Cacao for Migraine Treatment? Hmmmm.

Teri Robert @trobert Health Guide
  • Among Migraine sufferers who have food triggers, one that seems to sadden people is when chocolate is a trigger. After all, chocolate is something most of us love.

    At the International Headache Congress, early research was discussed that suggests cocoa enriched diets may actually be beneficial in the treatment of Migraine.

    For several years, researchers have been interested in the value of Theobroma cacao in treating a variety of disorders. This research has provided the first evidence for the value of cocoa as a dietary supplement in repressing inflammatory responses within the trigeminal ganglia, which are thought to play a significant role in Migraine.

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    Rats were fed either a control diet or a diet enriched in cacao for two weeks. They were then injected with capsaicin or another substance to cause a chronic inflammatory response. Afterward, tests were performed to determine the effects of the cacao enriched diets on the mice and their inflammatory responses.

    Paul Durham, PhD, of Missouri State University's Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences and one of the authors of the study commented:

    "It appears that a cocoa-enriched diet in rats can repress the proteins that are associated with the promotion and maintenance of inflammatory responses such as Migraine."

    Michael Moskowitz, MD, President of the International Headache Society also commented on this early research:

    "Although this is an early animal study, it shows promise in helping researchers understand more about how Migraine can be prevented and treated. So much more research is needed in understanding this devastating disease that robs millions of Americans o a productive quality of life."

    It will be interesting indeed to watch the progression of this research. Setting aside the humor surrounding the nearly universal love of chocolate, finding a simple substance such as cacao could actually be beneficial to the treatment of Migraine would be welcome news indeed.




    Cady, RJ; Durham, PL. "Repression of acute and chronic inflammatory changes in trigeminal ganglion neurons and glia in response to cocoa enriched diets." Research Abstract. International Headache Congress. Philadelphia. September, 2009.


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    Last updated September 22, 2009
Published On: September 22, 2009