In an article published in Scientific Reports, researchers sought to determine the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplementation in the treatment of female patients with episodic migraines. According to lead author Mahnaz Rezaei Kelishadi and colleagues, “ALA supplementation can be considered a potential adjunct treatment in patients with migraine due to its improving mitochondrial and endothelial functions and clinical symptoms.”

These inferences were based on results from a randomized cohort of 92 women with episodic migraines. Patients received either 300 mg of ALA daily or a placebo twice per day for 12 weeks. The primary measures of the study included headache severity, headache frequency per month, and the duration of attacks. Additional outcomes included lactate, nitric oxide (NO), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) serum levels, which were assessed at baseline and at the end of the intervention period.

Reportedly, at the end of the study, the ALA group exhibited a significant decrease in lactate (–6.45 ± 0.82 mg/dl vs. –2.27 ± 1.17 mg/dl; p = .039) and VCAM-1 levels (–2.02 ± 0.30 ng/ml vs. –1.21 ± 0.36 ng/ml; p = .025) when compared with the placebo group. Furthermore, “the severity (p <.001), frequency (p = .001), headache impact test (p <.001), headache dairy results (p = .003), and migraine headache index score (p <.001) had significantly decreased in the intervention as compared to the control group,” the investigators wrote. Finally, no significant changes were recorded among NO levels and duration of pain.

Given their beneficial results, the authors closed their article with the suggestion that, “ALA may be considered as a potential adjunctive therapy in migraine.”