Written by Angeline A. De Leon, Staff Writer. A prospective observational study found that a three-month supplementation with a combination of feverfew, magnesium and coenzyme Q10 significantly decreased headache duration in the 68 participants with migraine headaches.
Migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent severe headaches and often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Conventional treatment for migraines aim at alleviating acute attacks, as well as reducing their frequency, duration, and severity, however, current treatment options have generally shown limited success at achieving optimal control over symptoms 1. Non-pharmacological therapies, including vitamins and herbal supplements, may offer alternative means of effectively managing and preventing migraine attacks. A flowering plant of the daisy family, feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.), for example, demonstrates valuable antimigraine properties, including anti-inflammatory effects and promotion of vascular smooth muscle relaxation 2,3. Studies also hypothesize that supplementation with coenzyme Q10, a natural compound known to generate cellular energy, may be useful in migraine prevention, clinical data showing that headache frequency and severity in children, adolescents, and adults can be significantly improved with the supplement 4,5. Similarly, supplementation with magnesium, a critical mineral involved in multiple biological processes, has been studied as a natural pre-treatment option for its influence over biological factors involved in migraine development, including vascular tone and cellular energy production 3,6. In a 2017 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers investigated whether a fixed combination of these promising antimigraine agents, feverfew, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium, would show a beneficial influence for individuals diagnosed with migraine.
In a prospective observational study, a total of 68 adult patients (aged 18-65 years) were recruited as participants, all of whom were diagnosed with migraine according to the International Headache Society (at least 2 or more migraine attacks per month). After a one-month baseline period, patients consumed one tablet containing 100 mg of feverfew, 100 mg coenzyme Q10, and 112.5 mg of magnesium daily for 3 months.
After 3 months of supplementation, researchers noted a significant decrease in the number of days with migraine headaches during the third month vs. baseline (1.3 days +/- 1.5 vs. 4.9 days +/- 2.6, p < 0.0001). The following key findings were also evident: after 3 months, 75% of patients experienced at least a 50% reduction in the number of days with migraine headaches; from baseline to the third month of supplementation, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of patients reporting symptoms of anxiety (from 52.4% to 30%) and depression (from 61.9% to 35%) (p < 0.005 and p < 0.05, respectively). A significant improvement on scores on the Quality of Life questionnaire was also observed (decrease in global score from 53.1 +/- 15.9 to 39.5 +/- 14.4, p < 0.0001).
Evidence from the study generally supports the merits of using a combined supplementation of feverfew, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium for the prophylaxis of migraine in adults. While individually demonstrating antimigraine properties, the use of these agents together appears to confer a synergistic effect that may help reduce frequency and severity of headaches while improving quality of life. Future studies using a randomized, placebo-controlled design are warranted.
Source: Guilbot A, Bangratz M, Abdellah SA, et al. A combination of coenzyme Q10, feverfew, and magnesium for migraine prophylaxis: a prospective observational study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017(17): 433. DOI: 10.1186/12906-017-1933-7.
© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Posted on November 21, 2017.
- Wider B, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. The Cochrane Library. 2015.
- Rajapakse T, Pringsheim T. Nutraceuticals in migraine: a summary of existing guidelines for use. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2016;56(4):808-816.
- Daniel O, Mauskop A. Nutraceuticals in acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine. Current treatment options in neurology. 2016;18(4):14.
- Hershey AD, Powers SW, Vockell ALB, et al. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency and response to supplementation in pediatric and adolescent migraine. Headache: the journal of head and face pain. 2007;47(1):73-80.
- Sandor P, Di Clemente L, Coppola G, et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 2005;64(4):713-715.
- Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Köhne-Volland R. Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia. 1996;16(4):257-263.