted model (β: -3.14; 95% CI, -5.47 to -0.81; s = .01)
  • Headache duration was positively associated with type II and III; This remained after adjusting for confounders in all models tested
  • No significant relationship between other nutrient patterns, VAS, MIDAS, and pain duration

The current study underscores the importance of identifying triggers for migraine management and emphasizes how consumption or avoidance of certain dietary patterns can influence disease severity, researchers said.

However, the cross-sectional design of the analysis precluded drawing any causal conclusions, indicating a limitation of the study. They conclude that prospective longitudinal studies are warranted to better clarify the relationship between dietary nutrient patterns and migraine characteristics.


Bahrampour N, Mirzababaei A, Yarizadeh H, et al. Relationship between nutrient patterns and migraine severity and duration. Br J Nutr. Published online January 17, 2022. doi: 10.1017/S0007114522000046


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