Some supplements for children might offer a safe solution to minimize the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. Most of supplements have main active ingredients in much higher concentrations, compared to food, and don’t have side effects if the taken in a right dose like the most of prescribed pills do.

If you decide to help your child mitigate the migraine attacks naturally, you need to realize that the purpose of supplements is quit different from the pills: they work preventive and can’t help your child with a migraine attack at the moment, as does the pill.

So what does science say about the effectiveness of supplements for treatment of migraine in children? So far, there is a weak evidence from controlled studies to support the effectiveness of the most commonly recommended supplements for the treatment of migraine, which are magnesium, B2 (riboflavin), coenzyme Q10, PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and palmitoylethanolamide.

Magnesium plays an important role in neuronal activity. Magnesium deficiency was noticed in many people with migraine. Some studies found that magnesium in children (9 mg/kg/day for 12 to 16 weeks) indeed reduced the frequency and intensity of migraines. On the other side, the young participants experienced few side effects from taking magnesium such as diarrhea or soft stools.

Coenzyme Q10 acts as an energy buster at the mitochondrial level. Migraine sufferers have also a deficit in mitochondrial functioning. One randomized controlled study compared the efficacy of coenzyme Q10 (100 mg/day for 4 months) in reducing the frequency of the attacks of migraine. In this study, both the CoQ10 group and the placebo group observed a reduction in the intensity and frequency of attacks with no significant side effects.

B2 (riboflavin) plays a key role in cellular energy production during the oxidation–reduction reactions that occur in the mitochondria. Riboflavin in the dose of 200 mg–400 mg/day is considered a valid option for the management of migraine in adults, but not in children and adolescents.

The use of PUFAs (such as EPA, DHA and tocopherol) is based on their anti-inflammatory effect. Although several controlled studies in children showed a significant reduction in headache frequency with daily intake of sodium valproate 20 mg/kg with a fish oil, there was no significant difference between those who took the supplements and those who took placebo.

One more chemical with anti-inflammatory, but also neuroprotective, and analgesic properties is PEA (palmitoylethanolamide). It is a body’s own fatty acid amide that is widely distributed in different tissues, including the nervous tissues. To date, the efficacy of PEA for migraine treatment has only been verified in an open label study. While this study has shown encouraging preliminary results, a comparison with a placebo group is necessary to gain clear clinical indications.

There are some other supplements, such as melatonin, pyridoxine, vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin D, that also potentially can be used to treat migraine. However, at this moment there is limited data available to prove their effectiveness.

As you can see, there is no strong evidence that supplements really can help children with migraine. Nevertheless, at this moment supplements seem to be better choice, especially for very young children with migraine because of the side effects of traditional drugs.

Curious? HERE is the source

Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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