Enzyme Research for Migraine Treatment

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November 21, 2013

It’s all about the pain.  But  frequency is a huge problem too when it comes to chronic migraines.  A procedure like migraine surgery can certainly put an end to debilitating pain.  However, it is also helpful to continue adding preventative migraine treatments to your tool bag, which can reduce the episode frequency. 

Researchers in Spain believe they have discovered a therapy that could benefit many migraineurs.  According to the study, almost 90 percent of migraine suffers also have a diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme deficiency.  This substance, which is released during an allergic reaction from the immune system, helps metabolize histamine.  It is believed that histamines, cellular compounds responsible for allergy symptoms, are also involved with migraine attacks. 

The researchers, from the International University of Catalonia, studied 137 subjects with episodic migraines.  After taking oral DAO supplements, with each of their daily meals, the patients reported fewer and shorter attacks.  They did not however, experience a significant reduction in pain as a result of the enzyme migraine treatment. 

There were no reported adverse effects, which is good news for people who struggle with medication side effects.  Enzyme supplementation might also be safe to use if you have undergone a procedure like migraine surgery or botox injections.  Although the study concluded that DAO supplementation was effective for preventing migraine occurrences, it is worth noting that the study was somewhat small. 

In a separate study by researchers from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 50 percent of migraine patients with allergies experienced a reduction in the number of headaches after receiving allergy shots.  The findings were reported on Health.com, which also stated that about 30 percent of people with allergies also suffer with migraines. 

The field of research that is linking the processes involved with allergies and migraines, is exciting and provides new opportunities for putting together an effective migraine treatment plan. For example, if you suffer with both allergies and chronic migraines, your medicine cabinet may be overflowing with products that make you drowsy, queasy and interact negatively with each other.  Consult with your migraine specialist about whether undergoing migraine surgery and adding some nutritional supplements like DAO enzymes to your diet could be your way out of the medicine cabinet and chronic migraines.


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