Selenium supplements may offer migraine support: RCT

Data published inย Frontiers in Nutritionโ€‹ย indicated that 12 weeks of supplementation with 200โ€‰micrograms per day of selenium also increased total antioxidant capacity and reduced levels of MDA (malondialdehyde), a marker of oxidative stress.

โ€œTo the best of our knowledge, this was the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to examine the effect of selenium supplementation on clinical and physiological outcomes of patients with migraine,โ€ the researchers wrote.


Selenium is an essential micronutrient and is considered to be an antioxidant. The mineral is included in 25 selenoproteins in the body, with diverse roles including immune support, thyroid function and healthy sperm. The issue for selenium, as for other nutrients, is that you can get too much of a good thing.

Data from prospective studies have reported potential risk reductions for a number of cancers for selenium, and it is the only mineral that qualifies for a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved qualified health claim for general cancer reduction incidence.

A review paper by Joyce McCann and Bruce Amesโ€‹ย from the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Childrenโ€™s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland (CHORI) indicated that moderate deficiency in selenium may have long-term detrimental effects (FASEB Journalโ€‹, 2011, Vol. 25, pp. 1793-1814).

The new study by scientists from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences suggests that selenium may also have a role to play in migraines, linked to its antioxidative effects.

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