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Reducing Migraines With Diet

Migraine sufferers may find the help they need by eating a low-fat diet, a new book says. Correspondent Michael Breen of CBS News station WBBM-TV in Chicago reports.

According to researcher Zuzana Bic of the University of California-Irvine, avoiding fat can reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines. In her book, No More Headaches, No More Migraines Bic says fatty foods activate pain receptors by causing abnormally low levels of serotonin in the bloodstream.

Past studies have found fatty foods such as chocolate, red wine, and peanuts trigger migraines. But in a study conducted with 54 migraine patients, Bic found migraine sufferers were able to cut their frequency of migraines by 71 percent. The intensity of their headaches dropped by 66 percent.

"I think it's really important and I think we need to study it further," says doctor Merle Diamond of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago.

Additional research suggests foods rich in riboflavin, or vitamin B2, help produce energy that reduces headaches. Studies suggest it stabilizes the nerves in your brain which contribute to migraines. When patients received 400 mg of the vitamin a day, their migraines decreased by 40 percent.

Dr. Diamond now recommends it for her patients.

"For some of my patients, it does make a difference, so I tell them to go ahead and go for it," she says.

Migraine sufferers who are interested in trying diet methods to relieve their pain should first consult a doctor.

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