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Persistent Headache Can be Avoided by Omega-3 Fatty acid

Consumption oily fish and other foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty acid helps stop migraines. Researchers found those with persistent headaches felt less pain if they had a diet high in Omega-3. The acid is found in foods such as salmon, sardines and nuts.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found participants who ate more Omega-3 had less severe and shorter headaches. Previous research has suggested Omega-3 Fatty acid are associated with pain-reducing effects, while Omega-6 fatty acids may worsen pain Researchers from North Carolina University said the study shows pain can be treated through targeted dietary alterations. The NHS claims a healthy diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, including one oily fish.

The new research involved 182 people, mostly young women, who experienced migraines between five and 20 days a month. The women were split into three groups and put on different diets. The first received increased Omega-3 Fatty acid, while the second had increased omega 3 as well decreased omega-6 fatty acids. The third group was a control group and did not change their diets.Previous research has suggested Omega-3 Fatty acid are associated with pain-reducing effects, while omega-6 fatty acids may worsen the pain. Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.

During the trial, both of the high omega 3 groups saw significant reductions in the severity and length of headaches they suffered. But the group who also reduced their omega-6 intake saw the greatest benefits. The high omega-3 diet was associated with a reduction of 1.3 headache hours per day and two headache days per month. The high omega-3 plus low omega-6 diet group saw a reduction of 1.7 headache hours per day and four headache days per month.

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