Vitamin D in migraine headache: a comprehensive review on literature

Abstract

Introduction

As a primary headache, migraine has been established as the first leading disability cause worldwide in the subjects who aged less than 50 years. A variety of dietary supplements have been introduced for migraine complementary treatment. As an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, vitamin D is one of these agents which has been of interest in recent years. Although higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency has been highlighted among migraineurs compared to controls, there is not any consensus in prescribing vitamin D in clinical practice. Therefore, in the current review, in addition to observational and case-control studies, we also included clinical trials concerning the effects of vitamin D supplementation on migraine/headache.

Methods

Based on a PubMed/MEDLINE and ScienceDirect database search, this review study includes published articles up to June 2019 concerning the association between migraine/headache and vitamin D status or supplementation.

Results

The percentage of subjects with vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among migraineurs and headache patients has been reported to vary between 45 and 100%. In a number of studies, vitamin D level was negatively correlated with frequency of headaches. The present findings show that supplementation with this vitamin in a dose of 1000–4000 IU/d could reduce the frequency of attacks in migraineurs.

Conclusion

It seems a high proportion of migraine patients might suffer from vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency. Further, the current evidence shows that in addition to routine drug therapy, vitamin D administration might reduce the frequency of attacks in migraineurs. However, these results have yet to be confirmed.

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This research has been supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences & health Services grant 96-04-161-37647.

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Correspondence to Maryam Mahmoudi.

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Ghorbani, Z., Togha, M., Rafiee, P. et al. Vitamin D in migraine headache: a comprehensive review on literature. Neurol Sci 40, 2459–2477 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-019-04021-z

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Keywords

  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Headache
  • Immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Nociception
  • Pain