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Role of magnesium in migraine treatment

Migraine is a debilitating neurological condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While various treatments are available, magnesium (and specifically magnesium glycinate) has emerged as a promising option for migraine prevention and management.

Understanding Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in numerous bodily functions, including nerve signal transmission, muscle contraction, and energy production. Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium, meaning it is bound to the amino acid glycine. This form is known for its high bioavailability and gentle effect on the digestive system, making it an ideal choice for individuals who may experience gastrointestinal side effects from other forms of magnesium. Magnesium plays a crucial role in several physiological processes that are relevant to migraine pathophysiology:

- Neurotransmitter Regulation: Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is implicated in migraine attacks.

- Blood Vessels Tone: Magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker, helping to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, which can prevent the vasoconstriction and vasodilation associated with migraines.

- Inflammation Reduction: Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the inflammatory response involved in migraine attacks.

Several randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials demonstrated the efficacy of magnesium in migraine prevention and acute treatment. 

Dosage and Safety:

The recommended dosage of magnesium glycinate for migraine prevention varies, but it typically ranges from 200 to 500 mg per day. It is important to adjust the dose to minimize potential side effects such as diarrhea. Magnesium glycinate is generally well-tolerated, but individuals with kidney disease or other health conditions should consult their healthcare provider before starting supplementation.


Magnesium glycinate offers a promising and well-tolerated option for migraine prevention and management. Its high bioavailability and gentle effect on the digestive system make it a suitable choice for many individuals. While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and optimal dosing, current evidence supports its use as part of a comprehensive migraine treatment plan.


1. Peikert, A., Wilimzig, C., & Köhne-Volland, R. (1996). Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia, 16(4), 257-263.

2. Mauskop, A., & Altura, B. T. (1998). Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraines. Clinical Neuroscience, 5(1), 24-27.

3. Chiu, H. Y., Yeh, T. H., Huang, Y. C., & Chen, P. Y. (2016). Effects of intravenous and oral magnesium on reducing migraine: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pain Physician, 19(1), E97-E112.

Alexander Feoktistov MD, PhD Founder and Director of the Synergy Integrative Headache Center.

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