Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium

Magnesium, the second most abundant intracellular cation, is essential in many intracellular processes and appears to play an important role in migraine pathogenesis. Routine blood tests do not reflect true body magnesium stores since <2 % is in the measurable, extracellular space, 67 % is in the bone and 31 % is located intracellularly. Lack of magnesium may promote cortical spreading depression, hyperaggregation of platelets, affect serotonin receptor function, and influence synthesis and release of a variety of neurotransmitters. Migraine sufferers may develop magnesium deficiency due to genetic inability to absorb magnesium, inherited renal magnesium wasting, excretion of excessive amounts of magnesium due to stress, low nutritional intake, and several other reasons. There is strong evidence that magnesium deficiency is much more prevalent in migraine sufferers than in healthy controls. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have produced mixed results, most likely because both magnesium deficient and non-deficient patients were included in these trials. This is akin to giving cyanocobalamine in a blinded fashion to a group of people with peripheral neuropathy without regard to their cyanocobalamine levels. Both oral and intravenous magnesium are widely available, extremely safe, very inexpensive and for patients who are magnesium deficient can be highly effective. Considering these features of magnesium, the fact that magnesium deficiency may be present in up to half of migraine patients, and that routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.

Journal of Neural Transmission, Online First™ – SpringerLinkMagnesium, the second most abundant intracellular cation, is essential in many intracellular processes and appears to play an important role in migraine pathogenesis. Routine blood tests do not reflect true body magnesium stores since <2 % is in the measurable, extracellular space, 67 % is in the bone and 31 % is located intracellularly.

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Reference

Mauskop A, Varughese J. Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. J Neural Transm. 2012 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Broccoli and Genes:

Sulfur in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may hold the key to healing genetic diseases(NaturalNews) Our mothers were right. Broccoli is good for us, but possibly in ways our mothers never knew. Health practitioners and fitness experts around the world have heralded the benefits of broccoli for decades. Scientists have long demonstrated the antioxidant properties of broccoli.

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Potassium

Learn the benefits of potassium.

Potassium. Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

What is Calcium?

Learn where calcium comes from and how it helps your body.

What is Calcium? Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

What is Magnesium?

Learn about Magnesium, benefits and what can happen to the body with lack of magnesium.

What is Magnesium? Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

Miraculous Magnesium

Lyle Hurd, of Total Health magazine, explains the many health benefits maganesium supplements provide the body (2007).

Magnesium

Pharmacist Max Motyka shares in this video (2008) the importance of magnesium. It plays a role in more than 400 enzyme reactions in our bodies, so we need to make sure we’re getting enough.

 

Nutraceuticals and Headache: The Biological Basis

Headaches are a common and debilitating ailment from which most people suffer at one time or another. Common types of headaches include tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches and sinus headaches. Headaches can have many causes, but serious causes of headaches are rare. 

This review discusses the biological basis for non-conventional or non-mainstream approaches to the treatment of migraine. Dr. Frederick Taylor discuss in this context magnesium, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, petasites, feverfew, marijuana/cannabis, and oxygen/ hyperbaric oxygen.  

 

Frederick R. Taylor

Nutraceuticals and Headache: The Biological Basis

Headache 2011; 51 (3): 484-501

 

ABSTRACT

Nutrition must affect the structure and functioning of the brain. Since the brain has very high metabolic activity, what we consume throughout the day is likely to dramatically influence both its structure and moment to moment function. It follows that nutritional approaches to all neurological disorders are being researched and entering medical practice, while nutraceutical use is a mainstay of public habits. This review discusses the biological basis for non-conventional or non-mainstream approaches to the treatment of migraine. This requires at least limited discussion of current migraine pathophysiologic theory. How nutrients and other chemicals and approaches are mechanistically involved within migraine pathways is the focus of this article. The nutraceuticals reviewed in detail are: magnesium, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, petasites, and feverfew with additional comments on marijuana and oxygen/hyperbaric oxygen. This article reviews the science when known related to the potential genetic susceptibility and sensitivity to these treatments. As we know, the basic science in this field is very preliminary, so whether to combine approaches and presumably mechanisms or use them alone or with or without conventional therapies is far from clear. Nonetheless, as more patients and providers participate in patient-centered approaches to care, knowledge of the science underpinning nutritional, nutraceutical, and complementary approaches to treatment for migraine will certainly benefit this interaction.

 

Study Adds Weight to Link Between Calcium Supplements and Heart Problems

Research: Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: Reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis

Research published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) in April 2011 adds to mounting evidence that calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks, in older women. The findings suggest that their use in managing osteoporosis should be re-assessed.

Calcium supplements are often prescribed to older (postmenopausal) women to maintain bone health. Sometimes they are combined with vitamin D, but it’s still unclear whether taking calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, can affect the heart.

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study – a seven-year trial of over 36,000 women – found no cardiovascular effect of taking combined calcium and vitamin D supplements, but the majority of participants were already taking personal calcium supplements, which may have obscured any adverse effects.

So a team of researchers, led by Professor Ian Reid at the University of Auckland, re-analysed the WHI results to provide the best current estimate of the effects of calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, on the risk of cardiovascular events.

They analysed data from 16,718 women who were not taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial and found that those allocated to combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially heart attack.

By contrast, in women who were taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial, combined calcium and vitamin D supplements did not alter their cardiovascular risk.

The authors suspect that the abrupt change in blood calcium levels after taking a supplement causes the adverse effect, rather than it being related to the total amount of calcium consumed. High blood calcium levels are linked to calcification (hardening) of the arteries, which may also help to explain these results.

Further analyses – adding data from 13 other trials, involving 29,000 people altogether – also found consistent increases in the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with taking calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, leading the authors to conclude that these data justify a reassessment of the use of calcium supplements in older people.

But in an accompanying editorial, Professors Bo Abrahamsen and Opinder Sahota argue that there is insufficient evidence available to support or refute the association.

Because of study limitations, they say “it is not possible to provide reassurance that calcium supplements given with vitamin D do not cause adverse cardiovascular events or to link them with certainty to increased cardiovascular risk. Clearly further studies are needed and the debate remains ongoing.”

 

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Medical News: Calcium Builds Bones But May Weaken Heart – in Cardiovascular, Myocardial Infarction from MedPage TodayThe findings suggest the use of these supplements in managing osteoporosis should be re-assessed, researchers reported online today in the BMJ. In the new study, researchers analyzed data from 16,718 women who were not taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial and found that those allocated to combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially MI.

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Dietary Calcium Is Better Than Supplements At Protecting Bone Health

Women who get most of their daily calcium from food have healthier bones than women whose calcium comes mainly from supplemental tablets. Surprisingly, this is true even though the supplement takers have higher average calcium intake.

Adequate calcium is important to prevent osteoporosis, which affects an estimated 8 million American women and 2 million American men. Another 34 million Americans have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Calcium consumption can help maintain bone density by preventing the body from stealing the calcium it needs from the bones, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers’ conclusions about calcium intake, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, came from a study of 183 postmenopausal women. The researchers asked the women to meticulously detail their diet and their calcium supplement intake for a week. “We assumed that this sample represented each woman’s typical diet,” says senior author Reina Armamento-Villareal, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases and a bone specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “In addition to analyzing the volunteers’ daily calcium intake, we tested bone mineral density and urinary concentrations of estrogen metabolites.” The researchers found that the women could be divided into three groups: one group, called the “supplement group,” got at least 70 percent of their daily calcium from tablets or pills; another, the “diet group,” got at least 70 percent of their calcium from dairy products and other foods; and a third, the “diet plus supplement group,” consisted of those whose calcium-source percentages fell somewhere in between these ranges. The “diet group” took in the least calcium, an average of 830 milligrams per day. Yet this group had higher bone density in their spines and hipbones than women in the “supplement group,” who consumed about 1,030 milligrams per day. Women in the “diet plus supplement group” tended to have the highest bone mineral density as well as the highest calcium intake at 1,620 milligrams per day. The hormone estrogen is known to maintain bone mineral density. But the standard form of estrogen is broken down or metabolized in the liver to other forms – some active and some inactive. Urinalysis showed that women in the “diet group” and the “diet plus supplement group” had a higher ratio of active to inactive estrogen metabolites than women in the “supplement group.” “This suggests that dietary calcium is associated with a shift in estrogen metabolism that favors production of active forms of estrogen,” says Armamento-Villareal. “Although we’re not yet certain what underlies this effect, it could be that nutrients other than calcium cause this shift. It’s also known that dairy products, which are a major source of calcium, can contain active estrogenic compounds, and these can influence bone density and the amount of estrogenic metabolites in the urine.” Calcium supplements differ in how well their calcium can be absorbed, and this also could play a role in the study’s findings, according to its authors. For example, calcium carbonate tablets need to be taken with a meal so that stomach acid can facilitate absorption, but calcium citrate tablets don’t have this limitation. If the study participants taking calcium carbonate weren’t conscientious about the timing of their supplements, they might not have received the highest benefit from them. “Only about 35 percent of the calcium in most supplements ends up being absorbed by the body,” Armamento-Villareal says. “Calcium from the diet is generally better absorbed, and this could be another reason that women who got a high percentage of calcium in their food had higher bone densities.” Although dairy foods are excellent sources of calcium, Armamento-Villareal suggests that individuals with dairy sensitivities could consume other calcium-rich food sources such as calcium-fortified orange juice. Dark green leafy vegetables also contain calcium, but it is not as readily absorbed as calcium from dairy sources.