Migraine Sufferers, Can CoQ10 Help?
Migraine sufferers know only too well the debilitating pain that defines this neurological condition. It can take hours and sometimes days to fully recover, bringing your daily routine to a standstill. In an attempt to find ways to help relieve migraine pain, researchers have studied CoQ10 as a possible solution.
Before we review these studies to see if they measure up, let’s take a look at the causes and symptoms of migraines.
What causes migraines?
During a migraine episode, changes in the brain affect pain pathways causing inflammation and dilation of the blood vessels. Though largely misunderstood, the cause of migraines is greatly affected by genetics and your environment. Triggers are usually complex and unique to everyone.1 These can include:
- Lack of sleep
- Certain foods
- Hormonal changes
Most common migraine symptoms
A broad range of symptoms exist with migraines and they are unique to each individual. Here are some of the more common symptoms of migraines:2
- Visual disturbances like flashing lights (aura)
- Throbbing headache on one side of the head
- Light sensitivity
- Sound sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Tingling or numbness
- Nausea and vomiting
Research suggests that CoQ10 may help with migraines
A meta-analysis published in November 2018 suggests that CoQ10 may help with migraines. The researchers analyzed the results of five different research studies and concluded that CoQ10 helped lower the number of days that the participants experienced migraines and helped shorten the length of their migraines. While more research is needed, this meta-analysis points to the potential benefits of adding CoQ10 to standard migraine treatment.3
In a study published in Neurology, scientists took a group of 43 people and gave half of them CoQ10 and the other half a placebo, which is a harmless pill that looks exactly like the CoQ10 supplement but is designed to have no real effect. The dosage was 100 mg of CoQ10 (or placebo) taken three times a day. The patients were tested for attack frequency, number of headache days, and days with nausea. The CoQ10 group reported 50% fewer headaches and was well tolerated compared to 14% of the placebo group.4
Research on CoQ10 for migraines in women
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, “Migraine affects about 28 million women in the U.S.”5 If you’re one of these women, you’ll be interested in this next study that looks at the prevention of migraines in women. In addition to their regular prophylactic drugs, 84 women were studied for 12 weeks and given either a placebo or 400 mg of CoQ10 a day. The results showed a significant effect of CoQ10 supplementation on frequency, severity and duration of migraine attacks, as well as being well tolerated.6
CoQ10 may benefit children with migraines
About 10% of school-age children suffer from migraines.5 One study looked at CoQ10 in the prevention of pediatric and adolescent migraine and found CoQ10 supplementation at 100 mg a day significantly reduced the frequency of migraines compared to the placebo. This improvement peaked from week one to four, meaning CoQ10 may lead to earlier improvement in headache severity.7
More studies on CoQ10 for migraines
- CoQ10 combined with other supplements can help with migraines
- CoQ10 found to be helpful and safe for those with migraines
- CoQ10 reduced the frequency of migraines over a 3 month period
The research on CoQ10 and migraines offers a promising and safe option for those who suffer from this disabling condition. Each study showed CoQ10 to be well tolerated and an effective way to reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of migraine headaches in adults, children, and adolescents.
- Blog Contributor