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HeadWay Issue #203 More Research Into Omega-3 to Fight Migraine
July 21, 2021

In this issue:

Omega-3 for Migraine: New Research

More Omega-3 Information

Say what?! Polyunsaturated

Omega-3 for Migraine: New Research

We've been talking about omega-3 fatty acids for more than 15 years, and research into their ability to fight migraine goes many years beyond that. But new research is once again bringing attention to this part of a well-balanced diet.

As with a lot of dietary factors and supplements, humble omega-3 has never had the budget for the massive studies that popular drugs have had. And although the studies that have been done show a clear benefit for migraineurs, it's not a magic-bullet benefit, where a few helpings of fish are guaranteed to erase migraine forever.

However, with studies showing some benefit for migraine patients, but many more studies showing a significant overall health benefit, omega-3 has remained on our radar as one of the most important migraine-fighters to consider.

Briefly put, researchers are concerned that many typical modern diets are not getting a proper "omega balance". You may have heard about omega-3-6-9 - the numbers referring to three different types. You may have even seen supplements that claim to have the right "balance" of the three.

Omega-9 is not considered "essential" because the body can make its own. So most people mainly have to think about omega-3 and omega-6. But the reality is that your diet probably already has more than enough omega-6 compared to omega-3, unless you're supplementing or eating a lot of fish each week.

So although all three are important, for most of us it's the omega-3 that needs to be increased.

The recent study from the British Medical Journal was testing ratios between omega-3 (EPA and DPA) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). The 182 participants with migraine were divided into three groups, with three different diets. Group 1: Increased omega-3, typical (7% of energy) omega-6. Group 2: Increased omega-3, decreased omega-6. Group 3: (control group) Low omega-3 and typical omega- 6.

Although there wasn't a significant difference in the headache impact test for any group, statistically both group 1 and group 2 had fewer hours of headache per day and fewer headache days each month.

Once again, increasing your intake of omega-3 regularly seems to be a significant headache-fighter.

Researchers also pointed out that 67% of these patients had chronic migraine, "which is a notoriously difficult condition to treat." And yet the chronic migraine group also showed a significant benefit from a diet higher in omega-3.

From what we know so far, should you increase omega-3 in your diet, or take a supplement? You may want to try both. Check out the resources below for more discussion.

One more note - one of the best things that you can do for your health is eat a lot of natural, unprocessed food. For example, a keto diet is great, but if you're trying to eat just like you did before, except with "keto" ingredients, you might end up with a very un-balanced diet, and more omega-6 than you need. Check out this resource for more on keto specifically for migraineurs.

More Omega-3 Information

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