Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate may ease migraines

Dietary supplements of cocoa may repress inflammatory responses in the brain linked to migraines, suggest results from an animal study.

We know menopausal women often suffer from migraines in addition to the normal hot flashes and night sweats. Here’s some interesting news. Results from a recent animal study indicated that consuming a diet enriched with 10 percent cocoa increased levels of anti-inflammatory compounds in the brain as well as repressing levels of pro-inflammatory processes, scientists from Missouri State University have reported at the International Headache Society's (IHS) 14th International Headache Congress in Philadelphia.

“To our knowledge, this is first evidence for the use of cocoa as a dietary supplement to cause an upregulation of [anti-inflammatory proteins and cytokines] as well as repress expression of acute and chronic inflammatory responses in the part of the brain that causes migraines.,” state the researchers in their conference abstract.

Migraine stats

In the US, about 36 million people suffer with migraine, more than either diabetes or asthma, according to the HIS.
The headaches are sometimes preceded by flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms or legs, or anxiety. Suffers generally experience a pounding sensation in one side of the head and many undergo nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and noise. The symptoms are often severe and debilitating, lasting anywhere between four and 72 hours.

Of mice and men

“Although this is an early animal study, it shows promise in helping researchers understand more about how migraine can be prevented and treated,” said Michael Moskowitz, MD, President of the International Headache Society.
“So much more research is needed in understanding this devastating disease that robs millions of Americans of a productive quality of life.”

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By Anita @ Cool-jams

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