Effects of dietary folate intake on migraine disability and frequency

Menon, Saras, Lea, Rod A., Ingle, Sarah, Sutherland, Heidi, Wee, Shirley, Haupt, Larisa M., Palmer, Michelle, & Griffiths, Lyn R. (2015) Effects of dietary folate intake on migraine disability and frequency. Headache, 55(2), pp. 301-309.

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Migraine is a highly disabling disease affecting a significant proportion of the Australian population. The Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) C677T variant has been associated with increased levels of homocysteine and risk of migraine with aura (MA). Folic acid, Vitamin B6 and B12 supplementation has been previously shown to reduce increased levels of homocysteine and decrease migraine symptoms. However the influence of dietary folate intake on migraine has been unclear. The aim of the current study was to analyse the association of dietary folate intake in the form of dietary folate equivalent (DFE), folic acid (FA) and total food folate (TFF) on migraine frequency, severity and disability.


A cohort of 141 adult females of Caucasian descent with MA was genotyped for the MTHFRC677T variant using restriction enzyme digestion. Dietary folate information was collected from all participants and analysed using the “FoodWorks” 2009 package. Folate consumption was compared to migraine frequency, severity and disability using linear regression.


A significant inverse relation was observed between DFE [R2= 0.201, P= 0.045, CI (-0.004, -0.001)] and FA [R2= 0.255, P= 0.036, 95% CI (-0.009, -0.002)] consumption and migraine frequency. It was also observed that in individuals with the CC genotype for the MTHFR C677T variant, migraine frequency was significantly linked to FA consumption [R2= 0.077, P= 0.029, CI (-0.009, -0.005)].


The results from this study indicate that folate intake in the form of folic acid may influence migraine frequency in female MA sufferers.

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3 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 78256
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Migraine with Aura, MTHFRC677T, Folic acid, Dietary folate equivalent, Homocysteine
DOI: 10.1111/head.12490
ISSN: 1526-4610
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 American Headache Society
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2014 00:22
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 08:21

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