Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Migraines

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant naturally produced by the body and can also be found in certain foods. ALA is used to break down carbohydrates to produce energy. It enhances energy production by the mitochondria and the metabolism of oxygen.

Good food sources of alpha-lipoic acid are carrots, red meat, organ meats, spinach, beets, potatoes, and broccoli. However, there is no noticeable increase in the level of alpha-lipoic acid in the body when consuming these foods.

ALA is also available in supplements. Some people take these supplements to improve their health conditions and increase ALA levels in the body.

Since ALA works like an antioxidant, it passes easily into the brain and may protect the nerve tissue and the brain. Some research suggests that it can also be helpful in certain liver diseases.

Alpha-lipoic acid, riboflavin, and CoQ10 play important roles in mitochondrial activity. Studies also suggest that they have been linked to migraine treatment because they optimise mitochondrial functioning.

Despite this, there is not enough data to assess the effectiveness of alpha-lipoic acid on migraines.

Migraine is a common condition, affecting 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 15 men.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Migraines

To this day, the root cause of migraine is not fully understood, but experts hypothesised that hypoxia and mitochondrial dysfunction could be the culprit. Hypoxia and mitochondrial dysfunction results in increased lactate levels, which is often reported in people with migraine.

Alpha-lipoic acid has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Some migraine patients have been reported to have abnormally low levels of alpha-lipoic acid.

A 3-month study was published in Nature Research journal Scientific Reports about the effectiveness of Alpha-lipoic acid on women with episodic migraines. Episodic migraine is defined as having more than 15 headaches in a month.

79 women with episodic migraines between the ages of 20 and 50 participated in a randomised double-blind trial. Participants received either a placebo or 600 mg/day of alpha-lipoic acid for three months.

At the end of the trial, there was a significant reduction in headache frequency and severity, along with improvement in well-being and daily performance in the alpha-lipoic acid group.

The study showed a 45% decrease in headache frequency per month compared to the 7% decrease in the placebo group. However, this study has a few limitations.

First, the intake of nitrate-containing foods was not assessed.

Second, the study only included women with episodic migraine. The effect couldn't be generalised to people with chronic migraine or men.

Third, the economic status of the participants was significantly different.

Lastly, the results could be false-positive because the researchers failed to measure ALA serum levels at the beginning and end of the study.

How to Take Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplements

Alpha-lipoic acid supplements are best taken on an empty stomach because certain foods can lower the acid’s absorption in the body.

Evidence suggests that taking 300mg to 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid daily is safe and sufficient. Consult your healthcare provider to find out what dose is best for your condition.

Side Effects and Risks

Alpha-lipoic acid is considered safe for most adults when taken up to 4 years. The most common side effects reported are heartburn, vomiting, nausea, and headache.

Because of the potential side effects and interactions with certain medications, you should take alpha-lipoic acid supplements under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

Natural Supplements for Migraine

Bespoke Biotics offers natural supplements such as Riboflavin, Coenzyme Q10, and Magnesium that can help treat migraines.

Types of Migraine Headaches That Can Be Helped by Migrasoothe

There are various forms of migraine headaches that can be relieved with riboflavin, especially when combined with Magnesium and CoQ10

  • intractable migraine
  • period and periodic migraine
  • hormonal migraine
  • ocular/optic migraine
  • familial migraine
  • hemiplegic migraine
  • plain hemiplegic migraine
  • ophthalmoplegic migraine
  • episodic migraine
  • sinus related migraine
  • vestibular migraine
  • migraine with aura
  • chronic migraines
  • silent migraine
  • complex migraine
  • abdominal migraine
  • cyclical migraine


Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.

Information provided by this post and our company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health.

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