The Mediterranean diet, rich in omega-3 and low in omega-6, can reduce migraines. I study

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Elia Tabuenca García

A recent study shows that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the frequency of migraine episodes, especially in women

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A recent study conducted in the United States showed that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish and nuts (pillars of the Mediterranean diet) help reduce the frequency of migraine episodes, especially in women.

Millions of people around the world suffer from migraine - three times more women than men. Although more and more treatments have been developed against this nuisance in recent years, many people continue to suffer from it, with consequences also on the quality of life. A help in preventing this disorder could come from nutrition: in fact, consuming fish, nuts and seeds (rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) would help prevent the onset of headaches, according to a study.

The research involved 182 patients with frequent migraines (between 5 and 20 episodes per month) who were randomly assigned one of these three diets: in the first diet the intake of omega-3 was increased but not that of omega-6 (which remained unchanged); in the second regimen, omega-3 intake increased and omega-6 intake decreased; in the third diet the intake values ​​of both fatty acids remained unchanged. The diets were very similar to each other - the only difference was the type of oil (or butter) used and the main source of protein (e.g. fish rather than poultry or red meat). All three diets were followed by patients for a period of 16 weeks.

(Also Read: Headache? Your Migraine Could Be Genes Blame, The Twin Study)

The results collected at the end of the diet period showed that both the first and second dietary regimens improved levels of ossiplipina (a molecule capable of reducing pain) compared to the third diet which did not cause any changes, and therefore significantly reduced the duration of the migraine episode (although not its frequency).

More studies have yet to be done to demonstrate the effective efficacy of nutrition in reducing migraines - for example, even in children and young people. It should also be investigated which are the most effective sources of fatty acids in reducing the disorder, and whether even vegetarians (while not consuming fish) can take advantage of the advantages of a diet rich in omega-3 by taking them exclusively from plant sources.

Credits: British Medical Journal

Fonte: British Medical Journal

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