man with a headache, stop a migraine, chronic headaches

People who are deficient in vitamin D may be more prone to chronic headaches, according to a Finnish study. The study was designed for other purposes, but it found an intriguing link between the two.

The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study:

The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study collected information on headaches and serum vitamin D levels in 2,600 middle-aged men. Almost 10 percent of the volunteers reported that they suffered headaches every week or even more frequently.

Measuring Vitamin D Levels:

The researchers took blood samples to measure the amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the men’s serum. Men who reported chronic headaches had 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of around 38 nmol/L. Those who did not experience headaches averaged almost 44 nmol/L.

Men with the lowest vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have chronic headaches as those with the highest levels. The researchers suggest that these findings support the view that vitamin D may be helpful in headache prevention. It is not clear, however, whether vitamin D supplements can reverse this link and free men from frequent headaches.

Scientific Reports, online Jan. 3, 2017

If like the Finnish men in the study, you also suffer from headaches, you can learn more about preventing and treating them in our Guide to Headaches and Migraines. We also offer a Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency that you may find useful.

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  1. Brenda
    Hazlet, nj

    Can you tell me how much vitamin D is recommended for headaches? My daughter gets migraines all the time. Heredity is involved. She takes 15,000 units. Should she take more?

  2. Dianeliz
    Raleigh NC

    Many years ago now, a blood test indicated my vitamin D was low, and my doctor put me on a supplement. I told her at the next visit that the vitamin D had cured my chronic headaches. She said, “I doubt it.”

    I didn’t doubt it, and I’m glad to see collaboration. All my adult life I’d had these headaches once every month or two. They were often severe enough to put me to bed for half a day, and usually lingered another day or two dialed down by over-the-counter painkillers. After I started taking vitamin D I never had another one of those headaches.

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