The following is an excerpt from GU clinical news release regarding studies into possible treatments for migraine headaches:
Following on from the success of this trial at the Griffith Health Institute’s Genomics Research Centre, a further study will hone in on specific supplement dosages tailored to an individual migraine sufferer’s genetic profile.
For the final phase of this placebo-controlled study, researchers are currently recruiting females aged between 18 and 65 who suffer at least four migraine episodes a year, to help determine the most effective vitamin B and folic acid dosage required to treat this debilitating condition.
The development of a nutraceutical (nutrition-based) product
The final outcome of the trials is expected to result in the development of a nutraceutical (nutrition-based) product tailored to individual needs determined by a genetic diagnosis.
It is gratifying to see research into natural solutions for health issues. What is disconcerting is that science is now trying to develop nutrition based products rather than using nutrition and already available natural supplements. Vitamins and minerals which are naturally occurring cannot be patented or ‘owned’ so I pose the question: what are the scientists trying to do with vitamins?
Naturopaths have been prescribing natural, activated forms of B-Vitamins for decades. This is nothing new yet GU makes their research sound as though they have invented something ‘new’.
Addressing cellular functions, protecting and repairing DNA is an integral part of natural medicine. Nutrigenomics, incorporates food-derived compounds with potent ability to activate thousands of genes associated with cellular defences.
In Australia nearly 40% of the population has the MTHFR polymorphism which, put simply, is a genetic inability to utilise some of the B vitamins. As B-vitamins are essential components of many of the biochemical reactions occurring in our bodies, a lack of some impacts significantly on our health. Whether this lack is due to poor diet or inability to metabolise, the end result is the same.
In addition to genetic polymorphisms, today’s population is faced with increasing levels of environmental toxins which adversely affect our genetic makeup. This is called Epigenetics – basically, lifestyle and environment affect our genes.
Natural medicine takes all these factors into account when assessing and treating patients. So if you are seeking individualised assessment and natural treatments that work, I suggest consulting a qualified natural health practitioner. Without addressing the cause there can be no effective treatment.
Personal note: seen from the perspective of someone who has suffered from migraines, I know how difficult it can be to identify causes and, therefore, to treat effectively. I suffered severe migraine headaches as a child and then again throughout my adult life. I am once more pain-free. What I have learned, both as a sufferer and as a practitioner, is that most migraine headaches are multi-factoral. Whether these factors involve structural issues (spinal/neck/head misalignments from injury or stress), hormones, stress, certain foods, dehydration and the list goes on, in my experience the pain has always been the result of more than one of these issues. So how did I become pain-free? I sought out professionals (I am happy to provide references if approached personally) who looked deeper and provided individualised treatment; I eliminated known, and then unsuspected, food challenges enabling me to identify concomitant reactions between foods that resulted in pain. Some of the causes were surprising and very interesting. The journey has reinforced how individual we all are.