A popular supplement, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), may help prevent migraine

A popular supplement, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), may help prevent migraine, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., April 24 – May 1, 2004.

Migraine patients who took 100 mg three times a day of CoQ10—which acts as the body’s energy producer—had fewer attacks in three months than those who took a placebo. The participants taking CoQ10 also had fewer days with a headache and fewer days with nausea.

“A lack of cell energy in the brain may be a cause of migraine,” said study author Peter S. Sandor, MD, University Hospitals Zurich, Switzerland. “CoQ10 may give a boost to those cells and help prevent migraine.”

The study involved 42 people who suffered an average 4.4 migraine attacks per month. Approximately 48 percent of those who took CoQ10 had half as many attacks during the three-month study, while this occurred in only about 14 percent of those taking a placebo.

“We found that coenzyme 10 had a significant effect on reducing migraine,” said Sandor. “We also found that the only side effect appeared to be an allergic skin rash in one patient. This compares with side effects of fatigue, weight gain, dry mouth, and other side effects found with other methods to prevent migraine.”

CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is an antioxidant made by the body and used by cells to make energy. It is found in meat and seafood, as well as dietary supplements, but in lower dosages.

Other energy producers, such as riboflavin, which improves energy metabolism, have also been found to be useful in migraine prevention.

The study was supported by MSE, a producer of dietary supplements and vitamins.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, autism and multiple sclerosis.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its website at https://www.aan.com/

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