Migraines, diet and the microbiome

In my last post I had discovered the migraine –> CFS pathway: Increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome in patients with migraine: A retrospective cohort study [Oct 2015]. This suggests that migraines may be an indicator of the start of a dysfunction leading to CFS in some patients, see “evidence linking the migraine brain to various GI disorders” [What the Gut Can Teach Us About Migraine Jul 2015] and an even older study Migraine of gastrointestinal origin[1995].

In this post, I am going to attempt to drill into this because many CFSers suffers from migraines (just like they suffer from POTS and IBS very often).

  • “Several studies demonstrated significant associations between migraine and celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and IBS.” [2014]
  • “probiotics [Ecologic(®)Barrier, 2.5×10(9) cfu/g] may decrease migraine supporting a possible role for the intestine in migraine management. Feasibility and lack of adverse reactions justify further placebo-controlled studies” [Oct 2015]
    • Bifidobacterium bifidum W23, Bifidobacterium lactis W52, Lactobacillus acidophilus W37, Lactobacillus brevis W63, L. casei W56, Lactobacillus salivarius W24, and Lactococcus lactis (W19 and W58).

  • “a trend of more frequent H. pylori infections in patients with migraine” [2014]
  • “it has been documented that at 6 and 12 months, bacterial eradication [of H. Pylori] is associated to disappearance of symptoms in 23% and 28% of cases, and to a significant decrease of intensity, frequency and duration of acute attacks in the remaining patients.”[2013] – note that the antibiotics used impacts many families of gut bacteria
  • There is a growing body of literature on the potential use of .. diet interventions for primary headache disorders. This review identified literature on the use of a variety of diet and nutraceutical interventions for headache. Most of the studies assessed the efficacy of these interventions for migraine, though some explored their role in tension-type headache and cluster headache. The quality of the evidence in this area is generally poor.” [Jun 2015]
  • “led to the identification of two potential compounds present in live green real veggies which could be considered for anti-migraine activity with better binding affinities than the reference drugs used and with liver-protective properties.” [2015]
    • “The product contains, among other constituents, glucosinolate (cabbage and broccoli), glutathione (cabbage, broccoli, parsley), sulforaphane (cabbage and broccoli), indole-3-carbinol (from cabbage), carnitine (carrots) and betaine (beetroot). The team points out that indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane can cross the blood-brain barrier whereas other components cannot and many are not even absorbed by the body when taken by mouth.” [ScienceSpot] – Comment: these veggies are inline with the class of vegetables that I advocate are good for CFS.
  • “A significant inverse relation was observed between dietary folate equivalent consumption and migraine frequency.” [Feb 2015] — reduces frequency but does not eliminate.
  • “Migraineurs with aura were more likely to have low intake of chocolate, ice cream, hot dogs, and processed meats. Those who experience migraine at least once per week were more likely to have low intake of skim/low-fat milk and white and red wine.” [Aug 2015] –

  • effects of a low-fat plant-based diet intervention on migraine severity and frequency…A low-fat diet has been shown to reduce headache frequency, intensity, and duration, with subsequently lowered medication use..The most commonly reported triggers in these and other analyses include: chocolate, cheese, citrus, alcohol, and coffee’[2014]

  • “our results support the idea that sterile inflammation plays a role in migraine pathogenesis. ” [2011]

  • We also recommend the use of the following supplements in the preventative treatment of migraines, in decreasing order of preference: magnesium, Petasites hybridus, feverfew, coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and alpha lipoic acid.” [2009]

Bottom Line

Hopefully someone will fund a study testing each of the probiotics in this post on Migraines. There is a single study so far using a mixture that included L.Casei. At the moment, there is no data on which probiotics would be effective. Similarly, there have been no studies on the use of H. Pylori antibiotics on migraines when there was not H. Pylori present — I expect similar remission and relief rates would occur (i.e. H Pylori is not the cause, but the antibiotics are the cure for some!  aka Wrong Model, Right Treatment!)

The probiotic that I reviewed in my last post, BIFIDO|MAXIMUS, while untested in clinical studies for migraines has the appropriate characteristics according to the model that I am using. Ecologic(®)Barrier is a dutch probiotic that may be challenging to get for many