First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Plant-Based Diet Reduces Migraine Pain
Journal of Headache and Pain Study Shows Nutritional Approach Beneficial for Migraines
WASHINGTON —Plant-based diets reduce migraine pain, according to a new Physicians Committee study in the Journal of Headache and Pain. The study found that the severity of the participants’ worst headache pain improved significantly when they consumed a plant-based diet that eliminated dietary pain triggers such as meat and dairy products.
“By avoiding cheese, eggs, and meat, some of the worst headache triggers are off the plate,” says Anne Bunner, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and associate director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee.
The study assigned 42 adult migraine sufferers to either consume a low-fat plant-based diet or take a placebo supplement for 16 weeks. Participants then switched groups for a second 16-week period. During the diet period, participants consumed a plant-based diet and then an elimination diet to remove foods that are common migraine pain triggers. The severity of the worst headache pain improved significantly during the plant-based diet period, compared to the supplement period. The decline in migraine pain may have been due to the elimination of dietary pain triggers such as meat and dairy products or by weight loss or hormonal changes brought on by the diet change.
These results suggest potential value of a nutritional approach to migraine treatment.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine