Microbes correspond with migraines

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A recent study has revealed that people who suffer from migraines possess more microbes with the strength to alter nitrates than people who do not. This analysis, conducted by scientists from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and published by microbiology journal mSystems, upholds the theory that there is a correlation between what people eat and their migraine episodes.

A migraine is defined as a medical condition that causes intense throbbing in one area of the head and includes symptoms of nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. The pain is often so excruciating that it limits daily activities, negatively impacting sufferers’ productivity. Over 38 million Americans suffer from migraines, and 8 million are affected by chronic migraines, which can ruin 15 days or more a month.

Certain triggers, including chocolate, green vegetables, processed meat and wine, can make the situation worse. Nitrates discovered in these foods can be reduced to nitrites by pathogens in the mouth. When flowing in the blood, nitrites are transformed to nitric oxide under certain circumstances.

In this state, nitrites can benefit cardiovascular health by boosting blood flow and lessening blood pressure. However, patients who rely on nitrate drugs to alleviate their blood pressure experience agonizing headaches as a side effect. Lead researchers in the study Antonio Gonzalez and Embriette Hyde sought out to prove the negative relationship between nitrates and migraines in a revolutionary experiment.

Migraines can cause nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Photo: Bianca Monteiro

Using data from the American Gut Project, Gonzalez and Hyde collected bacteria in 172 oral samples and 1,996 fecal samples from study participants. The participants completed surveys prior to the study confirming whether or not they were prone to migraines. The microbe chromosome was found in varying amounts between people who had migraines and people who did not. In fecal samples, people who had migraines were found to have little, but still noteworthy, growth of nitrate and nitride oxide.

People who suffered from migraines additionally had a monumental number of nitrate, nitrite and nitric oxide in oral samples. The researchers then conducted oligotyping, or the detection of oligonucleotides in a nucleic acid specimen. Pseudomonas oligo types 1 and 2 were uncovered in both groups, but oligo type 2 was remarkably more plentiful in people who suffered from migraines.

When investigating the bacteria’s makeup, the researchers did not unearth significant differences in fecal or oral samples between people with migraines and people without. They utilized a piece of bio-informational equipment called PICRUSt to look over bacterial RNA. People with migraines had a slightly higher volume of genes that encode nitrate-related enzymes.

Gonzalez and Hyde suggest that the next course of action should be a study of a more specific bracket of patients that are broken up into contrasting kinds of migraines. This can truly measure how well nitric oxide correlates to migraines.

Nevertheless, the outcome of the study shows a likely association between nitric oxide reducers and migraines. Nitric oxides are found more often in the oral cavities of people with migraines than in the oral cavities of those who do not have migraines.

Migraines are frequently caused by factors such as disruptions in eating routines, sleep deprivation and stress. External components that are impossible to control include changes in weather. The study divulged that migraines can be prevented  by watching diet closely. Nitrate mixes identified in food compounds are now observed to spark migraines as well. By being aware of the bond between nitrite and migraines, people with migraines can now help curb their discomfort.