More fatty fish, fewer polyunsaturated fats may ease migraines, study says

Eating a lot of fatty fish and slicing out polyunsaturated fats may scale back the frequency and depth of migraines, a brand new study suggests.

Omega-Three fatty acids from fish like tuna, salmon, bluefish and mackerel may assist handle migraine, particularly in tandem with eliminating omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils, the researchers discovered.

“It’s moderate evidence that diet changes can decrease headache, but for me, it’s that we’re just beginning to understand the role of diet and pain, and that likely needs to be looked at and other chronic pain conditions, other nutrients and so forth,” stated lead researcher Dr. Christopher Ramsden. He is a scientific investigator on the U.S. National Institute on Aging, in Baltimore.

Ramsden does not suppose that altering one’s weight loss program is a magic bullet to ending migraine or different persistent ache, nonetheless.

“I don’t think this is ever going to be the be-all-end-all, but I think it might end up being one tool that can be combined with medications and other treatments to improve people’s lives who are in chronic pain,” Ramsden stated.

Dr. Noah Rosen, director of Northwell Health’s Headache Center in Great Neck, N.Y., discovered hope within the findings.

“It is encouraging to see more evidence based on the effect diet can have on migraine,” Rosen stated after reviewing the outcomes.

Other research have advised that diets excessive in omega-Three may be helpful for ache syndromes, and this study extends that to persistent migraine.

Research has advised that together with omega-Three in a single’s weight loss program versus taking dietary supplements, is essential, and this study helps that extra pure strategy, he stated.

“It would be nice to see if this could be sustained, if weight loss may play a role, and if there are some people who may have stronger responses to dietary modification,” Rosen stated.

For the study, Ramsden and his colleagues collected information on 182 individuals with frequent migraines.

In earlier analysis, the investigators discovered that diets with a lot of linoleic acid — omega-6 fatty acid — from corn oil and different vegetable oils elevated irritation, whereas diets with much less linoleic acid lowered irritation.

“Diet can change the composition of the nervous system and the immune system,” Ramsden stated.

Participants have been randomly assigned to one in every of three weight loss program plans. All obtained meal kits that included fish, veggies, hummus, salads and breakfast gadgets.

Over 16 weeks, one group ate meals containing excessive ranges of fatty fish or their oils whereas reducing linoleic acid.

A second group obtained meal kits with excessive ranges of fatty fish and better linoleic acid.

The third group was despatched meal kits excessive in linoleic acid and decrease ranges of fatty fish to imitate common U.S. diets.

At the outset, individuals averaged greater than 16 headache days per 30 days with greater than 5 hours of migraine ache per headache day.

Despite use of headache medicines, these migraines had a extreme impact on their high quality of life.

The consequence: The weight loss program decrease in vegetable oil and better in fatty fish resulted in a 30% to 40% discount in complete headache hours every day, extreme headache hours every day and total headache days every month, in contrast with a weight loss program that included much less fatty fish.

Participants who ate a weight loss program low in vegetable oil and better in fatty fish additionally had decrease blood ranges of pain-related fats, the researchers famous.

Despite fewer complications and fewer ache, these individuals reported solely small enhancements in high quality of life.

Ramsden does not suppose omega-Three dietary supplements would provide the identical advantages. He suspects that omega-Three and different vitamins in fish may work in tandem to scale back ache.

Dr. Vincent Martin is president of the National Headache Foundation and a professor on the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, in Ohio. He already recommends weight loss program modifications to his migraine sufferers.

“There are other diets that we use. I think sometimes people will follow a Keto diet, sometimes they’ll follow a low-fat diet or a low glycemic index diet,” he stated. “So there are a variety of different diets that we do recommend.”

The drawback is that these diets are laborious to stay with, Martin stated. And in case you don’t love fish, the weight loss program examined on this study is sort of inconceivable to stick with.

“This example exemplifies one type of diet that might benefit people who like fish in particular; otherwise, this is going to be a tough diet to follow,” he stated.

Like Ramsden, Martin is just not a fan of dietary supplements. Omega-Three dietary supplements, for instance, do not decrease omega-6 fatty acids, a key to lowering the frequency and ache of complications, he stated.

“A healthy migraine diet is one where you eat natural foods,” Martin stated. “You don’t eat foods with a lot of preservatives, so anything in a box, in a bag and a can usually have preservatives in them, and/or flavor enhancers that can trigger headaches.” He additionally advises sufferers to chop out sugar.

The study was printed on-line just lately within the BMJ.

More data

To be taught extra about migraines and weight loss program, go to the National Headache Foundation.

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