Melatonin - Secreted by the pineal gland at night to aid in sleep, this hormone also may play a role in the genesis of head pain. French researchers noted abnormal melatonin levels in the blood of four of six women who suffer from head pain (compared to nine healthy people serving as controls).25 The scientists theorized that problems with the pineal gland may be responsible for pain in some people, thus explaining why melatonin may help.
Some 28 million Americans suffer from some form of head pain, which calculates to approximately one person in every four households. While standard medications are helpful, millions may find additional relief in natural, readily available substances such as magnesium, riboflavin, feverfew, butterbur, glucosamine, CoQ10, and melatonin.
1. Educational Resources: NHF Fact Sheet page. National Foundation web site. Accessed November 25, 2003.
2. CoQ10s possible new target: Life Extension Magazine, April 2003:28.
3. Khosh F. Natural approach to head pain. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Aug-Sep 2002.
4. Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis of pain. Clin Neurosci 1998;5(1):24-7.
5. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Serum ionized magnesium levels in patients with tension-type pain. Olesen J and Schoenen J, eds. Mechanisms, and Treatment. New York: Raven Press; 1993: 137-40.
6. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Deficiency in serum ionized magnesium but not total magnesium in patients . Possible role of ICa2+/IMg2+ ratio. Headach 1993 Mar;33(3):135-8.
7. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Intravenous magnesium sulphate relieves attacks in patients with low serium ionized magnesium levels: a pilot study. Clin Sci (Lond) 1995 Dec;89(6):633-6.
8. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Intravenous magnesium sulfate rapidly alleviates various types. Headace 1996(Mar);36(3):154-60.
9. Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Kohne-Volland R. Prophylaxis with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalagia 1996 Jun;16(4):257-63.
10. Facchinetti F, Sances G, Borella P, Genazzani AR, Nappi G. Magnesium prophylaxis of menstrual issues: effects on intracellular magnesium. Heaache 1991 May;31(5):298- 301.
11. Durlach J, Durlach V, Bac P, Bara M, Guiet- Bara A. Magnesium and therapeutics. Magnes Res 1994 Dec;7(3-4):313-28.
12. Schoenen J, Lenaerts M, Bastings E. High- dose riboflavin as a prophylactic treatment: results of an open pilot study. Cephalgia 1994 Oct;14(5):328-9.
13. Schoenen J, Jacquy J, Lenaerts M. Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in prophylaxis. A randomized con trolled trial. Neurology 1998 Feb;50(2):466- 70.
14. Southon S, Bailey Al, Wright AJ, Belsten J, Finglas PM. Mircronutrient undernutrition in British schoolchildren. Proc Nutr Soc 1993 Feb;52(1):155-63.
15. Johnson ES, Kadam NP, Hylands DM, Hylands PJ. Efficacy of feverfew. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Aug 31;291(6495):569-73.
16. Murphy JJ, Heptinstall S, Nitchell JR. Randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial of feverfew in prevention. Lancet 1988 Jul 23;2(8604):189-92.
17. Prusinski A, Durko A, Niczyporuk-Turek A. Feverfew as treatment. Neurol Neurochir Pol 1999;33 Suppl 5:89-95.
18. Ernst E, Pittler MH. The efficacy and safety of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L): an update of a systematic review. Public Health Nutr 2000 Dec;3(4A);509-14.
19. Cutlan AR, Bonilla LE, Simon JE, Erwin JE. Intra-specific variability of feverfew: correlations between parthenolide, morphological traits and seen origin. Planta Med 2000 Oct;66(7):612-7.
20. Mauskop A, Fox B. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migr. New York: Warner Books; 2001:79.
21. Mauskop A, Fox B. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migrai. New York: Warner Books; 2001:52.
22. Brown DJ. Standardized butterbur extract Petadolexherbal approach to prophylaxis. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Oct 2002.
23. Russell AL, McCarty MF. Glucosamine for prophylaxis? Med Hypotheses 2000 Sep;55(3):195-8.
24. Rozen TD, Oshinsky ML, Gebeline CA, et al. Open label trial of coenzyme Q10 as a preventive. Cephalagia 2002 Mar;22(2):137-41.
25. Claustrat B, Brun J, Geoffriau M, Zaidan R, Mallo C, Chazot G. Nocturnal plasma melatonin profile and melatonin kinetics during infusion in status migrainosus support. Cephalagia 1997 Jun;17(4):511-7.
26. G.E. Abraham and J.D. Flechas, J of Nutr Medicine 1992; 3: 49-59.
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