More omega-3, less omega-6, fewer migraines

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    More omega-3, less omega-6, fewer migraines

    More omega-3, less omega-6, fewer migraines
    Do you suffer from migraines? Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and a reduction in the dietary amount of omega-6 fatty acids may mitigate the problem, according to researchers at the American National Institute on Aging.





    Pain & fatty acids
    The researchers suspect that a slightly higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids, whether or not in combination with a lower intake of linoleic acid, reduces sensitivity to pain stimuli. Animal studies suggest that that theory makes sense.

    The figure below shows how the ratio between the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids should influence the pain experience. Click it for a larger version.





    Study

    The researchers divided 180 people with migraines into 3 groups. During the study, which lasted 16 weeks, all three groups were given an almost identical diet, which differed in fatty acid composition only.The subjects in the control group were fed a diet with about as many omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as the average American. About 7.2 percent of the energy came from the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid, and the subjects consumed less than the omega-3 fatty acids 150 milligrams of DHA plus EPA per day.
    The researchers increased the amount of DHA plus EPA in the diet of subjects in the first experimental group [H3] to 1500 milligrams per day, and kept the intake of linoleic acid at 7.2 energy percent.
    In the diet of the second experimental group [H3-L6], the researchers also increased the intake of DHA plus EPA to 1500 milligrams per day. In addition, the researchers reduced the intake of linoleic acid to 1.8 energy percent per day or less.
    Results
    Both experimental diet types increased the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and metabolites [4HDHA, 10DHA, 14HDHA, 17HDHA] thereof in the blood plasma and membranes of blood cells. The higher the concentration was at the end of the 16-week study, the lower the number of hours of headaches per day that the subjects reported.

    The opposite was true for omega-6 fatty acids [LA, AA]. The higher the concentration, the more hours of headache the subjects reported.
    Click on the figure for a larger version.





    The H3 diet reduced the number of headache hours per day by 1.3 hours. The H3-L6 diet reduced the number of headache hours by 1.7 hours per day.
    Conclusion
    "We tested two active dietary interventions designed to target biochemical mechanisms known to regulate nociception", the researchers write. "Both diets produced biochemical changes consistent with decreased nociception."

    "While the diets did not significantly improve quality of life, they produced large, robust reductions in frequency and severity of headaches relative to the control diet."
    "This study provides a biologically plausible demonstration that pain can be treated through targeted dietary alterations in humans. [These] [...] findings suggest causal mechanisms linking n-3 and n-6 fatty acids to nociception, and open the door to new approaches for managing chronic pain in humans."
    Source:
    BMJ 2021;374:n1448.
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    Good read, I am starting to get Migraines hear and there… gotta get the E2 checked, although only on TRT

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