Review on Headache Related to Dietary Supplements

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2022 Mar;26(3):193-218. doi: 10.1007/s11916-022-01019-9. Epub 2022 Mar 7.


Purpose of review: The lifetime prevalence of headaches is 96%. Approximately 11% of the adult population worldwide has a migraine headache. Migraine is a complex disorder that is more than a simple headache. So far, many underlying mechanisms, i.e. inflammatory, vascular, neurogenic have been hypothesized. In recent years evidences proposed that an energy deficit due to changes in mitochondrial function contributes to migraine pathophysiology as an upstream disorder. Recent insights suggested that the coexistence of sensory-stimuli surplus and energy-reserve shortage activate the trigeminovascular system. Some nutrients are considered as essential elements in mitochondrial bioenergetics and some others are known as natural immuno-modulatory components. Also, evidence showed their beneficial effect in headache prophylaxis and treatment. In present study, we aimed to review the available data in this field.

Recent findings: Vitamin B group, magnesium, and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are well-known for their function in mitochondrial energy metabolism. On the other hand, studies support their beneficial role in controlling migraine headache symptoms. For instance, daily intake of 400-milligram riboflavin for 3 months resulted in more than 50% reduction in migraine attacks in more than half of the consumers. According to recent evidence, vitamin D and Omega-3 which are considered as famous immune-modulatory compounds are also reported to be effective in migraine prophylaxis. For example, every 22% reduction in migraine headache occurrence was reported for every 5 ng/ml rise in serum vitamin D. Supplementation with vitamin B group, CoQ10, magnesium, vitamin D and Omega-3 could be considered as an effective, less costly strategy in headache/migraine prophylaxis.

Keywords: Dietary supplements; Headache; Migraine; Minerals; Vitamins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Headache / drug therapy
  • Headache / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use
  • Migraine Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Migraine Disorders* / prevention & control


  • Magnesium