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The throbbing, pounding, seemingly never-ending cycle of migraine is one of the most common causes of chronic pain.
When statistics show that a whopping 90 percent of migraine sufferers are unable to function normally during an attack, it’s a true testament to just how severely this kind of pain can impact your entire life.
Sadly, if you’re one of the people who live with these extreme headaches, you know there’s no easy answer to finding relief.
Prescriptions for migraines help some, but the side effects can knock you for as big a loop as the headache itself. And if you have high blood pressure, forget it! You won’t be able to take most of them.
Now, however, there’s new hope for migraine sufferers everywhere — one that has no side effects and could reduce your number of headache days per month by up to 40 percent! Not to mention the other well-researched benefits it offers…
Less vegetable oil, more healthy fats from fish
In a new study reported in The British Medical Journal, researchers followed 182 adults with frequent migraines to follow up on a study that found that linoleic acid might be a culprit behind the chronic pain epidemic in our country.
You see, linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in most of the vegetable oils used to cook or prepare foods in our modern American diet, especially processed foods. It’s found in corn, soybean and other oils from nuts and seeds.
We’ve known for a while it’s not the healthiest, but now it’s been found to inflame migraine-related pain.
It does this by triggering pathways of the trigeminal nerve — the most complex and sensitive of the body’s 12 cranial nerves, affecting sensation in the face, sinuses, scalp and even the jaws.
This got the researchers thinking…
If an unhealthy oil can cause the pain of migraines, could a healthy oil prevent or relieve it?
So they turned to the omega-3 fatty acids you’d find in fatty fish.
The team followed three groups of participants living with an average of 16 headache days per month, over five hours of migraine pain per headache day, and a severe impact on quality of life despite using multiple headache medications.
The three groups followed separate 16-week dietary interventions:
- One group ate meals that had high levels of fatty fish or oils from fatty fish and lower levels of linoleic acid.
- A second group ate high levels of fatty fish and higher linoleic acid.
- The final group (we’ll call them “The Unlucky”) went with high linoleic acid and lower levels of fatty fish to mimic what the average American eats.
Throughout the study, participants monitored their number of migraine days, duration and intensity, along with how their headaches affected their abilities to function at work, school and in their social lives — and how often they needed to take pain medications.
Group one came out as the big winners…
The researchers found that their diet, which was low in vegetable oil and high in fatty fish, delivered a 30 to 40 percent reduction of:
- Total headache hours per day
- Severe headache hours per day
- Overall headache days per month
And the proof was also in their blood work: This group also had lower levels of pain-related lipids — thanks to taking in more omega-3s!
The influence of food on pain pathways
The researchers say that this small change in the diet, “could offer some relief for the millions of Americans who suffer from migraine pain.”
And they say it’s just more evidence of how the foods we eat influence the pain we feel.
So if you want to grab more headache-free days each month and headache-free hours each day without a prescription, try removing vegetable oils from your diet and getting more fish oil instead.
You can get high levels of omega-3s from fatty fish like:
Or take a high-quality omega-3 supplement, like Peak Krill Oil™.
For me, krill oil is a great option because it contains the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin that helps deliver DHA into your brain cells.
And since migraines are also related to nutrient deficiencies, be sure to also add these three specific vitamins to your supplement regimen.
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