Covid-19 and Health Update: Dietary Alterations Effective for Migraine

Hello Everyone:

This blog related indirectly to Covid-19, as you will see below. I am reporting on new research that reveals that the composition of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) in the diet has a profound influence on migraine frequency and severity. Here are the essentials:

What is already known on this topic

  • Modern industrialized diets tend to be low in n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and high in n-6 linoleic acid
  • These fatty acids serve as precursors to endogenous signaling molecules (oxylipins) shown to increase (linoleic acid) or decrease (EPA+DHA) pain in preclinical models

What this study adds

  • Adults with chronic and episodic migraine in the United States were randomized to the H3 diet (increased EPA+DHA), the H3-L6 diet (increased EPA+DHA, reduced linoleic acid), or a control diet (average US intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids)
  • While the benefit of the H3 and H3-L6 diets on quality of life was inconclusive, the reduction in headaches was robust, particularly for the H3-L6 diet

“This study provides a biologically plausible demonstration that pain can be treated through targeted dietary alterations in humans. Collective findings suggest causal mechanisms linking n-3 and n-6 fatty acids to nociception and open the door to new approaches for managing chronic pain in humans.”

Bottom Line:
In the diet that raised Omega-3 EFA’s and lowered Omega-6’s (the H3-L6 diet),  there was a robust reduction in headache intensity and frequency on par with Botox and medications that lower CGRP (Emgality, Aimovig). This is really something that everyone should be aware of. Why? Because diets high in Omega-6 EFA’s promote inflammation, and this has the potential to cause, perpetuate or aggravate every known human ailment!!

What are sources of Omega-6 to reduce in our diet? Start with lowering or removing ALL processed foods, foods fried in any vegetable oil (chips), canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, palm oil etc. The Omega-6’s that we get from whole foods like walnuts, seeds, etc. do not contribute as significantly as processed oils do to inflammation. Once again, the Mediterranean diet will shine in this aspect as it not only has lower processed Omega-6 oils, it also has higher Omega-3’s (fish, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia, hemp hearts etc.). As you might guess, olive oil is super good as it is low in Omega-6’s.

How does this relate to Covid-19? The higher the Omega-6’s, the more background inflammation which results in a more unbalanced immune system leading towards hyper-inflammation during infections. Also, a vital key to resolution of all infections and inflammation are natural derivatives of Omega-3’s called pro-resolving mediators, or resolvins. Being low in resolvins can make is difficult to get over any infection and seeing how research literature reports over 90% of Americans are deficient, it is critical to correct this state and that should start with dietary measures and perhaps supplements as well. For more info, check these links:



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