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HeadWay, Issue #191 Migraine and "Stiff Arteries"
July 21, 2020

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In this issue:

Migraine and "Stiff Arteries"

New at Headache and Migraine News...

Say what?! Vitamin

Migraine and "Stiff Arteries"

The connection between cardiovascular disease and migraine is well known. But the reason for the connection is complex, and not entirely understood.

Arterial stiffening occurs when arteries narrow and stiffen, often due to calcium build-up. It is a contributor to heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's.

Needless to say, we should be highly motivated to keep our arteries healthy!

A study published in the journal Headache late last year found that patients with untreated migraine did have worse arterial stiffening.

So the next question is - what is causing what?

That question remains unanswered, but researchers did find that, in the case of migraine with aura, a vitamin K deficiency was often involved.

There are two vitamin superheroes that seem to fight against arterial stiffening - vitamin K (especially K2) and vitamin D (especially D3). Ensuring that you have proper levels of D & K is extremely important for cardiovascular health and slowing aging in general.

That was a quick, simplified discussion, but let's get down to the basics - how can I help my body heal itself using K & D?
  • Sunlight: If you've been stuck inside too much in the last few weeks, it's time to slowly reverse that. Getting a reasonable amount of sun on your skin is the best way to get that vitamin D - and to get exercise, which also helps fight arterial stiffening.
  • Dairy: Get some high fat dairy into your diet, especially the fermented kind (yogourt, sour cream, gouda cheese, cream cheese). Many of these are high in both D and K.
  • Eggs: Again, an excellent source of both.
  • Portobello mushrooms treated with UV light: Yes, that's pretty specific, so check the label. But these are an excellent source of D for vegetarians.
  • Seafood: Salmon, tuna, trout - excellent to boost your D.
  • Liver: Chicken, beef, goose - liver is great for K.
  • More fruits and veggies: Especially good for K are spinach, kale, strawberries, cabbage.
For more information on these vitamins, see Reduce Your Risk of Arterial Stiffness. For more on vitamin K and diet, check out Top 25 Vitamin K Foods, Plus the Many Health Benefits, and for vitamin D Food Sources of Vitamin D3. Finally, an article about the study can be found here.

New at Headache and Migraine News...

Here are some recent articles that may be useful to you. First, a couple about sleep, and then an eclectic mix.

Say what?! Vitamin

Vitamins have been all the rage for decades - but what are they, exactly?

Vitamins are organic compounds (containing carbon) and essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts (micronutrients). Most vitamins come from food.

So essentially, vitamins are certain molecules or related molecules. There are 13 recognized types of vitamins.

A quick overview of all 13 can be found here: What are vitamins, and how do they work?

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