3 Vitamin Deficiencies That Cause Migraine Headaches

by Samit Patel on June 25, 2022

The reason migraines occur is not fully understood, but it is thought that specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. It's unclear why your nerves do that.

There are a variety of things that can trigger a migraine attack. Some of the most common triggers include emotional stress, missing a meal, caffeine, hormonal changes in women, sensitivity to specific chemicals and preservatives in food, light and more.

While a lot of things can cause migraines, one cause unknown by many is vitamin deficiencies. Read on to learn more. 


Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to an increased susceptibility to migraines. This makes sense when you consider that vitamin D helps protect against inflammation and supports healthy nerves. So, if you don't have enough vitamin D, you may be more likely to experience inflammation and nerve pain that causes migraines.

To get vitamin D from the sun, a person must expose bare skin to direct sunlight for a few minutes each day. For this reason, some doctors recommend that people get a few minutes of sun exposure a few days each week to treat a vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D supplements can also help people gradually increase their vitamin D levels.

Plenty of foods contain high vitamin D levels, such as cheese, egg yolks, tuna, salmon and beef liver. You can also get your vitamin D fix by drinking soy milk or orange juice.



Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to headaches and migraines. Magnesium supplements have been known to help people treat visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and other migraine symptoms.

According to research, magnesium may help prevent migraines. Various studies show that migraine patients may need to take an average of 600 mg of magnesium over 3-4 months to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Also, magnesium is often more effective than other treatments for migraine pain in patients with aura.

Foods such as cereal, black beans, nuts, grains and beverages like tea and coffee can help increase a person's magnesium levels. 

The amount of magnesium a person needs to take to prevent migraines varies, depending on how well their body absorbs it. The general recommendation is 400 to 420 mg for men and 310 to 320 mg for women, but some people may need more or less. Too much magnesium at once can cause diarrhoea, cramps and vomiting.



Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is necessary for human health as it helps the body convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. However, the body can only store small amounts of vitamin B2, and people who don't consume enough riboflavin may be susceptible to migraines.

Eating foods high in riboflavin may help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Good sources of riboflavin include eggs, fish, meat, poultry and avocados. However, boiling these foods can cause riboflavin to be lost in the cooking water.



It is always better to prevent something from happening than to deal with it after it has happened. If you get migraines, you can help lessen the pain and prevent them by ensuring you are getting enough of these three vitamins: Vitamin D, magnesium and riboflavin. 

However, some migraines are more serious in nature and aren't healed only by lifestyle changes. If symptoms persist, don't hesitate to consult a doctor.

Do you need diagnostic and health checks? Unichem Greenhithe Pharmacy is a health and wellness clinic with pharmacists trained in the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. We offer a range of health solutions and treatments for your needs.