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Benef Microbes. 2015;6(5):641-6. doi: 10.3920/BM2015.0003. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

The effects of the multispecies probiotic mixture Ecologic®Barrier on migraine: results of an open-label pilot study.

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1 Wageningen UR, Division Human Nutrition, P.O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, the Netherlands.
2 Hospital Gelderse Vallei, Department of Neurology, Willy Brandtlaan 10, 6716 RP Ede, the Netherlands.
3 Hospital Gelderse Vallei, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Willy Brandtlaan 10, 6716 RP Ede, the Netherlands.
4 Winclove b.v., R&D department, Hulstweg 11, 1032 LB Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Migraine prevalence is associated with gastrointestinal disorders. Possible underlying mechanisms could be increased gut permeability and inflammation. Probiotics may decrease intestinal permeability as well as inflammation, and therefore may reduce the frequency and/or intensity of migraine attacks. Therefore we assessed feasibility, possible clinical efficacy, and adverse reactions of probiotic treatment in migraine patients. 29 migraine patients took 2 g/d of a probiotic food supplement (Ecologic(®)Barrier, 2.5×10(9) cfu/g) during 12 weeks. Participants recorded frequency and intensity of migraine in a headache diary and completed the Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) and Henry Ford Hospital Headache Disability Inventory (HDI) at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment. Compliance was measured every 4 weeks by counting the remaining sachets with probiotics. The study was completed by 27/29 (93%) patients who took 95% of the supplements. Obstipation was reported by 4 patients during the first 2 weeks of treatment only. The mean±standard deviation (SD) number of migraine days/month decreased significantly from 6.7±2.4 at baseline to 5.1±2.2 (P=0.008) in week 5-8 and 5.2±2.4 in week 9-12 (P=0.001). The mean±SD intensity of migraine decreased significantly from 6.3±1.5 at baseline to 5.5±1.9 after treatment (P=0.005). The MIDAS score improved from 24.8±25.5 to 16.6±13.5 (P=0.031). However, the mean HDI did not change significantly. In conclusion, probiotics may decrease migraine supporting a possible role for the intestine in migraine management. Feasibility and lack of adverse reactions justify further placebo-controlled studies.


feasibility; gut permeability; headache; intestine; leaky gut; migraine; probiotics

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