Migraines have been linked to vitamin deficiencies by researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The study found that many young people including children, teens, and young adults who suffer from migraines, are also mildly deficient with vitamin D, vitamin B2 riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10.

“Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation,” adds the study’s lead author Suzanne Hagler, a medicine fellow in the department of Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Vitamin D or the “sunshine vitamin” is needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption. Vitamin B2 is needed for metabolic energy processes while coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance crucial for producing energy for cell growth and maintenance that can be found in every cell of our body.


People with migraines are also deficient in several vitamins. Credit: Migraines Cureenn

The research team studied the data of patients with migraines at the Cincinnati Children’s Headache Center. The participants’ baseline blood levels have been taken into account, which includes riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, vitamin D as well as folate. They found that girls and young women were more likely to be deficient in the coenzyme Q10 at initial assessment than boys and young men. On the other hand, the boys and young men were found to be more likely deficient in vitamin D.

Coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin deficiencies were observed more in patients with chronic migraines than patients with episodic migraines. The researchers were not sure if folate deficiency is related to migraines.

The researchers note that many patients were given medications to prevent migraines apart from receiving vitamins to supplement their deficiency. Moreover, they say that only a few patients received the vitamin supplementation alone so they cannot confirm if giving vitamins prevent migraines.

These vitamins have been associated with migraines in the past although no research has confirmed causation. The study was presented by Hagler at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego on June 10.