Migraines. Here’s how riboflavin can help. Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com, and this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!” And today we’re going to talk about riboflavin supplements for migraines. There have been a number of studies on high-dose riboflavin for migraines. In general, what these studies have found is that riboflavin probably does not have the capacity to influence the intensity of the migraine. There is a study showing a modest effect around the order of 20% reduction in intensity, but most studies don’t find that effect of intensity. What they find instead is that the frequency of migraines can be reduced, and the duration of migraines can be reduced. For example, about two- thirds of people who use 400 milligrams of riboflavin per day report a 50% reduction in migraine frequency. That is not a panacea, but it’s absolutely a helpful tool to have in the kit. Although we don’t yet know if 400 milligrams is actually the dose that is needed, it is the dose that has been found to be effective. And there have been several studies using lower doses like 200 milligrams and 50 milligrams that have not shown a positive effect. And so although we don’t have clear comparisons head-to-head of the different doses, from the available literature, it appears that 400 milligrams might be the minimal effective dose or that the minimal effective dose might be somewhere around the order of 400. And smaller doses like you would find in food, you know 5 milligrams, 10 milligrams, et cetera, are probably not going to do the trick. So, this appears to be an effect of a therapeutic use of high-dose riboflavin and is not an effect of a nutritional provision of normal food amount of riboflavin. This is in direct contrast to the case of anemia that I covered in the last episode where it really is the food doses of riboflavin, the 1 milligram,
5 milligrams, maybe up to 10 milligrams that you could get with food that are effective for anemia. It’s the complete opposite case with migraines. In order to get the most out of your riboflavin, it’s better to spread it across the day and to take it with food. Taking riboflavin with food helps you absorb it, and helps you activate it, and helps you hold onto it to be able to use it. So what you would want to do is get 100 milligrams and take one capsule at three different meals, or if you’re eating four meals, take one capsule at four different meals. If you’re only eating three meals, if you wanted to get in 400 milligrams, you could take 100 milligrams at two of those meals and 200 milligrams at one of the other meals. 400 milligrams per day of riboflavin is definitely going to turn your urine bright neon yellow. That’s not a negative thing. It’s just that you can’t hold onto all 100 milligrams of riboflavin that you take at once. And so a lot of it’s going to wind up in your urine, and it’s going to turn it that bright yellow color. That’s just you losing some of that riboflavin. That also doesn’t mean that all the riboflavin is going to waste because you take 100 milligrams, you know you might spill out 30 of those milligrams into your urine, but it may be the case that if you took a lower dose, you still would be getting less riboflavin into your tissues. So because the studies out there that are effective are using the high doses and because the lower doses have not been shown to be effective regardless of the color of your urine, it makes sense in these cases to use the high doses. This episode is brought to you by Ancestral Supplements living collagen. Our Native American ancestors believed that eating the organs from a healthy animal would support the health of the corresponding organ of the individual. Ancestral Supplements has a nose-to-tail product line of grass-fed liver, organs, living collagen, bone marrow, and more. All in the convenience of a capsule. For more information or to buy any of their products, go to ancestralsupplements.com. This episode is brought to you by Vitamins & Minerals 101. This is my new free 30-day course providing one lesson a day on each nutrient delivered straight to your inbox. It can go to your email or it can go to your Facebook Messenger. If you get the Messenger version, it’s taught by Chris MasterBot, my baby bot. It’s more interactive. there are more emojis, and there are more jokes. But both email and Facebook Messenger are incredibly educational. Each lesson covers why the nutrient is important to your health, how to know if you have too little or too
much, or the wrong balance with other nutrients, how to get it from food, and when you should think about supplementing. It is not a technical or advanced course. It is completely minimum in its technical jargon, and it is designed for the beginner with no background in nutrition and no background beyond high school in the basic sciences. Nevertheless, many people who have backgrounds in nutrition are saying that it is an amazing refresher course full of nuggets of valuable information in each lesson. Sign up completely free by Facebook Messenger or by email at chrismasterjohnphd.com/101. This episode is brought to you by Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet. This is my recipe to empower you to banish any deficiency or nutritional imbalance from your body. I’ve been through the pain of my teeth falling apart, my stomach being in constant pain, and my OCD going off the rails during my stint with veganism to the point where panic attacks were the norm, and I was afraid to eat any of the food in my house. I’ve been through the path of healing using nutrient-dense animal foods to nourish all the systems of my body and become a new person. But I’ve also learned that my needs change over time. The red meat and liver that were so healing in my recovery from veganism later started sapping my energy and brain power only to find out that I’m genetically predisposed to iron overload and need to manage it with blood donations. And I’ve learned from friends, colleagues, and clients that everyone is different. Your needs are not mine. Mine aren’t what they were ten
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4 thoughts on “High-Dose Riboflavin for Migraines | Chris Masterjohn Lite #152”

  1. Hi Chris, I suffered from migraines for years which got a lot worse while I was on a vegan diet. I switched to keto diet and upped my salt intake and my migraines disappeared almost immediately. I had tried B2 while vegan and it did nothing. Only switching my diet entirely eliminated my migraines. Could you do a video on why keto works best for migraines?

  2. Try combining B2 with the herb Butterbur daily.
    Also, try eliminating inflammatory foods and substances. For instance, try the AIP diet.
    Avoid using air fresheners and artificial fragrances.
    Avoid being around chlorine fumes and ammonia fumes.

    I used to get almost daily migraines for over 30 years until I went strictly gluten free and casein (dairy) free. Now zero headaches unless I get glutinized or have a CAT scan with contrast.

    My son gets migraines from a congenital brain defect. Taking B2 and Butterbur works better than the neurological drugs he was on without all the side effects. Acupuncture also works for pain. He reacts to Aspartame (Nutrasweet) by getting a severe migraine. So I feel that anyone who gets migraines should consider giving up Aspartame for a while to see if it is a trigger. By the way, Aspartame is in a ton of different processed foods.

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