Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Food. 2018 Mar;21(3):269-273. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.0068. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Shows Promise to Improve Migraine in Patients with Insulin Resistance: A 6-Month Exploratory Study.

Author information

1 Headache Center , San Lazzaro Hospital, Azienda Sanitaria Locale CN2, Alba, CN, Italy .
2 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Liver Research Center , Basovizza, TS, Italy .
3 Laboratory, San Lazzaro Hospital , Azienda Sanitaria Locale CN2, Alba, CN, Italy .
4 Neurology Department, San Giacomo Hospital , ASL Alessandria, Novi Ligure, AL, Italy .
5 Direction, San Lazzaro Hospital , Azienda Sanitaria Locale CN2, Alba, CN, Italy .


Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is known to lower insulin resistance (IR), which is common among migraineurs. To assess the effect of ALA on headache in migraineurs with IR, we performed an exploratory study on a cohort of patients with migraine, followed at our Headache Center. The 32 patients took ALA 400ā€‰mg b.i.d. for 6 months in addition to their on-going treatment. The percentage of patients with a reduction of at least 50% of the attacks was 0.53 (confidence interval [95% CI] 0.36-0.70) at 2 months, 0.56 (0.39-0.73) at 4 months, and 0.69 (0.53-0.85) at 6 months. The incidence rate ratio of attacks at 6 months versus baseline was 0.48 (0.43-0.53, Pā€‰<ā€‰.001), corresponding to a mean (95% CI) number of attacks of 5 (4-6) versus 11 (10-12). The number of days of treatment in the previous month was 7.7 (6.8-8.7) at baseline, 5.4 (4.6-6.2) at 2 months, 5.3 (4.5-6.1) at 4 months, and 4.3 (3.6-5.0) at 6 months. Baseline and 120-min glucose and insulin and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) and the Stumvoll index did not change at 6 months versus baseline. This exploratory study shows that the administration of ALA may be associated with a reduction in the number of attacks and the days of treatment in migraineurs with IR. A randomized controlled trial is needed to test this possibility.


alpha-lipoic acid; cohort study; glucose; insulin resistance; insulin sensitivity; migraine; oral glucose tolerance testing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center