Ask anyone who suffers from migraine headaches, and they’ll tell you: It’s no joke.
They are debilitating and can last for days. And while there are some medications available that many people tolerate, I’ve treated migraines successfully for years without them—using targeted nutritional supplementation and dietary changes.
And now, at long last, a recent study adopted this same approach, looking at natural migraine relief and prevention as well. Here’s what you need to know…
Fatty fish fights migraine
This study looked at the impact of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids on chronic migraine in 182 adult subjects.
The patients all received meal kits featuring fish, veggies, hummus, salad, and breakfast items. And they were each randomly assigned one of three diets for the next 16 weeks.
One diet boosted intake of omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA to 1.5 grams per day, while keeping linoleic acid (omega-6) at roughly seven percent of energy intake. The second diet also boosted EPA/DHA to 1.5 grams per day, but lowered linoleic acid intake significantly.
And the control diet kept linoleic acid at around seven percent, with an EPA/DHA intake of less than 150 mg per day—which basically reflects the standard American diet (SAD).
As you might expect, increased EPA/DHA intake boosted patients’ blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. But here’s the crucial part: Both intervention diets improved scores on the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) compared to the control diet.
Unfortunately, the effect wasn’t large enough to be statistically significant. But the improvements in migraine frequency were a whole different story…
Subjects on the diet high in omega-3s suffered 1.3 fewer headache hours daily, and two fewer headache days monthly. In subjects who followed the high omega-3, low omega-6 diet, results were even better: These patients suffered 1.7 fewer headache hours daily, and four fewer headache days monthly. And finally, both intervention groups had shorter, less severe migraines compared to controls.
Take your fish oil every day
If you ask me, these results speak for themselves. But it’s still worth noting that current migraine drugs on the market don’t even perform this well. (Recently approved treatments cut monthly migraine days by only two to two-and-a-half days compared to placebo.)
In other words, consuming more fish/fish oil potentially works twice as well at preventing migraines. (And it’s almost certainly cheaper.)
These findings aren’t exactly surprising, either. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and omega-6s—which make up the majority of fats in the SAD—are pro-inflammatory.
But of course the naysayers came out of the woodwork to warn that migraine patients shouldn’t start taking omega-3 supplements because of this study. The idiocy never ceases to amaze!
In fact, as more and more science emerges on nutritional strategies for disease prevention, it only gets clearer that our food supply is killing us… and that something has to be done to improve access to higher quality, REAL foods.
And the fact remains that everyone should already be taking a daily fish oil supplement anyway. (That’s because most people don’t eat fatty fish on a normal basis.)
This supplement has a permanent place on my “Desert Island” list for a reason. I typically recommend a dose that’s twice as high as this study’s—to the tune of 3,000 mg of EPA/DHA per day.
To learn more about the benefits of fish oil—including the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids—check out the May 2012 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“Fishing for the best source of omega-3s”). Subscribers have access to this, and more, in my archives. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today. Click here now!
“Diet Rich in Omega-3s Linked to Fewer Migraines, Less Pain.” Medscape Medical News, 07/06/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/954272)