New research has suggested a ketogenic diet may help to prevent migraines.
The low-carbohydrate diet is high in proteins and fats and has also been associated with a number of other health benefits, including lower blood pressure and improved heart health.
As the body is no longer using carbohydrates for energy, it converts its stored fat into ketones, which are energy molecules, instead.
Previous studies have suggested that a ketogenic lifestyle may prevent the debilitating headaches, and a team led by Cherubino Di Lorenzo of the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation found that the low-carb diet was key.
The study, published in the journal Nutrients, focused on 35 overweight migraine sufferers, who were split into two groups – one who followed the keto diet and one who did not. Meals were prepared for the participants that had the same amount of fat and calories, but different ratios of protein and carbohydrates.
While all lost roughly the same amount of weight on the diets, almost 75 per cent of those who had adopted the ketogenic diet found that their migraines had dramatically reduced, compared to only nine per cent on the high-carb diet.
Di Lorenzo suggested that the ketogenic lifestyle may prevent migraines as the brain is using ketones instead of glucose for fuel.
In a previous study on animals, the highly-effective ketone molecules were found to reduce inflammation in the brain, and stop the spread of electrical waves throughout the brain and body that are thought to cause migraine pain.