Migraines and Riboflavin

Written by AnaLise on March 12, 2009 – 4:10 am -

If you are a migraine sufferer, there may be good news for you. Researchers have discovered that regular intake of Vitamin B2, ?which is also known as riboflavin, may help you have fewer migraines.

Riboflavin is a type of B vitamin. All B vitamins are water soluble. It is extremely important in converting carbohydrates into sugar. The eight B vitamins, which are also known as vitamin B complex, are necessary to metabolize fat and proteins. They help keep the muscles in good tone and are necessary for the overall health of the digestive and nervous system. They are also necessary for the skin, hair, mouth and liver to stay healthy..

If we have a deficiency in vitamin B or riboflavin, there can be harm to the body, some of it extreme.
There are some serious impacts if we do not get sufficient riboflavin. Headaches, fatigue, visual disturbances, digestive problems, cracks in the mouth, and sensitivity to light are just a few of the impacts.

Riboflavin is found in a sufficient quantity in many foods. Green leafy vegetables, liver, legumes, eggs, milk, cheese, dairy products and fortified cereals are some of the food items which contain riboflavin. The most common reason of riboflavin deficiency is insufficient amount of the vitamin in the diet. Though it is best to get as much riboflavin from food as a source if possible. If it is not possible to do this through diet, a combination of food and vitamin supplements, or even just vitamin supplements without much riboflavin-rich foods will at least help avoid the dficiency or at least make it less severe.

Riboflavin deficiency is a problem for many people of various ages. It is also an unusually severe problem for the elderly.

Riboflavin can be destroyed by light, so any food which contains riboflavin or riboflavin supplements should be kept away from bright light. Also, since riboflavin is a soluble vitamin, it’s benefits can be lost in water when foods are cooked. This can be counteracted by retaining the water which is used to boil vegetables and use the water in cooking other items. There are a number of fortified flours which have riboflavin added to them, as well, however they do not help the body to the extent that whole foods and vitamin supplements do..

If you choose to take supplements, take them with food, usually a meal, so that your body can absorb and use the supplements better. Check with your doctor regarding the level of riboflavin to take, especially if you are taking medications, since various medications can affect the riboflavin and the riboflavin can affect whether the medications and how the medications work. Some of the medications that can have negative interactions with riboflavin include:

Tricyclic antidepressants
Anti-malaria drugs
Various antipsychotic medications
Birth control pills
Doxorubicin (chemotherapy used for some cancers)
Methotrexate
Phenytoin
Probenecid (for gout)
Selegiline (for Parkinson’s disease)
‘Sulfa’ medications – certain antibiotics
Thiazide diuretics
If you are taking riboflavin there are possibilities of allergic reactions. One main side effect (which is not harmful) is that riboflavin may result in urine becoming an orange red color. Allergic reactions in some patients may take place. Avoid overdosing yourself with any supplement containing riboflavin. Ask your family physician or a nutritionist on proper advice.

Studies and testimonies from patients and doctors are showing that there are many people who have been suffering from Migraines who, since taking riboflavin daily, have eliminated most -if not all – of these terrible, painful and debilitating headaches.


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