In a study published in Nutrients, researchers assessed whether resveratrol, a vasoactive phytoestrogen, could reduce migraine-related disability and hormonal migraine burden index (HMBI)—the number of days with menstrual migraine per month—as well as improve migraine-related quality of life in hormonal migraineurs. They concluded that “resveratrol supplementation for three months did not affect the HMBI, the migraine-related disability, or quality of life measures in our cohort of hormonal migraineurs.”

The primary investigator, Jemima S. A. Dzator, and colleagues designed the study on the basis that resveratrol has been shown to have beneficial effects on cerebrovascular function, and hormonal migraineurs have been shown to have poorer cerebrovascular function than women without migraines.

The randomized crossover trial included a total of 62 hormonal migraineurs with a mean age of 37.5 ± 0.8 years. The participants received 75 mg of resveratrol or a matching placebo capsule twice a day for three months and then were crossed over to the other study group. The participants kept a daily diary and completed the Headache Impact Test-6, Migraine Disability Assessment, and Migraine-Specific Quality of Life questionnaires at months zero, three, and six.

The primary outcome, HMBI, was calculated using responses from the participants’ diaries. Overall, the investigators reported that “no differences in the HMBI (p = 0.895), the Headache Impact Test-6, the Migraine Disability Assessment and Migraine-Specific Quality of Life were found between the resveratrol and placebo treatments.”

While the authors’ initial objective did not appear true, they still felt that their results “do not rule out the potential for resveratrol at a different dose or different supplementation period to alter these outcomes in hormonal migraine.”

The authors also called for additional investigations on the effect of resveratrol on cerebrovascular functions in this population, “as this remains an unanswered question.”

Reference: Dzator JSA, Howe PRC, Coupland KG, Wong RHX. A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial of Resveratrol Supplementation for Prophylaxis of Hormonal Migraine. Nutrients. 2022; 14(9):1763.