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Effect of Vitamin D and/or Marine n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Changes in Migraine Frequency and Severity

  • Pamela M. Rist
    Correspondence
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Pamela M. Rist, ScD, Division of Preventive Medicine Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital 900 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd floor Boston, MA, 02215.
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Mass
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  • Julie E. Buring
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Mass
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  • Nancy R. Cook
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Mass
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  • JoAnn E. Manson
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Mass
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  • Tobias Kurth
    Affiliations
    Institute of Public Health, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany
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Published:January 11, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.11.023

      Abstract

      Background

      There is interest in whether supplements, including vitamin D and marine omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, may be effective migraine prophylaxis. However, few studies have evaluated whether vitamin D or n-3 fatty acid supplementation may reduce migraine frequency or severity.

      Methods

      Participants in the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) were assigned to vitamin D3 (2000 IU/d) or marine n-3 fatty acid (1 g/d) supplementation in a 2-by-2 factorial design. Lifetime history of migraine was assessed a median of 4.6 years after the start of the trial. Individuals were asked to self-report changes in migraine frequency (no change, more frequent, or less frequent) and severity (no change, more severe, less severe) in the past 5 years. We used χ2 tests to compare proportions of individuals reporting changes in migraine frequency and severity between active and placebo groups.

      Results

      Among the 25,871 participants in VITAL, 1032 participants had a history of probable migraine and provided information on changes in migraine frequency and severity. The percentage of individuals reporting decreases in migraine frequency did not differ between active (69.0%) and placebo vitamin D (68.4%) (P value = 0.54) or between active (67.8%) and placebo n-3 fatty acid (69.6%) (P value = 0.82). Similarly, the percentage of individuals reporting decreases in migraine severity did not differ between active (64.1%) and placebo vitamin D (65.0%) (P value = 0.86) or between active (64.5%) and placebo n-3 fatty acid (64.5%) (P value = 0.96).

      Conclusions

      Neither vitamin D nor marine n-3 fatty acid supplementation, compared to placebo, affected migraine frequency or severity among middle-aged or older adults.

      Keywords

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