Thursday, October 11, 2007

Trans Fats, Preservatives & Migraines

Many people do not realize the enormous significance of dietary intake in the cause and elimination of migraine headaches. Yes, most migraineurs realize that there are certain triggers. I am not talking so much about these triggers; even though they are definitely significant in migraine attacks.

What is less well known is the other insults to your blood vessels which make you vulnerable to migraine headaches.

I've talked about the significant key is often the condition of the blood vessels. Blood vessel spasm alone is a unique component of the migraine process. Hormone changes and certainly chemicals do trigger migraine headaches through vascular spasms.

Long term, there is another factor about blood vessels that has proven itself to be significant. It is inflammation. Inflammation disrupts normal function and usually is accompanied by pain.

Excess homocysteine, often a product of red meats, is one culprit. Other inflammatory agents of blood vessels are trans fats, preservatives and unhealthy (toxic) chemicals.

Trans fats, found in poly saturated vegetable oils (shortenings) and all highly heated oils, become stable and hard for the body to break down. Trans fats are more inert and unreactive to body chemistry.

Trans fats are simply hard to metabolize and eliminate from the body. According to Dr. DeMaria's book: "Dr. Bob's TransFat Survival Guide", the half life is 18 days. Realistically it takes 51 days to completely purge your body of the trans fats.

If you eat a lot of french fries or consume a lot of shortening, margarine and preserved foods, you accumulate these harmful fats. You tax and overload you body, especially the liver and kidneys.

How do these "fats" work? Trans fats cause inflammation in the body, resulting in aches and pains everywhere. Postglandins, which are natural pain relivers are neutralized. Not surprisingly the body chemistry is disrupted and I'm convinced that future research will co-relate increased migraines due to the blood vessel inflammation from these agents.

Research has already shown that inflammation due to homocysteine significantly increases migraine headaches. I would say ditto to all preservatives. If you have difficulty in metabolizing and elimination of any irritants such toxic chemicals and preservatives, you can trigger headaches.

I cannot advise you what to do, but I find a diet free of anything toxic or inflammatory eliminates 95% of my vascular headaches.

What also helps? A good vitamin B complex supplement that includes B-2, B-6, B-12 and Folic acid significantly reduces migraine headaches in proven studies. Denis Van Loan DDS

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see your posting relating preservatives with headaches. I've had headaches my entire life and they have progressively gotten worse. About a year ago, I was having daily headaches. After 3 months of a continuous headache, the doctor ordered a MRI but it was negitive. I felt as if I was being poisoned so I decided to eat only all natural foods and voila my headaches stopped! I doing fall off the wagon because i get so tired of eating the same thing and my weight is way down but I know I can get rid of my headaches by not eating foods with preservatives.