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Can magnesium prevent migraines?


According to the American Migraine Foundation, approximately 36 million Americans (about 12% of the population) suffer from migraine headaches as well as approximately 370, 000 adult Canadians and 2.2 percent of the global population. Given the vast number of individuals effected world-wide by this debilitating ailment, it is imperative that more research is done to uncover adequate treatment strategies and recommendations.

Former research has alluded to the fact that magnesium may play a major role in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine headaches and has been correlated with hypo-magnesmia. Specifically, low levels of Magnesium induce cerebral arterial vasoconstriction, increase the aggregation of platelets and thus promote serotonin release, and potentiate the vasoactive action of serotonin (Trauninger et al, 2002). Magnesium deficiency has also been associated with decreased control of NMDA glutamate receptors and the production of cortical spread depression (CSD), which is responsible for the aura preceding many migraines. Substance P, one of the molecules released to produce the sensation of pain, is also released as a result of magnesium deficiency (Innerarity, 2000).

Interestingly, although Magnesium is an essential intracellular cation and is involved in numerous physiological processes, routine blood tests do not reflect true body magnesium stores since less than 2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, 67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellularly (Mauskop, 2012). For this reason, magnesium deficiency is often overlooked and therefore more light needs to be shed on its functional role in the pathogenesis of migraine headaches. image2-2 Magnesium is an essential element and is needed as a co-factor for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body (Medline). It controls normal adenosine triphosphate function, glucose metabolism, nucleic acid synthesis, and a variety of other cellular functions (Mauskop, 2011). It also has involvement in skeletal and cardiac muscle function, cytoskeletal contraction, control of vasomotor tone, and neurotransmitter release.

Given the mechanism of action of magnesium, it may be helpful to assist with the neurogenic inflammation involved in the occurrence of a migraine and used prophylactically to prevent it from occurring. This is an ever-growing body of knowledge and many studies are highlighting its efficacy of use and it’s value as a natural intervention with regards to migraine reduction, especially since it holds such a high safety profile. Studies demonstrating the significant effect of magnesium was at a dose of 600mg daily for 12 weeks. Remember however, to always consult a physician before beginning treatment.


As always, diet is paramount in meeting our health needs. The following foods hold not only a high magnesium content but also contain numerous other health benefits. They include: Almonds, Cashews, Dates, Brazil Nuts, Pepitas, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, and Flax Seeds.

image3-3 Photo credit : www.naturopathnsw.com.au


Supplementation is often important because we don’t acquire enough through food. With current farming and inorganic practices, many foods become depleted in the nutrients that they hold. Therefore, it has become very mainstream to supplement even along with a proper diet. Practices like taking long term medications (which are very common these days), frequent alcohol consumption, and using oral contraceptives are also responsible for actually depleting magnesium stores in the body.

When choosing a magnesium supplement, it’s a great idea to get the form that is best absorbed by the body. LAND ART offers a high-quality magnesium liquid health supplement that is extremely bio-available with superior efficacy as it is Magnesium Chloride that comes in ionized, liquid form – it also tastes fantastic and can be mixed with your favorite morning smoothie or juice

Erica Grenci B.A., ND (CAND) 2016


Esfanjani, Ali Tarighat, Reza Mahdavi, Mehrangiz Ebrahimi Mameghani, Mahnaz Talebi, Zeinab Nikniaz, and Abdolrasool Safaiyan. “The Effects of Magnesium, L-Carnitine, and Concurrent Magnesium–l-Carnitine Supplementation in Migraine Prophylaxis.” Biological Trace Element Research 150.1-3 (2012) : 42-48. Web.

Facchinetti, Fabio, Grazia Sances, Paola Borella, Andrea R. Genazzani, and Giuseppe Nappi. “Magnesium Prophylaxis of Menstrual Migraine: Effects on Intracellular Magnesium.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 31.5 (1991) : 298-301. Web.

Mauskop, A., Altura, BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraines. Clin Neurosci. (1998);5(1):24-7. Web.

Mauskop, Alexander, and Jasmine Varughese. “Why All Migraine Patients Should Be Treated with Magnesium.” Journal of Neural Transmission 119.5 (2012) : 575-79. Web.

Peikert, A., C. Wilimzig, and R. Kohne-Volland. “Prophylaxis of Migraine with Oral Magnesium: Results from a Prospective, Multi-Center, Placebo-Controlled and Double-Blind Randomized Study.” Cephalalgia 16.4 (1996) : 257-63. Web.

Sun-Edelstein, Christina, and Alexander Mauskop. “Role of Magnesium in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Migraine.” Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 9.3 (2009) : 369-79. Web.

Thomas, J. Tomb, E., “Migraine treatment by oral magnesium intake and correction of the irritation of buccofacial and cervical muscles as a side effect of mandibular imbalance.” Magnes Res. 1994 Jun;7(2):123-7.

Trauninger, Anita, Zoltan Pfund, Tamas Koszegi, and Jozsef Czopf. “Oral Magnesium Load Test in Patients With Migraine.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 42.2 (2002) : 114-19. Web.

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