Abstract Title:

[Diet and migraine].

Abstract Source:

Rev Neurol. 1996 May;24(129):534-8. PMID: 8681169

Abstract Author(s):

R Leira, R Rodríguez

Article Affiliation:

Servicio de Neurología, Hospital General de Galicia Clinico Universitario, Santiago de Compostela.


Some foods in our diet can spark off migraine attacks in susceptible individuals. Some foods can bring an attack on through an allergic reaction. A certain number such as citrus fruits, tea, coffee, pork, chocolate, milk, nuts, vegetables and cola drinks have been cited as possible allergens associated with migraine. This mechanism has however been criticized: an improvement in symptoms by eliminating some food(s) from our diet does not necessarily mean an immunologically based allergic reaction. The high IgE incidence rate is not greater in such patients than in the population at large. Other allergic reactions unrelated to diet may also be associated with migraine attacks. On the other hand substances in food may be the cause of modifications in vascular tone and bring migraine on in those so prone. Among such substances are tyramine, phenylalanine, phenolic flavonoids, alcohol, food additives (sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate, aspartame) and caffeine. Another recognized trigger for migraine is hypoglycemia. Such foods as chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits, bananas, nuts, 'cured' meats, dairy products, cereals, beans, hot dogs, pizza, food additives (sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate in Chinese restaurant food, aspartame as a sweetener), coffee, tea, cola drinks, alcoholic drinks such as red wine, beer or whisky distilled in copper stills, all may bring on a migraine attack. For every patient we have to assess which foodstuffs are involved in the attack (not necessarily produced by consuming the product concerned) in order to try to avoid their consumptions as a means of prophylaxis for migraine.

Study Type : Review

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