Researchers say reducing the amount of some bacteria could help prevent the onset of migraines.
There could be a reason why you are more susceptible to suffering from migraines and the reason is contained in your gut and mouth.
A team of scientists have discovered that migraine sufferers have a higher amount of certain microbiomes or bacteria present in the gut and mouth that could trigger the onset of the debilitating headaches. It’s this certain bacteria that are heavily involved in processing nitrates – specifically reducing the amount of nitrate – which can be found in some foods. This would explain why certain foods can trigger migraines as it’s believed the nitrates, when broken down by the bacteria, are causing blood vessels in the brain to pulse and dilate.
“There is this idea out there that certain foods trigger migraines — chocolate, wine, and especially foods containing nitrates,” said lead author Antonio Gonzalez, of the University of California, San Diego. “We thought that perhaps there was a connection between someone’s microbiome and what they were eating.”
The study involved analyzing 170 oral samples and 2,000 stool samples of healthy people to see if they could pin point which people were migraine sufferers over others. They found migraine sufferers had a higher level of nitrate-reducing bacteria both present in the mouth and digestive system.
Migraines affect around one in seven people and can severely affect their quality of life with some having attacks at least once a month. There are already known triggers such as the type of diet you have, the amount of sleep you get and the amount of stress your body is under at any given moment.
The research team are now planning on looking at nitric oxide levels in the blood streams of those with migraines through a diet-controlled study and have said products such as probiotic mouthwash could be designed to level out the types of oral bacteria and prevent the onset of migraines according to The Guardian.
Details of the study were published in the journal mSystems.