Bridging the Gap: Communication between Healthcare Companies and Providers vs Data Analysis

Doctor being interviewed

In the dynamic landscape of the healthcare industry, the abundance of market data is a valuable asset for companies seeking to make informed decisions regarding product strategies and planning. However, the importance of direct communication with doctors, healthcare providers, and stakeholders cannot be overstated. Let’s see why fostering open lines of communication between healthcare companies and those on the frontline of patient care is essential for navigating the complexities of the industry and making impactful decisions in a particular market.

  1. Understanding Real-World Challenges

While market data provides a comprehensive overview of trends, challenges, and potential opportunities, it may not capture the nuanced, day-to-day realities faced by healthcare providers. Market data is undoubtedly a valuable tool for healthcare companies, providing a macro-level view of the industry. Direct communication with doctors and healthcare professionals serves as a vital bridge between statistical insights and the lived experiences of those delivering care. Direct conversations allow companies to gain insights into the practical challenges encountered in patient care, enabling them to tailor their products and services to meet the genuine needs of the healthcare community. Interviews and focus groups with healthcare providers also help to understand better market data and foresee the future trends more accurately.

While market data might highlight broad issues such as rising healthcare costs or increasing demand for certain services, direct interactions with doctors and other stakeholders offer a detailed understanding of the specific hurdles faced in diagnosis, treatment, and patient management. These insights help healthcare companies tailor their strategies to address the genuine needs of healthcare professionals and, by extension, the patients they serve.

Doctors and healthcare providers face numerous challenges in their day-to-day work, ranging from administrative burdens to the need for improved communication tools. By engaging in discussions with these professionals, healthcare companies can identify and address the pain points that may not be evident from market data alone. This proactive approach allows companies to develop solutions that alleviate the burdens on healthcare providers, contributing to improved job satisfaction and, in turn, better patient care.

Market data can sometimes be complex and challenging to interpret accurately. Direct interactions with healthcare providers serve as a valuable resource for healthcare companies to enhance their understanding of market trends. Doctors can provide context, share insights into the factors influencing data trends, and offer perspectives on how certain developments might impact their clinical practices. This collaborative exchange of information enables companies to interpret market data more effectively and make decisions grounded in a nuanced understanding of the healthcare landscape.

Interviews and ongoing conversations with healthcare providers go beyond addressing immediate challenges; they also serve as a crucial tool for anticipating future trends. Healthcare professionals, with their frontline experience, are often adept at foreseeing shifts in patient demographics, emerging healthcare technologies, and evolving treatment paradigms. By actively engaging with doctors, healthcare companies position themselves to adapt to these changes proactively, staying ahead of the curve and aligning their strategies with the evolving needs of the healthcare community.

  1. Customizing Solutions for Diverse Needs

Healthcare is not a one-size-fits-all industry. Different medical specialties, regions, and healthcare settings have unique requirements that may be hidden in market data and trends. Engaging in conversations with doctors and providers through direct interviews and focus groups allows healthcare companies to understand the diverse needs of various segments of the industry. This understanding is crucial for tailoring products, services, and innovations to meet the specific demands of different healthcare contexts.

  1. Improving Product Development and Innovation

Direct communication with healthcare providers is a catalyst for innovation. Doctors and frontline staff witness firsthand the gaps in existing healthcare solutions, often before market trends are disclosed in market data, and can provide valuable input on how products can be improved, or new solutions developed. This collaborative approach ensures that healthcare companies are not just meeting market demands but are actively contributing to advancements in patient care through innovation and responsive product development.

  1. Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

The healthcare industry is heavily regulated, and compliance with evolving standards is paramount. Regular dialogue with healthcare providers and stakeholders helps companies stay abreast of changes in regulations and compliance requirements. This proactive approach not only mitigates risks but also fosters a collaborative relationship with healthcare professionals who appreciate companies that prioritize adherence to ethical and legal standards.

Doctors focus groups

  1. Building Trust and Credibility

Trust is a cornerstone of successful healthcare partnerships. Engaging in open and transparent communication with doctors and healthcare providers builds trust and credibility for healthcare companies. Establishing trust is especially important in an industry where the consequences of decisions can directly impact patient outcomes. Trustworthy relationships foster a collaborative environment, paving the way for mutually beneficial partnerships. This is difficult to achieve crunching and analyzing data.

  1. Addressing Healthcare Disparities

Healthcare disparities persist globally, and a deep understanding of these issues is essential for creating equitable solutions. Direct conversations with healthcare providers, particularly those serving diverse populations, offer invaluable insights into the root causes of disparities. By actively engaging with stakeholders, healthcare companies can work towards developing strategies that address these disparities and contribute to improving healthcare access and outcomes for all.

In a nutshell:

In the biotech and healthcare industry, where decisions can have profound effects on companies and patient care, market data alone is insufficient for making well-informed choices. Direct communication with distributors, other company service providers, doctors, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders as a general rule, bridges the gap between data-driven insights and the real-world challenges faced by healthcare companies and those delivering care. By actively engaging with frontline professionals, healthcare companies can tailor their strategies, products, and services to meet the ever-evolving needs of the industry, fostering innovation, trust, and ultimately contributing to the improvement of healthcare on particular markets and at a global scale.

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The Limitations of Below B2 English Proficiency in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) defines language proficiency levels. At the B1 level, individuals can understand the main points of clear, standard speech on familiar topics; express themselves coherently on everyday matters; and write simple texts on familiar subjects. However, the question is whether B1 and B2 levels are sufficient to work in the pharmaceutical industry.

While B1 proficiency is a commendable achievement, it seems to fall short in the pharmaceutical industry as there are critical considerations that highlight its limitations in this specialized field.

The industry uses specialized terminology related to drug development, pharmacology, and clinical trials. It seems obvious that professionals must understand and use this vocabulary accurately.

In today’s globalized world, effective communication is paramount. Nowhere is this more evident than in the pharmaceutical industry, where collaboration, research, and regulatory compliance rely heavily on clear and precise language. Proficiency in English is not just a desirable skill; it is an absolute necessity for professionals working in this field. Fluency in additional languages (such as English, which is often the industry’s lingua franca) enhances market access and facilitates international partnerships.

At the B2 level, which is a bit higher, professionals can understand the main ideas of complex texts and participate in discussions. While B2 proficiency may suffice for entry-level positions, career progression often demands higher language skills. As professionals take on managerial roles, fluency becomes essential for effective leadership, mentoring, and decision-making. Advanced roles seem to require the ability to articulate complex ideas persuasively, and the pharmaceutical industry still demands a much deeper understanding of scientific concepts.

Professionals need to navigate intricate research papers, clinical trial protocols, and regulatory guidelines. Worldwide pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials across borders, and these trials involve interactions with patients, healthcare professionals, and regulatory bodies. Clear communication is vital for informed consent, adverse event reporting, and patient education. A B2 level may limit empathy and nuanced communication, impacting patient safety and trust.

In drug development, precision is non-negotiable, and misunderstandings can lead to serious consequences. It is fundamental that professionals convey information accurately and unambiguously. For this reason, understanding and adhering to protocols, informed consent forms, and safety reporting require a solid grasp of English. Without a higher level of language proficiency, nuances may be missed, potentially affecting decision-making and patient safety.

The pharmaceutical industry operates within a web of regulations and legal frameworks. Professionals must interpret guidelines from health authorities, comply with Good Clinical Practice (GCP), and ensure drug safety. Pharmaceutical companies need their professional workers to frequently write technical reports, research summaries, and regulatory submissions. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), on the other hand, guide every aspect of drug development, from manufacturing to distribution. Clear comprehension of SOPs is crucial for maintaining quality and safety. These documents require precision, clarity, and adherence to industry-specific terminology. Furthermore, regulatory submissions, including New Drug Applications (NDAs) and Investigational New Drug (IND) applications, or regulatory bodies audits and inspections, must be meticulously prepared and professionals must communicate confidently during these processes. Companies must consider that any errors or misinterpretations can lead to delays or even rejection. A B2 level may hinder effective communication with regulatory bodies, leading to compliance gaps or delays in approvals.

Collaborations between pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and universities often span continents. Effective communication ensures successful joint ventures and breakthroughs. Business negotiations, licensing agreements, and collaborations involve legal and financial aspects. Any level below C1 proficiency may hold back effective negotiation and contract drafting.

While B2 proficiency is a valuable starting point, aspiring pharmaceutical professionals should aim for continuous improvement. Investing in language training, immersion, and specialized vocabulary acquisition can bridge the gap between B2 and higher proficiency levels. Whether you’re a researcher, regulatory affairs specialist, or medical writer, consider language mastery an integral part of your professional development.

In summary, B2 proficiency opens doors, but fluency propels careers in the pharmaceutical industry toward excellence. Fluency at the C1 or C2 level ensures the ability to convey complex information accurately.

References:

  1. [Language Proficiency Levels: CEFR and Beyond] (https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/cefr/)

If you are interested in enhancing your English language skills in the Pharmaceutical Industry click on English course for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The Omnipresent Influence of English in the Pharmaceutical Industry

In an era of globalization, English has emerged as the universal language that bridges gaps and facilitates communication across diverse industries. One such sector where the importance of English cannot be overstated is the pharmaceutical industry. This article explores the multifaceted role of English in pharmaceutical research, development, regulation, and global market penetration.

 

  1. Global Collaboration in Research and Development:

English as the Lingua Franca:

The pharmaceutical industry thrives on innovation and collaborative research. English serves as the lingua franca that connects scientists, researchers, and healthcare professionals from around the world. Whether it’s sharing research findings, discussing clinical trial results, or collaborating on drug development, a common language is crucial for seamless communication and the exchange of critical information.

 

Open Access Journals and Publications:

Most scientific journals and publications are in English, making it imperative for professionals in the pharmaceutical field to be proficient in the language. Access to the latest research and staying abreast of developments in the industry often require a strong command of English, fostering a global community of researchers and practitioners.

 

  1. Regulatory Compliance and Documentation:

Standardization of Documentation:

In the pharmaceutical sector, compliance with rigorous regulatory standards is non-negotiable. Regulatory authorities, such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the EMA (European Medicines Agency), require comprehensive documentation for drug approval. English is the standard language for preparing regulatory submissions, ensuring uniformity and clarity in the review process.

 

Harmonization Efforts:

International organizations, such as the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH), work towards harmonizing regulatory requirements globally. English is the language adopted for ICH guidelines and recommendations, facilitating a streamlined approach to drug development and regulatory compliance across borders.

 

  1. Clinical Trials and Patient Communication:

Informed Consent and Patient Information:

In the realm of clinical trials, obtaining informed consent from participants is a critical ethical consideration. Consent forms and patient information documents are predominantly prepared in English. Clear communication with study participants is essential for ethical research practices, and English plays a pivotal role in achieving this clarity.

 

Multinational Clinical Trials:

Pharmaceutical companies often conduct multinational clinical trials to ensure the diversity and representativeness of study populations. English becomes the common language for communication among researchers, investigators, and trial participants, facilitating the smooth execution of these trials.

 

  1. Marketing and Market Access:

Global Marketing Strategies:

Once a pharmaceutical product is ready for market entry, effective communication becomes paramount. English is the language of choice for developing global marketing strategies. From promotional materials to advertisements, the ability to convey the benefits and risks of a drug accurately requires a nuanced understanding of English to resonate with diverse audiences.

 

Access to Global Markets:

English proficiency is a gateway to global markets. Pharmaceutical companies looking to expand their reach must navigate regulatory landscapes, negotiate partnerships, and engage in business transactions—activities where English proficiency is a prerequisite for success. English is not only the language of science but also the language of international business.

 

  1. Networking, Conferences, and Professional Development:

International Conferences and Symposia:

The pharmaceutical industry is dynamic, with continuous advancements and breakthroughs. Professionals in the field regularly participate in international conferences and symposia to share knowledge and network with peers. English is the medium of communication at these events, fostering collaboration, and enabling the exchange of ideas on a global scale.

 

Professional Collaboration and Networking:

English proficiency enhances professional collaboration and networking opportunities. Whether forging partnerships with academia, engaging in collaborative research projects, or participating in industry associations, the ability to communicate effectively in English opens doors to a broader professional network.

 

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the pharmaceutical industry operates in a global landscape where effective communication is the cornerstone of success. English, as the universal language of science and commerce, plays an indispensable role in the various facets of pharmaceutical research, development, regulation, and market access. As the industry continues to evolve, proficiency in English will remain a key competency for professionals seeking to make meaningful contributions and advancements in this crucial field.

If you are interested in enhancing your English language skills in the Pharmaceutical Industry click on English course for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Migraine supplement combos

The first approach to treat your migraine is usually vitamin and mineral products.  Later on, you may try herbal extracts. You may also try over-the-counter painkillers. Individual vitamin or mineral products are the ideal therapy for migraine when you know exactly what your deficiency is.

Women migraine headaches
Migraine headache

Why you should take supplement combos or VMS products for the treatment of your migraine

When you just don’t know what your deficiency is, in other words what could help you to prevent or alleviate your migraine attacks, the best possible approach is often to try to tackle the problem from several different angles at once. This is where VMS (vitamins, minerals and supplements) products or supplement combos enter the game. These multivitamin packages or combos are over-the-counter products that you can purchase in several types of stores.

Supplement combos or VMS are the first and most recommended approach in many cases because risk of adverse effects is generally low, making them the first step in the treatment of migraine before going further into more serious treatment drugs such as triptans or other prescription medicines. Supplements can also be complementary to your prescription medicines if taking them proves beneficial for you. In any case it is recommended that you consult your doctor before using any type of supplements, particularly if you are already taking other medicines or suffer from other medical conditions too. You should be aware that some vitamins and other supplements may interact with other medicines you may have prescribed, or even affect other medical conditions.

There is no standardization to call these combo products according to the composition of their ingredients. Some supplement combos may contain only vitamins and or minerals whilst others may also contain a combination of herbal extracts. There are also plenty of products for those patients that prefer to try homeopathy.

For clarity and brevity, we are going to separate vitamins and minerals-only products from products that also contain some herbal extracts. CRLifeSc Insights recommends some of these products that could help you alleviate or prevent migraine symptoms. CRLifeSc Insights forms part of an affiliate marketing program.

Multivitamins and minerals (MVM) to treat your migraine

Vegan Multivitamins Tabs by Deva Vegan Vitamins

This is an ideal product for vegans and vegetarians. It contains the recommended daily quantity of the antioxidant vitamins C and E, as well as vitamin D and most of the B-complex vitamins as well as vitamin A and, some of the essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc among others. You can take 1 tablet daily or as directed by your healthcare provider. The advantage of this product is that it does not contain potentially allergic products for migraine sufferers such as yeast, wheat, gluten, sugar, dairy, egg, shellfish, or any type of animal or derivatives.

 

Deva Vegan Vitamins Vegan Multivitamins - 90 Tabs

Supplement combos or VMS products to treat your migraine

Clear Migraine Caps

This is a homeopathic and herbal extract combination product.

A product specially targeting migraineurs. Its active homeopathic ingredients include Aconite 3x, Belladonna 6x, Bryonia 6x, Cimicifuga 3x, Hypericum 3x, Iris Versicolor 6x, Kali Bichromicum 3x, Natrum Muriaticum 6x, Sanguinaria 3x, Spigellia 6x. It also has herbal extracts that include Corydalis Tuber, Angelica Sinensis Root, Ligustici Root, Peony Root, Peuraria Root, Angelica Dahurica Root, Chrysanthemum Flower, Gastrodia Tuber, Rehmannia Root, Siler Root, Ginger Root, Lycium Fruit, Tangerine Peel, Licorice Root.

If you are using anti-coagulant or anti-platelet drugs you should be careful with this combo because it may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking this product.

Clear Products Clear Migraine - Caps 60

Migraide Tabs by Boericke & Tafel

This product is classified as a natural homeopathic product and it is specifically made to treat your migraine. You place a tablet under your tongue before or after meals as indicated in the leaflet. It contains Cyclamen europaeum 3X, Cimicifuga racemosa 3X, Gelsemium sempervirens 3X, Iris versicolor 2X, Sanguinaria canadensis 2X. Lactose based tablets.

You should not use this product for more than 10 days for adults or 5 days for children. You should seek advice from your doctor before taking this product.

Boericke & Tafel Migraide - 40 Tabs

Sinol M Headache Nasal Spray

Sometimes it is more convenient a nasal spray. This product is often recommended by doctors to relieve your headache pain regardless of the origin. It may be a sinus headache, a cluster headache, a migraine headache, tension-type headache, or menstrual headache. No side effects have been reported; therefore, it is pretty safe. This product contains Capsicum 4X (capsaicin), Purified Water, Eucalyptus Oil, Aloe Vera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Sea Salt, Vitamin C, and Benzalkonium Chloride.

Sinol Sinol M Headache Nasal Spray - 15 Ml

Organic Golden Ginger Digest Tea

This is an herbal tea that contains Magnesium, Potassium, Organic ginger, Organic Ginger Rhizome, and Organic German Chamomile Flower. Ginger is a perennial herb that is natural in tropical southern Asia. Ginger is common in traditional Chinese and Indian herbal tea formulas to boost a healthy digestion.

This product is used for several medical conditions. Among these conditions it is recommended for migraine symptoms helping to reduce migraine headaches and nausea and vomiting.

This supplement combo should not be used during pregnancy or lactation without consulting your healthcare provider.

Traditional Medicinals Teas Organic Golden Ginger Digest Tea - 16 Bags

Nature’s Lab Six Daily Advanced Multivitamin 

Although this product is not specifically targeting migraine sufferers it contains many vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts that are often recommended to prevent and treat migraine attacks. This product contains over 90 essential nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, fermented whole foods, and herbs that include magnesium, B-complex, and CoQ10. Six Daily also contains 10X higher levels of vitamin D3 compared to most of other supplement combos in the market, which seems to be the amount necessary for ideal blood levels providing healthy bones, cellular health, and immunity. It is important to notice that this product also contains Resveratrol (common in red wine), which is a controversial ingredient as some scholars have suggested that it could prompt migraine headaches whilst others defend that it could actually mitigate menstrual migraine.

 

Nature's Lab Six Daily Advanced Multivitamin

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

These statements have not been evaluated by the US FDA or EU Health Authorities and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Food intolerance and food allergies in migraine

Some migraine sufferers may no longer need any medication at all with some changes in their lifestyle. If you can manage to find out which is the culprit of your migraine attacks you may be able to control and prevent them in a large number of cases. One of these culprits can be certain types of food that affect you. Migraine is determined by environmental factors and their interactions with the patient’s genetic constitution.

Food intolerance versus food allergies in migraine

It is clear that certain foods may trigger migraine attacks in some people, but even the amount taken, or time exposure can be different depending on the patient. Even worse, that specific food may only cause headaches or other symptoms occasionally. For example, a patient may have a headache when he or she eats chocolate, but it may only happen when he or she eats a certain high amount and in combination with other factors or types of food. Interestingly food withdrawals may also prompt headaches, as it is the case of caffeine for some patients. It depends on your genetic constitution and other several factors combined.

Food intolerance is far more common than food allergy, the first representing approximately 20% of the population whilst the latter is at the utmost 4%. The immune system may cause food intolerance as well as food allergies, but the mechanism is different, and here lies the key to this food problem some migraine sufferers face. Non-immunological factors are also thought to be involved in migraine attacks prompted by food intolerance.

When there is a food sensitivity what it happens is that the immune system of your body reacts releasing IgG antibodies that are supposed to defend you from the “intruder”, which in this case is a component of the food you are eating, just as it happens when a dangerous germ invades your body. IgG antibodies are the most common among the five classes of antibodies in the bloodstream. IgG antibodies are produced by plasma B cells. It may take even some days before you realize that your body is reacting to this “intruder”. This is the reason why it is sometimes so difficult to find out which one is the food that is triggering your migraine attacks. If you consider that it may be just some component of a particular food, then things become all the more so complicated. In tests the absence of IgG antibodies means that there is no immune response to a particular type of food. Therefore, those migraineurs that avoid taking foods for which IgG antibodies are tested positive should notice a significant improvement.

Food allergies are different because in this case the immune system releases IgE antibodies, which also defend you from potential harmful “intruders”. IgE antibodies are also produced by plasma cells and are present in the bloodstream in small quantities. Food allergies are a more serious matter because often the body’s reaction is immediate and in extreme cases it may even be fatal. Headaches in food allergies are less common as symptoms are more related to hives or inability to breathe properly, but headaches do happen. Other symptoms may include digestive problems, chronic diarrhea or constipation, runny nose, and fatigue. On the other hand, determining which food causes your migraine attacks is somewhat easier, but still some food allergic reactions are not accurately diagnosed as these reactions are often identified as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS and migraine are considered to be related by some scholars.

CRLifeSc forms part of an affiliate program to maintain this website. Want to know what’s causing your food intolerance or allergy? – intolerancelab

The main migraine triggers

Many types of foods may trigger headaches even in people who are not migraine sufferers as such. The main problem to identify the cause is that not always the specific food triggers a headache or a migraine attack.

Foods that may trigger headaches include among others:

  • Wheat or gluten. Wheat is thought to be one of the commonest foods that prompt reactions.
  • Orange or citric products. Orange could be the second most common food for intolerance cases.
  • Eggs. Eggs are rated as the third most common food causing intolerance.
  • Tea and coffee. Tea and coffee are ranked in fourth positions as the one of the commonest foods that prompt reactions.
  • Wine. Allergic reactions are rare when drinking wine, but they may happen. Symptoms often include nausea and vomiting, which are common among migraine sufferers, as well as others such as runny nose, nasal congestion, rash, etc.
  • Aged cheese. Allergies in aged cheeses are often related to the bacteria and fungi found in rinds because they produce large amounts of histamine. Histamine plays a role in the immune system prompting inflammatory responses. These microbial components in the surface of aged cheese take part in the ripening process.
    Cheese aging process
    Cheese aging process
  • Chocolate. This is generally caused by a component in chocolate as allergies to cacao are rare.
  • Foods that are high in fat. The amount of fatty food eaten may affect certain individuals at different levels.
  • Dairy products. Lactose and casein are the common culprits for this type of food intolerance. Lactose is a type of sugar, and casein is a protein found in milk.
    Dairy products
    Dairy products could be the culprits of your migraine episodes
  • Beef. Some people are affected by beef intolerance because they may have been bitten previously by a tick which has formerly fed from other mammals. The tick takes in a carbohydrate molecule that is then transmitted to a person when being beaten, prompting the person’s immune system to produce IgE antibodies which are specific to this carbohydrate molecule that is present in beef, lamb or pork.
  • Bananas. The intolerance is linked to the latex, which also happens in nuts and other plant fruits. Some banana proteins are like latex, which often causes food allergies.
  • Corn. Some researchers believe that corn allergy is underdiagnosed and that the percentage of people who suffer from this type of allergy could be higher than expected reaching approximately 5% of certain populations. Corn contains a protein that is called zein that is thought to be the “offender”.
  • Sugar cane. Sugar cane is less processed than refined sugar, and some components that could prompt allergies may remain.
    Sugar cane juice
    Sugar cane juice
  • Yeast. This is a fungus that is present in some types of food such as breads, muffins, croissants, biscuits, or some cereals that contain malt which has been fermented with yeast.
    Bread yeast
    Bread yeast
  • Food additives. The best examples are aspartame and monosodium glutamate, which are known to cause migraine and cluster headaches.

How to deal with migraine food triggers

The usual way to find out which foods may trigger your migraine attacks is by using an elimination diet, which simplistically explained consists of removing those foods that you think could be the culprits to add them some weeks later one by one. This is not an easy task because in the case of food intolerance the food reaction may take several days after the intake with variable results, and thus the whole process may take too long. Your age, sex. genetics and environmental factors also play an important part in the outcome. You are strongly advised to do this under the supervision of your doctor or a dietitian because the elimination diet involves certain risks of malnutrition.

Scientists are working on the epigenetic diet. Scholars believe that it is possible to design a tailored diet for some diseases which could include migraine. These tailored diets target specific biochemical paths or molecules in your metabolism or even specific structures at a cellular level making use of the knowledge developed in epigenetics. The use of folate (folic acid) as a supplement has proved beneficial in migraine. This B vitamin takes part in DNA methylation, which is one of the main epigenetic processes.

CRLifeSc forms part of an affiliate program.

Nature's Bounty Natures Bounty Folic Acid - 250 tabs

Ketogenic or low glycemic diets are often suggested by scientists and dietitians for migraineurs. Ketogenic diets are a type of epigenetic diets. In these diets, sodium intake must be personalized.

During the last years intestinal flora has become a center of attention and possible explanation for several medical disorders. Migraine is often associated to gastrointestinal problems that include vomiting and nausea. Probiotics could modify gut microbiota reducing gut permeability for pro-inflammatory substances that impact on the trigeminovascular system. Scientists are studying these products to be included in the diet for migraine sufferers.

CRLifeSc forms part of an affiliate program to maintain this website.

For vitamins and minerals that can help you to alleviate your migraine symptoms please click on this article.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For market research professionals please visit the Anti-migraine Market Strategic Analysis

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Migraine antioxidants and telomere lengths

Telomere testing and antioxidant supplements may help you manage your migraine. Telomere lengths are used as indicators for biological age. Migraine sufferers have also shown shorter telomeres which confirm that oxidative stress plays an important part in this medical condition.

It is estimated that migraine could affect between 6% and 28% of the population worldwide. This debilitating medical condition is mainly characterized by a throbbing pain in one side of the head. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and excessive sensitivity to light and sounds.

Telomeres as an indicator in migraine patients and as people age

DNA and nucleotides
DNA and nucleotides

The first thing here is to understand what a telomere is and how the DNA is built. We all have heard about the DNA and its importance in genetics. The DNA is formed by a sequence of nucleotides (adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine) in a kind of paired double helix inside a cell. In the case of humans, telomeres are extensions of DNA that are placed at the tips of all 46 chromosomes in each cell of the body. These telomeres are comprised of six nucleotides (TTAGGG) whose sequence is repeated over and over again at the end of chromosomes. T corresponds to thymine, A to adenine, and G to guanine. In biochemical terms telomeres prevent chromosomes from sticking to other DNA fragments and thus to other chromosomes. This task is particularly important during the process of cell division, which is known as mitosis in biology. The usual analogy is that of those plastic tips at the end of shoelaces that prevent fraying.

Chromosome telomeres
Chromosome telomeres

Still, it is not only length what matters when talking about telomeres. The shape and tridimensional structure of these DNA elongations are also important because these characteristics determine whether telomeres perform properly. The shape and structure must provide protection as if it were some type of fastener.

It seems demonstrated that migraine has a strong genetic component in most of the cases but the exact consequences at a subcellular level are not known. In any case, some studies have shown that telomeres are shorter than usual in patients suffering from migraine. This fact is important because it was previously demonstrated that telomeres are shortened as people age or suffer from chronic diseases or psycho-social stress too. Shorter telomeres in lymphocytes – a type of small leukocyte or white blood cell – show up even in early-life stress cases. It is also common to observe that maternal longevity is linked to longer telomeres in both men and women.

Lymphocyte
Lymphocyte

Following most of the studies, the conclusion is that telomeres shortening may be used as a good biomarker or indicator for some medical conditions. Some scholars suggest that this biomarker could also be used in psychology and psychiatry since psycho-social stressors also shorten telomeres.

Telomere testing may help you with your migraine

The telomeres length is always measured comparing it to the rest of the general population rather than an isolated quantity. This assessment must also be made comparing apples to apples, so to speak, which basically means individuals of the same sex, age, and other conditions. Women generally have longer telomeres. This indicates that telomeres length is pretty much like the height or body mass of an individual, which are personal characteristics. Genetic factors are thought to contribute 30% for the telomeres length. The way scientists compare these personal characteristics may give some hints about your health status and what to do with it considering that approximately 70% of telomeres length depends on environmental or external factors such as diet or physical exercise.

In the case of migraine, telomeres length is significantly shortened according to some studies, but there seems to be no correlation between telomeres length and the harshness and frequency of migraine attacks. In other words, if you suffer from migraine you will probably have shorter telomere lengths than you should have, regardless of the intensity and regularity of your migraine attacks. The variation of telomeres length in migraineurs is also noticeable.

Conducting a telomere length test every five or six months could help you understand whether you are progressing implementing the two most important recommendations that follow in this article, which are changing your lifestyle and a diet that fits your needs, which should be better run under the supervision of an expert.

Antioxidants help in your migraine treatment and biological age

Determining our biological age, in contrast with our chronological age, is always controversial as it implies knowledge about why and how we all become older with all its consequences. We all know of people who are 80 years old and still can do physical or mental things that people in their forties or fifties are incapable of. The reality is that we tend to think in terms of chronological age rather than biological age, and to a certain extent this is a mistake in most aspects of our daily lives.

Aging seems to be the result of several factors that are already known scientifically, and others which are yet to be discovered. So, the best thing to do is to tackle at least those factors that have shown to affect our biological age and therefore our health. Oxidative stress, glucose or even pre-programmed biological processes at a cellular level contribute to our bodies aging. About pre-programmed biological processes there is little we can do for the moment, though advances in biology and medicine are shockingly fast nowadays and we could be surprised in the coming years. But we can certainly do a lot regarding oxidative stress and glucose.

Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants at a cellular level. These free radicals contain oxygen with an uneven number of electrons that make them interact with other molecules more easily. These interactions may cause undesired or damaging metabolic reactions that can also harm cell components. Oxidative stress is intrinsically related to the immune system and inflammation factors.

Oxidative stress also damages DNA and thus telomeres with more harmful effects because these portions at the tips of the chromosomes are not repaired so efficiently as the rest of the neighboring DNA. As we have mentioned above, science has already proved that telomeres length is associated to the aging process. Irrespective of any chronic disease, telomeres lose some nucleotides in each cell division, becoming shorter and shorter. However, chromosomes can afford to preserve their genetic functions despite some nucleotides loss due to the repetitive sequence of these nucleotides, but this is to a certain point, where cells can no longer divide.

The key to rejuvenate your tissues is precisely cell division. Cell division is conducted by DNA, and the more divisions the higher the probability of carrying DNA errors that may ultimately modify metabolic reactions in your organism. According to Leonard Hayflick, a Professor of Anatomy at the UCSF, cells have capacity to divide an average of 50 times. Therefore, once cells lose a significant amount of telomere length they senesce or deteriorate losing that capacity and accumulating considerable damage that can no longer fix. Consequently, we inevitably age. Nevertheless, that does not happen in all cells and tissues. In eggs and sperm cells for example, there is an enzyme called telomerase that keeps adding nucleotides to that repetitive sequence. Other types of cells may have telomerases that are still somewhat active and delay the deterioration process in cell division.

Cell division or mitosis
Cell division or mitosis

Telomeres not only prevent chromosomes from fraying and sticking to other chromosomes in mitosis, but also help chromosomes DNA to repair itself preserving its main biological tasks. In other words, telomeres also help to prevent cancer. Cancer is usually the result of uncontrolled cellular growth. This is the reason why adding telomerase to prolong telomeres to enhance cell division is a bad idea to rejuvenate tissues. Longer telomeres may cause uncontrolled cellular divisions. It looks that the ideal length is in-between, neither too long nor too short.

Leukocyte telomere lengths are shortened as people age, but this happens at a lower rate than other cell populations. This is the reason why telomere lengths are mainly studied in leukocytes or white blood cells. Telomerase activity is detectable in contrast with other types of cells in the organism. Oxidative stress, hormonal stress, and inflammation are three key factors that affect leukocyte mitosis or division.

Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress and assist in the protection of telomeres, and these substances can be found in food and nutritional supplements.

8 antioxidant supplements that could help in the treatment of your migraine and to maintain telomeres length

There are several supplements that have powerful antioxidant properties. These antioxidant properties include scavenging of free radicals and reducing oxidative reactions, which support maintenance of a heathier metabolism.

Scholars believe that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in how migraine evolves in patients. For this reason, an appropriate diet and antioxidant supplements may help in the prevention of migraine. A proper diet should include vegetables, fruits, and in general products derived from plants.

Vegetables
Vegetables

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that is generally supplied when you eat fruit and vegetables. You must be incredibly careful to preserve this vitamin in food as it can be eliminated in a high temperature and strong light environment. Scientists believe that vitamin C helps migraineurs to reduce neuroinflammation and frequency and severity of headaches.

You can purchase clicking on this link   Liposomal Vitamin C in Life Extension Europe.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Excessive alcohol consumption generally causes thiamine deficiency. Thiamine deficiency could lead to high levels of oxidative stress. For this reason, having this vitamin may be appropriate for heavy drinkers. In any case, you should consult your healthcare provider.

You can purchase clicking on this link BioActive Complete B-Complex in Life Extension Europe.

Coenzyme Q10

This lipid compound, also known as ubiquinone, also shows antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from these properties, it takes part in DNA and RNA processes such as replication and repair, among other metabolic functions.

In Life Extension Europe you may purchase Super-Absorbable Ubiquinone CoQ10 with d-Limonene online.

Curcumin

This is an herbal extract which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among other benefits. Curcumin is extracted from turmeric rhizome of the ginger family. It is mainly used as a food seasoning. Scientists consider that curcumin could be useful for migraine treatment. Some studies have shown that the joint use of curcumin and coenzyme Q10 in patients suffering from sporadic migraine reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

Turmeric curcumin food
Turmeric curcumin food

 

 In Life Extension Europe you may follow this link to purchase Super Bio-Curcumin� Turmeric Extract.

Ginkgolide B

This is an herbal extract with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties obtained from Ginkgo biloba leaves that is mainly used for depression, anxiety, and headaches. Ginkgolide B is often recommended for the treatment of migraine because it has shown positive effects on the modulation of glutamate transmission in the brain and memory.

Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba

 

Ginkgo biloba is also available to be purchased online in Nature’s Lab with free shipping

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Tanacetum parthenium is a flowering plant that can be found in South America. This herb has been traditionally used in migraine treatment thanks to its antioxidant properties. According to some authors, feverfew has proved to be effective in migraine prevention decreasing the frequency of migraine episodes, but once again it may not work for everybody. This plant contains several active ingredients that could benefit migraineurs, but its best known is parthenolide. The problem with this herbal extract is that it may cause numerous side effects such as oral ulcers or allergic reactions, or even more headaches. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use feverfew as there is not enough information regarding its safety. You are strongly advised to consult your physician before taking feverfew.

Feverfew flowers
Feverfew flowers

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that takes part in the catalytic process of several enzymes, which include relevant ones in several DNA and RNA processes. For this reason, magnesium deficiency causes higher oxidative stress, and it is necessary as an antioxidant at cellular level. You can get more information about migraine treatment with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium having a look at one of our previous articles following this link.


Zinc

Zinc is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mineral that is naturally present in some foods and can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Zinc plays a major function in the immune system helping to reduce infection.


NatureS Truth Chelated Zinc Tablets 100 Tabs by Natures Truth

from: Universal Herbs Inc

A healthy lifestyle is an add-on to preserve your telomeres

Definitely lifestyle influences telomeres length often activating the telomerase enzyme. Ultraviolet rays exposure, a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption or smoking contribute to deteriorate telomeres. Therefore, to keep the appropriate telomeres length, it is strongly advised to exercise frequently; keep a proper healthy diet; to reduce the daily stress; and if necessary, as a complement to a healthy diet you should take some supplements. You should consult your physician before taking supplements though.

Please read our article related to diets about food intolerance and food allergies in migraine following this link.

Physical exercise

Physical exercise

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For market research professionals please visit the Anti-migraine Market Strategic Analysis

The best vestibular migraine supplement

In this article we talk about vestibular migraine, its relationship with Meniere’s disease and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, and the best supplement that is recommended for this medical condition.

Before talking about the supplement that is mostly recommended for those patients suffering from vestibular migraine, you need to be sure that you are indeed affected by this disorder.

Which are main symptoms for vestibular migraine?

Vestibular migraine is considered a type of migraine. It is also known as migrainous vertigo, migraine-related vestibulopathy, and migraine-related dizziness. Some people who suffer from migraines may also have a feeling of intermittent dizziness or faintness. It is important to note that not everybody has headaches (up to 30% of vestibular migraine sufferers do not have headaches), but nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to sound, sensitivity to bright lights, and spatial disorientation are common. Other symptoms may also include hearing loss or tinnitus. Tinnitus is a medical term for those patients who have a ringing or some other strange noise in the ear.

In summary, balance problems and disorientation are the main symptoms. Vertigo problems often appear years after suffering from other common migraine symptoms. These vertigo problems may develop at any phase of a migraine attack with a fluctuating duration.

How can I know that I am affected by vestibular migraine?

We have already given you some hints of which are the most common symptoms. Still, diagnosing vestibular migraine can be a bit tricky. The first advice is obviously to consult your doctor to conduct a proper diagnosis. Neurotologists and neurologists are particularly recommended in vestibular migraine. Sometimes it is best an interprofessional team.

In reality there are no proper tests for vestibular migraine and your doctor will most probably follow certain criteria to diagnose whether you are affected by vestibular migraine. A previous or present history of migraine will be the first indicator. You have to take into account that vertigo and headaches do not necessarily happen at the same time, and thus having both symptoms at different times at least may lead to suspicion.

According to the International Headache Society (IHS), you should have at least five episodes of vestibular symptoms (balance and dizziness) of moderate or severe intensity that may last between 5 minutes and 72 hours; and at least half of episodes must be associated with at least one of the following signs: headache, sensitivity to light and sounds, and / or visual aura (glistening or irregular lights in your sight). Headache should have at least two of the following traits: one-sided headache, throbbing headache, moderate to stern headache, or headache worsening with physical exercise. For more information related to IHS criteria click on this link.

Discarding Meniere’s disease is often a real challenge, particularly in the first years suffering from common symptoms. Examination of the inner ear is particularly relevant for doctors. It is also common to detect uncontrolled repetitive movements of the eyes (known with the medical term nystagmus) during vestibular migraine attacks. In any case, half of patients present normal vestibular function tests, that is tests conducted to see the normal function of balance.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may also be run. It seems that white matter hyperintensities are more frequent in migraineurs, but in the case of vestibular migraine there is a need for more research. That means that results may be inconclusive.

In case you have lack of feeling, flimsiness, speaking difficulty, and other stroke symptoms, you should immediately go to the emergency services.

Is vestibular migraine associated with Meniere’s disease?

This is not as simple to answer as it could look like. Only 0.05% of the population seems to have Meniere’s disease. Approximately 30% of people suffering from Meniere’s disease could also suffer from vestibular migraine and on top of that 30% more could also have similar migraine symptoms.

Between 13% and 18% of vestibular migraine patients develop bilateral, low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss within 9 years. Also 7% to 11% develop cochlear symptoms that could be classified as bilateral Meniere’s disease.

Some authors suggest that a patient may actually suffer from both diseases at the same time.

Vestibular testing and neurotological exams may help to diagnose Meniere’s disease. Neurotology is a specialty of otolaryngology.

Is vestibular migraine associated with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

As it happens with Meniere’s disease, the relationship between benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and vestibular migraine is rather difficult to discern.

Vestibular testing and neurotological exams may also help to diagnose BPPV.

What triggers a vestibular migraine?

Certain types of foods may trigger migraine symptoms in some individuals, and it is the same for vestibular migraine. It is advisable to keep a food diary in order to discard those foods that you suspect provoke your migraine attacks. Some experts believe that a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle could help up to 80% of migraine sufferers. Avoiding caffeine often helps some patients suffering from vestibular migraine.

CRLifeSc forms part of an affiliate marketing program. Want to know what’s causing your food intolerance or allergy? – intolerancelab

Other triggers that could be prevented may include stress and nervousness, bad sleep conditions or sleep deprivation, dehydration and malnutrition, smoke, or hormonal changes. Still, we also must consider external triggers that often are difficult to avoid such as weather changes, or strong smells.

It is estimated that 1% of the population suffers from vestibular migraine, but some specialists say the percentage is undervalued. Women are the ones mostly affected and it is more frequent when people are about 40 years old. Though less frequently, some children may also suffer from vestibular migraine.

Can vestibular migraine be cured?

There is currently no cure for this disease. Surgical operations are not recommended either. The way to treat vestibular migraine is basically the same as migraine.

Antiemetics and antivertigo drugs are commonly used.

Approximately 75% of patients respond well to treatment with nortriptyline or topiramate and a change in lifestyle. Valproic acid and other antidepressants may also do the trick to prevent vestibular migraine for some patients. These are generally prescription drugs, and you should consult your doctor before attempting to take them.

What is the supplement that is most often used for vestibular migraine?

Apart from vitamins, the answer is usually butterbur (also known as Petasites).

Butterbur is a type of plant that is commonly found in some parts of Europe and Asia. Its leaves were used to wrap butter in mild weather. Butterbur extract contains anti-inflammatory substances.

Butterbur leaves
Butterbur leaves

It has been recommended by the American Headache Society for episodic migraine. Though there is not enough data to say that it is always effective in vestibular migraine, it may be worth a try for some patients.

Butterbur extract has been used for headaches, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, skin wounds, and other illnesses since the Middle Ages. Nowadays there is doubt about its effectiveness in some of those illnesses, but it seems to work for some patients.

Butterbur flowers
Butterbur flowers

It is important to note that taking butterbur extract conveys a risk of liver toxicity, for which you are strongly advised to consult your doctor before taking this supplement. Some butterbur products may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) which may cause problems in lungs and blood circulation too.

You should also take into account that in some countries, butterbur products are forbidden.

Please explore for more butterbur products within their website. CRLifeSc forms part of an affiliate marketing program.

You can also have a look at this article about vitamins and minerals in the treatment of migraine.

For health professionals CRLifeSc recommends the purchase of this herbal formulary for neurology.

Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 4

Is vestibular migraine hereditary?

It may happen that some members of the same family have all migraine symptoms while others have only a few of them. It may also happen that some members suffer from vestibular migraine while other members only have migraine without dizziness symptoms within the same family. This seems to be related to phenotypic heterogeneity or in other words, different results from the interaction of genes and the environment; or maybe just some common genes as migraine seems determined by a polygenic inheritance, apart from the case of familial hemiplegic migraine, which is another type. This means several genes may be involved, and these genes may or may not be shared by all members within a family.  

Scientists have identified common genetic variants at several loci associated to migraine predisposition. There are particularly three relevant markers that have shown up in studies in relation to migraine sufferers. As an example, migraine in Europe, China and Northern India has been associated with the PRDM16 gene but there is a need for more research.

Generally, scientists believe that migraine could be caused by several different mutations that could affect ion channels mainly implicated in the stable equilibrium of glutamate (known in biological terms as glutamate homeostasis).

In vestibular migraine, a chromosome region on 11q has been found in most affected females, which could indicate a high predisposition in women. On the other hand, a study showed that 10 members within a family suffering from vestibular migraine shared a variant located in chromosome 5q35. Gene locus 22q12 has also been suggested in other studies.

You can have a look at this article in relation to migraine gene therapy.

What is the origin of vestibular migraine?

The etiology or origin of this medical condition is not known, and scientists propose multiple theories that are often related to how nerve cells go wrong with one another in the trigeminovascular system (TVS). The trigeminovascular system is formed by neurons that constitute the trigeminal nerve. This trigeminal nerve is connected to blood vessels in the brain and seems to be implicated in some types of headaches.

Trigeminal nerve and its branches
Trigeminal nerve and its branches

The TVS is activated with the release of neuropeptides. These neuropeptides affect the diameter of blood vessels by the depolarization of the peripheral terminals of meningeal sensory receptors (known in biological terms as nociceptors). The meninges are three membranes that enclose the brain and the spinal cord. The most important identified neuropeptides that intervene in this process are substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and neurokinin A (NK-A). These neuropeptides cause the vasodilation of blood vessels increasing blood flow and ultimately causing the release of pro-inflammatory factors. These pro-inflammatory factors and the release of glutamate are the cause of the throbbing pain when the first-order neurons in the trigeminal ganglia are over-excited. Subsequently these peptides may also provoke abnormal pain triggered by otherwise innocuous stimuli (in medical terms known as allodynia) as second and third-order neurons of the trigemino-vascular system are also sensitized.

More specifically related to vestibular migraine, neuropeptides such as substance P and CGRP have also been identified in the vestibular nuclei and in trigeminal sensory fibers that connect the inner ear. The vestibular nuclei help you maintain your balance.

Equilibrium organ in the inner ear
Equilibrium organ in the inner ear

Recently other scientists have proposed that migraine could be the result of a pathological brain state. Several partially interrelated brain networks could take part, also involving the limbic system, making things even more complicated. The limbic system takes part in functions such as emotion, long-term memory, and the sense of smell.

Reversible contractions of the internal auditory artery or its branches could also explain dizziness or vertigo as well as hearing loss in some migraineurs.

In relation to nystagmus or uncontrolled movement of the eyes, some experts believe that it is due to an obstruction of blood supply in a cerebellar artery region.

Other scientists propose that vestibular symptoms could be explained in relation to how migraine aura evolves. The mechanism that explains migraine aura is often the Cortical Spread Depression (CSD). This mechanism consists of a temporary depolarization wave which starts in the occipital area, and in the case of vestibular migraine would reach the vestibular complex or even the brainstem vestibular nuclei. Still this hypothesis is weak because of other symptoms that often accompany migraine aura.

Vestibular Migraine and Related Syndromes
Vestibular Migraine and Related Syndromes. CRLifeSc forms part of an affiliate program.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For market research professionals please visit the Anti-migraine Market Strategic Analysis

Can vitamins and minerals really help you alleviate your migraine symptoms?

For brevity in this article, we are focusing on the most relevant vitamins and minerals in the treatment of migraine, but other non-prescription supplements can be helpful in migraine therapy too.

Migraine headaches

Migraine is a neurological disease whose symptoms may vary in type, frequency, and intensity depending on each person, but most migraine sufferers will agree that anybody suffering from a migraine attack will do almost anything to alleviate them. That is how hard this condition can be in certain cases. The most characteristic symptom of migraine is an almost unbearable headache. Other symptoms that may appear include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraine and the only thing we can do is to either treat it once it is triggered or much better prevent it from taking action. Therefore, vitamins and minerals will not cure your migraine, but they may certainly help some migraineurs in some instances.

Vitamins and minerals that may affect your migraine

In most cases there is scientific evidence, or at least a possible reliable scientific explanation, that certain supplements – not only vitamins and minerals – could help relieve migraine symptoms. In order to find an explanation of why these supplements may help we have to go to the etiology of the disease, that is its cause. Mitochondrial dysfunction – a mitochondria is an organelle in charge of supplying energy to the cell – is often offered as an explanation for migraine triggers. Inflammation in nerves and blood vessels is also suggested as a possible culprit. On the other hand, some authors suggest that antioxidants could help reduce levels of neuropathic pain which is due to oxidative stress. Scientists put forward other explanations for the possible origin of this condition which would make this article too broad. One single factor or a combination of all to a certain extent could explain the etiology (the origin) of migraine.

The good thing about migraine vitamins and supplements is that they are rarely dangerous for health and can be ideal for those people who want to avoid adverse effects caused by prescription drugs or by women with a baby on the way who would like to play safe. Still, consulting your doctor is always strongly recommended to find your appropriate therapy.

As it happens in most of the diseases, in the case of migraine more than ever you can say that no two patients are the same. For some patients, certain vitamins and minerals intake could be enough for migraine prevention, whilst for others, vitamins and minerals can be just an add-on to their usual medications. It is however important to note that some vitamins or minerals may not help you at all. What is even worse, those vitamins and minerals may even trigger or aggravate migraine symptoms.

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from: IntoleranceLab

In a nutshell, some vitamins may help you relieve the frequency and harshness of your migraine symptoms but not always works. That is why it is so important that a migraine sufferer visits his or her doctor for a proper diagnosis and an adequate treatment.

Vitamin D as a migraine vitamin

10 to 30 minutes several times a week of sun exposure to bare skin is enough to create vitamin D in a natural way in our bodies, but people with darker skin may require longer periods, particularly in the northern hemisphere where ultraviolet rays (UV rays) are significantly weaker in winter. As a general rule, the farther you are from the equator the weaker UV rays are. Vitamin D is also present in food such as eggs, tuna, salmon, soy milk, orange juice, or beef liver.

It is estimated that between 30% and 80% of children and adults worldwide have vitamin D deficiency, and several studies have shown a strong relationship between serum vitamin D levels and headaches. Approximately 42% of patients suffering from chronic migraine have vitamin D deficiency – whether this is the cause, the consequence, or just a sheer chance remains to be seen.

Some authors suggest that vitamin D protects the body from inflammation and keeps nerves healthy. This vitamin could also be involved in the release of dopamine and serotonin, which are two important neurotransmitters. Vitamin D seems to have proven to be beneficial for some patients suffering from migraine, reducing frequency of headaches. Appropriate levels of vitamin D (60ng/mL-80 ng/mL) also help uplifting sleep which at the same time may help to alleviate migraine symptoms. Still scientists do not recommend vitamin D supplementation for all patients unless they suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D levels affect the levels of magnesium as this vitamin can control as many as 200 genes taking part in its intestinal absorption.

Regarding dosage it is generally recommended a dose not higher than 600-800 IU daily for adults, and despite some studies suggesting that higher doses do not seem to have any adverse effects, 1000 IU per day are considered too high and may carry some risks for your health. Vitamin D is fat-soluble and as such it may be stored in your organism. Please visit your healthcare provider as the appropriate dosage may vary depending on several factors to be considered, including your own metabolism.

Vitamin D3 is regarded as raising vitamin D levels in blood  more efficiently. You can also buy liquid vitamin D3 online.

Folic acid as a migraine vitamin

This is the synthetic version of the naturally occurring vitamin folate (vitamin B9). Foods that are rich in folate include vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, nuts, eggs, dairy products, and meat among so many others.

Folate takes part in the energy production process of cells degrading carbohydrates as well as in the process of producing red and white blood cells in bone marrow.

Migraines may be the consequence of folate deficiency anemia according to some scientists.

You should always consult your doctor before taking this vitamin, particularly in those patients that suffer from kidney disease, have an infection, any type of anemia or are alcoholic. The usual dose recommended is 2 mg. Overdose symptoms often include numbness, mouth or tongue pain, weakness, confusion, and concentration difficulty.

You can buy optimized folate online.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone) as a migraine vitamin

Most people obtain enough of this vitamin through a balanced diet (oily fish, liver, and whole grains, for example).

The relationship between coenzyme Q10 and migraine once again is questionable, but some authors suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplement could decrease the rate of headaches in migraine treatment according to some trials. Some studies suggest that women who suffer from coenzyme Q10 deficiency are more prone to have migraine headaches than men.

Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in the management of energy in cells intervening in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and it is an important antioxidant.

This vitamin could interact with anti-cholesterol drugs and may even cause insomnia, for which we strongly advise that you consult with your healthcare provider. The recommended dosage is up to 300 mg daily. You will hardly see the benefit of taking this vitamin before one month and often it may take at least three months to notice any improvement.

If you live in Europe we recommend this following site where you can buy Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) as a migraine vitamin

Riboflavin is present in food such as eggs, avocados, milk, organ meats or cereals to mention a few. This vitamin intermediates in the production of cells energy and plays a crucial role as an antioxidant, iron absorption and activation of vitamin B6. Riboflavin is stored in small amounts in the human organism and it is important to note that it is destroyed by constant exposure to light and alkalis such as baking soda, and that boiling foods may cause this vitamin to be lost.

The way vitamin B2 works – what is known as its mechanism of action – in the prevention of migraine is at the moment unknown apart from what is mentioned above.

Some experts suggest that riboflavin can certainly lower the duration and regularity of migraine attacks. The usual dose recommended is between 200 and 400 milligrams daily.

Vitamin B2 intake rarely causes serious side effects and due to its water-soluble properties excess is easily excreted by the human body. Still high doses may lead to diarrhea, itching, lack of feeling or numbness, burning sensations, and yellow discoloration of urine.

Sulfa-containing drugs (some diabetes medications or sulfonamide antibiotics among others), antimalarial drugs, estrogen and alcohol may affect riboflavin metabolism. Some tranquilizers and antidepressants may also inhibit riboflavin activation in the liver. So, it is recommended to consult your doctor.

You can buy BioActive Complete B-Complex from Life Extension Europe on line.

Magnesium as a migraine mineral

Magnesium is absorbed through your intestine with your diet. Vegetables, cereals, and other types of food as well as coffee and tea generally provide you with the necessary amount of this mineral in a balanced eating habit. Magnesium also helps in the absorption of calcium.

Magnesium seems to help particularly those people who suffer from migraine with aura and those women who endure migraines with their menstruation. Scientists suggest that magnesium may help to relieve visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms which are characteristic of migraine attacks. You will hardly notice any improvement in less than three months in migraine prophylaxis (migraine prevention).

Magnesium may affect the absorption of some antibiotics, might decrease your blood pressure, and increase adverse effects of muscle relaxants, for which we always recommend consulting your doctor. The usual dose of non-food magnesium recommended is between 400 and 500 milligrams daily depending on the person, with lower dosages frequently recommended for women. High doses of magnesium are not generally dangerous as your body gets rid of excessive amounts, but still high doses may cause diarrhea, vomiting and other side effects. For those people who tend to suffer from diarrhea vitamin B2 may help to prevent it too.

You can purchase Extend-Release Magnesium here if you live in Europe.

Please have a look at our article related to the best vestibular migraine supplement.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For market research professionals please visit the Anti-migraine Market Strategic Analysis

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The GM food and synthetic meat markets

In this post we pretend to discuss the present and future of synthetic meat having a look at the past and present of gm food. This is due to the fact that some lay people may think  it is basically the same as gm plants are also  often based on genetic manipulation.

Can the genetically modified plants market give us an idea of what the future holds for synthetic meat?

Background

Despite some slumps during the last 25 years, investors and other stakeholders have had well founded high expectations in relation to biology as a scientific and profitable discipline, and particularly biotechnology and genetics as one of its branches. This is a natural feeling as genetics is the pattern basis of living organisms, and being capable of manipulating the genome makes humans, or we should rather say scientists, some kind of gods. Just genetics may cover huge knowledge areas as diverse as medicine, energy, chemicals production, farming, or livestock to mention a few. Synthetic biology, and thus synthetic meat, is fashionable once again and is expected to cause a new technological revolution.

Genetic engineered plants have been commercialized since the nineties and have opened a bunch of new opportunities for innovation and advantages for farmers and consumers, despite strong opposition from activists. On its side, synthetic meat (also known as cultured or lab-grown meat), which is not available on the market yet, is also expected to offer huge advantages and opportunities to innovate in the coming years.

For more information regarding genetically modified crops and agricultural development, you may have a look at this book which analyzes the impacts of current and possible future GM crop applications. This book shows that these technologies can contribute substantially to sustainable agricultural development and food security.

 

Genetically Modified Crops and Agricultural Development
CRLifeSc recommends this book that forms part of its affiliate marketing program that helps to support this website in the promotion of science.

Genetically modified (GM) food is not necessarily the same as synthetic meat (also known as cultured meat)

Genetic engineered food, which we should rather call GM plants, and synthetic meat have certainly biological principles in common, but production processes are not necessarily the same.

Whilst GM plants are based on genes inserted or replaced to produce a predetermined type of protein that may intervene in a specific biochemical path, or be of a specific interest as such, synthetic meat in the beginning is produced starting from pluripotent or multipotent cells that are not necessarily genetically modified, though this move is also under development.

Genetic applications are not limited to crops in the food industry. Crowdfunding is currently helping BioCurious, a community biotech lab based in California, to research on synthetically producing Real Vegan Cheese by inserting genes into yeast. These genes translate into the appropriate proteins, known as caseins, that can be extracted and mixed in precise quantities. Perfect Day is another company focused on animal-free dairy products making use of modified microflora that expects to commercialize its products in a short time.

Genetic engineered plants have already shown important advantages

Since 1994 when Calgene started marketing its Flavr Savr tomato, at least 31 plant species have been genetically modified and approved for commercial release in at least one country. Widespread genetically modified crops include soybean, maize, cotton, and canola among others. Distribution among countries worldwide is still uneven though and depends on local regulations, but just in the United States it is estimated that 90% of seeds used to plant soy and corn belong to GM crops. China, Argentina, Canada, Australia, and Mexico have also planted genetically modified crops in a large scale. In the European Union importation of genetically modified organisms is regulated at European institutions level but individual member states decide on cultivation regulations.

Country

GM plant species approved for cultivation

GM plant species approved for human consumption

 European Union

Carnation, maize and potato

Argentine canola, cotton, maize, potato, soybean, rice, soybean and sugar beet

 United States

alfalfa, apple, Argentine canola, chicory, cotton, creeping bent grass, flax, maize, papaya, plum, potato, rice, rose, soybean, squash, sugar beet, tobacco and tomato

alfalfa, apple, Argentine canola, chicory, cotton, creeping bentgrass, flax, maize, melon, papaya, plum, potato, rice, soybean, squash, sugar beet, sugar cane, tomato and wheat

 China

cotton, maize, papaya, petunia, poplar, rice, sweet pepper and tomato

Argentine canola, cotton, maize, rice, soybean, sugar beet, sweet pepper and tomato

 Japan

alfalfa, Argentine canola, carnation, cotton, maize, papaya, rice, rose, soybean and sugar beet

alfalfa, Argentine canola, cotton, maize, papaya, potato, soybean and sugar beet

 Argentina

alfalfa, cotton, maize, potato and soybean

alfalfa, cotton, maize, potato and soybean

 Canada

alfalfa, apple, Argentine canola, flax, maize, Polish canola, potato, soybean and sugar beet

alfalfa, apple, Argentine canola, cotton, flax, maize, papaya, potato, rice, soybean, squash, sugar beet, sugar cane and tomato

 Australia

Argentine canola, carnation, cotton, rose and safflower

alfalfa, Argentine canola, cotton, maize, potato, rice, safflower, soybean, sugar beet and wheat

 Mexico

alfalfa, cotton and soybean

alfalfa, Argentine canola, cotton, maize, potato, rice, soybean, sugar beet and tomato

Genetically modified plant species for some trait(s) that have been approved for cultivation and human consumption at some point in time in some relevant countries.

Source: ISAAA’s GM Approval Database. http://www.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/.

 

The ultimate purpose and benefits of these genetically modified seeds cover several fields. For farmers these seeds provide resistance to insects and tolerance to herbicides, heat, cold or droughts; better look to make them more appealing; and longer shelf-life. For consumers this type of products may provide specific nutrients, including calcium and protein; or even seedless fruits. For humankind a longer shelf-life may mean a better distribution of food worldwide even to very remote areas of the planet considering that there is an excess of more than 15% of food produced in rich countries. Genetically modified food has been proposed as a sustainable mean to feed the increasing human population in the future presently estimated at 7.7 billion and currently growing at a rate of about 1.07% down from 2% in the sixties. The world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 despite declining growth rates.

World population growth rates

 

 

Integration of Insect-Resistant Genetically Modified Crops within IPM Programs
The first comprehensive synthesis of the development, adoption, regulation and impact of insect-resistant GM plants for crop protection and their effect on IPM programs

Legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMO) changes from country to country

Whilst in Europe genetically modified food must be labelled as such according to GMO (genetically modified organisms) legislation, in the United States this is not required, and only certified organic foods guarantee to a certain extent that no genetically modified organisms have been used in the manufacturing process. Nonetheless genetically modified organisms are subject to strict regulation, particularly in the case of human consumption.

Strictly speaking, gene-edited crops that do not carry DNA from other species are not treated as severely as GM crops from a legal point of view in several countries, for example the United States, Brazil, Canada and Australia. This is the trend in spite of using the latest genetic technologies such as CRISPR and other new breeding techniques (NBTs) because this type of genetic manipulation has been done for hundreds of years selecting the desired plants properties through the Mendelian method. Relaxing legislation in recent years for genetic manipulation that does not involve genes from different species has helped big and small companies and universities to innovate developing new seeds with outstanding properties that are already available on the market. Activists still oppose these practices and fight for regulating gene-edited crops just like GMOs as it has happened in Europe. 

Whether this is applicable to synthetic meat is still to be seen as companies try to innovate with new products in the future. In the beginning, apart from consumers’ information readily available, there should not be any problem as there is no risk of genes crossing over to other species with synthetic meat.

A part of the population still disapproves genetically modified organisms

However genetic engineered food and synthetic meat come with their own shortcomings. Critics discuss about long-term health consequences in humans and unpredictable changes in nature when considering genetic manipulation. In the case of food, the concept of substantial equivalence to genetically unmodified counterparts has been introduced by regulatory agencies as one step in order to evaluate safety of any identified differences. No doubt that necessary tests for the overall safety of a GM product are costly and must be factored in prices, but still GM crops have remained competitive.

Genetically modified food is suspect, most probably unfoundedly, of an increase in the number of people suffering from food allergies due to new proteins translated from inserted genes or secondary metabolites that may result from any genetic changes. So far allergenicity in genetically modified food has not been demonstrated to be more of a problem than its non-genetically modified equals. FAO and WHO have recommended that any new protein introduced in genetically modified food should be compared to all recognized allergens establishing a procedure to test and follow up potential allergenicity in a sort of surveillance system. It is however difficult to estimate whether changes in the plant metabolism cause new secondary metabolites or significant changes in concentration of the existing ones including natural endogenous toxins.

 

Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Foods
This book introduces readers to food safety assessment research on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). As is broadly known, the main concerns about GM foods’ adverse effects on health are the nutrients, toxicity, allergenicity and unexpected effects. Before GMOs can be made commercially available, a comprehensive food safety assessment – taking these concerns into account – must first be performed.

In any case allergens could be removed with state-of-the art technology in the near future, and this can also be applied to the synthetic meat industry. Even more, genetically modified food can be produced totally free of known allergens contained in their non-modified counterparts thus providing an advantage for consumers. An example could be suppressing the enzyme that intervenes in the biochemical path to produce gluten in wheat for diets followed by people suffering from celiac disease.

Genetic engineered food has also been pointed as the ultimate cause of antibiotic resistance with no consistent proof, but even if that were the case more opportunities would be opened for biotech firms in R&D. Antibiotic resistance is intrinsic to nature as health scientists know for a fact that an increase in antibiotic resistance in bacteria is often the consequence of antibiotics abuse in humans to treat an infection as is true of penicillin. In nature herbicide resistance happens naturally in living organisms as is the case of different types of weeds that have become resistant to atrazine.

Trust in Food
“Trust in Food” is an interesting book that deals with the BSE epidemic, GM foods, avian flu, the growth of supermarkets and the crisis in obesity that have shaken consumer trust in food. Uncovering surprising differences between countries, “Trust in Food” examines this and challenges the idea of the consumer as a sovereign individual, demonstrating how consumption is institutionalized within society.

Despite some articles in scientific magazines, genetically modified food has not been proved to have any link with cancer to date. Once again it is important to state that the concentration of present metabolites and new secondary ones as well as endogenous toxins in certain GM plant species could be altered and thus carry health hazards, for which long-term studies are necessary. Still many processed and cured meat are currently produced making use of carcinogenic compounds such as nitrates, which basically means that we already have that problem that could probably be solved with the development of synthetic meat.

Critics have also discussed the possibility of genetic engineered material transfer to intestinal bacteria as is the case of Bt corn, a type of GM corn with inserted genes that produce a pesticide naturally encoded by soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. This pesticide has been traditionally sprayed over conventional corn by farmers and later washed out though in the case of Bt corn the pesticide is produced by the plant itself.

Nature conservation is also a matter of concern for activists and even some farmers. The first case of cross-pollination was reported in autumn 2000 in the United States between a genetically modified crop that was too close to an unmodified harvest, and probably more than 500 cases have been well documented. Cross-pollination and unintended transfer of genes that yield plant varieties, which could be patent protected, may bring some headaches for conventional and organic farmers in terms of food quality, labeling and legal issues. Cross-pollination may also disperse plant varieties that carry inappropriate levels of secondary metabolites that can be dangerous thus losing control in the spread of genetically manipulated organisms. This cross-pollination seems unavoidable for the moment regardless any attempts to establish measures such as buffer zones. Still, scientists are also developing genetically modified organisms that can only fertilize with manual assistance to avoid cross-pollination cases. Pollination control systems have been introduced making use of genes generally sourced from bacteria as is the case of Argentine canola, chicory and maize crops.

Probably one of the main causes for worry is companies’ intellectual property protection. Farmers and customers often state that companies benefit most from GM seed varieties that are still patent protected and thus confer market exclusivity for their use for a minimum of twenty years in most countries. As an example, pollination control systems in maize, authorized mainly in the United States, have been dominated by DuPont (Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.) and Bayer CropScience. However, these patents finally end up losing their protection and contribute to a wealth of knowledge that can be used by other companies and public organizations. For example, patents derived from core international patent publication number WO9626283 that describes a method to obtain male-sterile plants applied by Plant Genetic Systems NV (acquired by Bayer CropScience in 2002) in February 1996 have already lapsed in all countries assigned. Another example could be patents stemming from international patent publication number WO9617945 filed by Pioneer Hi-Bred International that describes a reversible nuclear genetic system for male sterility in transgenic plants with priority number dated in June 1995 which have also gone off patent in all countries, though the company has resorted to file other patent applications worldwide with innovative methods related to plant sterility since 2000. A more remarkable case is Monsanto’s Roundup, the trade name for the company’s broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate, for which genetically modified resistant crops, branded as Roundup Ready Soy I, were developed and whose patents expired in 2014 thus facing competition from other manufacturers. Yet more, the University of Arkansas has released free versions of Roundup Ready Soy that can be used by any farmer at will. It is estimated that the discovery, development, and authorization of a new GMO plant may cost more than $140 million and without market exclusivity no company would ever embark on those investments.

The World According to Monsanto (DVD)
CRLifeSc recommends this DVD “The World According to Monsanto” to get other educated opinions as part of its affiliate marketing program.

 

Still the latest concern is related to bioterrorism. The introduction of certain harmful genes in insects or pollen spread over extensive cultivation areas could cause havoc in the population creating a sort of cyberattack-like dynamics with attackers and defenders but with more serious consequences. This risk is enhanced by the modern gene editors and genetic technologies. Nevertheless, opposing GM crops or research on genetic manipulation will not stop this threat but on the contrary it may even be counterproductive due to lack of knowledge to respond. It seems obvious that there should always be security measures to neutralize any accident or bioterrorist attack.

In any case disproportionate concern about genetic manipulation improvements could restrict scientific advancement, which on the other side seems unavoidable.

Competitive structure for the genetically modified plants market

The commercial seed market worldwide was estimated at more than US$50.0 billion in 2018. There are approximately 7,000 large and small seed companies operating worldwide. Approximately 50 companies have GM plants authorized in some country in the world. Many conventional seed companies are also commercializing gene-edited seeds and may be developing GM plants that could be launched into the market in the future.

According to Yahoo Finance four agrochemical companies hold more than 60% of the global seed market in 2019 commercializing GM and non-GM seeds, which causes fears for market consolidation. These companies are Corteva Agriscience (formerly DowDuPont, United States), ChemChina (China), Bayer (Germany) and BASF (Germany). Other important seed companies not commercializing GM seeds for the moment include Groupe Limagrain (France), Land O’Lakes (United States), KWS AG (Germany), Sakata (Japan), DLF-Trifolium (Denmark), or Takii (Japan). The growth and development of this market is mainly based on the world growing population and the climate change.

Corteva, ChemChina, Bayer and BASF are the result of consecutive mergers and acquisitions during the last 20 years. Bayer acquired Monsanto, the best known GM seed company worldwide, in 2018; the state-owned ChemChina acquired the Swiss Syngenta in what was perceived as a delicate financial operation; Dow Agrosciences merged with DuPont to form Corteva; and BASF reached an agreement with Bayer AG to purchase seeds and pesticides assets in 2018 after the US Justice Department forced Bayer to sell its crop science division before purchasing Monsanto. Formerly to mention a few, Monsanto had acquired 10 organizations since 2005; ChemChina acquired 60% of Adama Agricultural Solutions, an Israeli agrochemical company with the highest generic pesticides portfolio in 2011, in a strategy to expand its own domestic market share; and Bayer CropScience acquired Argentinian Biagro Group in 2014 and SeedWorks India Pvt. Ltd in 2015. ChemChina is a good example of market development as the company’s overseas sales amount to approximately 67% of its total revenues, and also has interests in other chemical industries just like the other top three.

Corteva’s policy is to maintain a focus at a local and regional level worldwide making use of procurement teams and reinforcing relations with local suppliers emphasizing a public code of conduct. On its side, Bayer CropScience offers tailor-made solutions on a unique combination of seeds and traits, crop protection and digital tools for individual farmers in order to achieve the best harvest and a sustainable growth, and regarding suppliers the company particularly values innovation, efficiency and sustainability.

A whole industry surrounds this market apart from distributors and license agreements such as GMO testing market or other chemicals. Small biotech companies and research institutes are also involved looking for improvements in crops often in collaboration with these GM multinationals. The agricultural business includes relevant complementors that may comprise fertilizers, greenhouses, irrigation systems or growing lamps among others.

Although the seed market may look oligopolistic and dominated by a bunch of very powerful companies it does not mean there are not any opportunities for smaller seed companies and research institutions even creating collaboration agreements or looking for venture capital in a sort of co-opetition relationship. CRISPR-Cas9 and new breeding techniques (NBTs) are bringing along new prospects for shortening the development of gene-edited crops and lowering costs that may compete with more efficient solutions and innovations for farmers and customers. On the other hand, most fruits and vegetables remain unattended and offer opportunities for market development too.

For example, in respect to herbicide tolerance most products are focused on glyphosate, glufosinate and sulfonylurea, and to a lesser extent on 2,4-D and oxynil, but more research would lead to more innovative and efficient herbicides that are less hazardous to humans and animals. Pollination control systems are mainly focused on maize, Argentine canola and chicory, but these systems could also be extended to other plants. There are some other interesting potential traits worth to be researched.

Lab-grown meat could allure several groups of people

Lab-grown meat is also known as cultured meat, in vitro meat, synthetic meat or even clean meat. This type of meat is the result of growing muscle cells in a nutrient serum, generally made from animal blood, to end-up forming muscle fibers.

Lab-grown meat pursues goals that may appeal several people’s interests and ethics. The first goal is related to the environment, the second is about feeding an increasing population worldwide, the third involves animal rights, and the fourth is associated to gourmets and culinary innovations.

Environmentalists should be enthusiastic about the potential benefits of a prospective well-established synthetic meat industry. There are thousands of studies evaluating the huge environmental impact of the conventional meat industry.

 

Food Industry and the Environment
All areas of industry are facing increasing pressure from governments and consumers to be more environmentally aware. The food industry is no exception, and an increasing number of companies have made the decision to implement an environmental policy.

Farm animals are thought to be accountable of approximately 15% of greenhouse gas emissions in the planet.

According to the United Nations Environment Program the rainforest landscape in South America is being cleared for cattle to produce meat and reckons that one average quarter pounder beef burger drains around 1,695 liters of water from valuable resources. Other studies calculate that it is necessary 100 times more water to produce 1 kg of animal protein than producing 1 kg of grain protein.

Figures vary depending on technology and location, but in respect to energy consumed to produce meat we easily come across studies suggesting that 25 kilocalories of fossil fuel energy are consumed for every 1 kilocalorie of meat protein produced whilst ratio for corn protein is 2.2:1.

However, let us not jump into conclusions yet as proteins constitute approximately 20% of a human body and vegetable proteins often lack a good balance of the 20 essential aminoacids for humans, which are the basic molecules that form them. Proteins form part of body structures and also are crucial for metabolism.

The cost of producing farm animal meat is also very high considering that it is necessary 5-7 kg of grain to produce half a kilogram of feedlot beef.

Feeding the world’s increasing population together with higher purchasing power and thus higher meat consumption in developing countries could augment environmental problems in the future. As mentioned above, some experts assure that by 2050 the population worldwide could reach 9.2 billion. The world average consumption of meat (beef and veal, pork, poultry and sheep meat) per person worldwide was estimated at 34.74 kg in 2018 according to OECD-FAO with an increasing trend in developing countries and forecast to reach 35.37 kg in 2027.

By 2050 even the most conservative estimates would predict that the average meat consumption per capita for these kinds of meat can easily reach 38 kg per annum thus making a total of 349.6 billion kg consumption worldwide. In 2018 just in the United States the average consumption per capita for these four types of meat was calculated at 101,304 kg per annum whilst EU28 corresponded to 69.49 kg per capita.

Poultry and pork are the most popular types of meat worldwide though it obviously varies depending on the country’s culture and customs. For example, EU28 consumes more pork (32.31 kg) and poultry (24.47 kg), whilst Turkey consumes more poultry (17.72 kg) and beef (10.50 kg) with very low demand for pork (0.06 kg). In respect to the environment, let us note that pig slurry causes an important impact with high cost in managing operations.

The Environmental Science and Technology magazine published a life-cycle assessment study of lab-grown meat in 2011 where it was assured that cultured meat at industrial scale would require 7-45% less energy than producing animal farm meat in Europe with the exception of poultry; 78-96% lower greenhouse gases emissions; 99% lower land use; and 96% lower water use.

On the other hand, synthetic meat could bring along the possibility of being more innovative creating new and tastier meat for gourmets with ground-breaking characteristics such as suitable amounts of vitamins and fats to make it even healthier. Prices could be very competitive for valued scarce meats, such as red tuna, that are now too costly for the public and in danger of extinction, once scalability for producing them synthetically is resolved.

Farm animal welfare has also become a matter of major concern in developed countries. According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) 94% of Americans believe that animals raised for food should have a life free from abuse and cruelty, which nowadays is almost a utopia with current practices. In other developed countries the opinion trend is similar, and the topic is very sensitive especially in younger generations. According to surveys conducted in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands above 60% of respondents were in favor of promoting lab-grown meat as an alternative to farm animal meat.

Then again, there is no doubt that veganism and vegetarianism are rising and therefore new commercial businesses aiming this growing market are spurting. Synthetic meat could also appeal vegans in the future once technical difficulties are finally resolved for avoiding use of any minimal part of animals.

Critical Perspectives on Veganism
This book examines the ethics, politics and aesthetics of veganism in contemporary culture and thought. Traditionally a lifestyle located on the margins of western culture, veganism has now been propelled into the mainstream, and as agribusiness grows animal issues are inextricably linked to environmental impact as well as to existing ethical concerns.

A veggie burger vs. a lab-grown burger

A veggie burger is generally made of vegetable proteins and often processed soy and vegetable oil. Soy protein is said to contain all essential aminoacids human beings need to take but two essential aminoacids are only present in small quantities, and on top of that this processed soy is suspect of being linked to health problems related to the endocrine system because of phytoestrogens and a solvent used that is known as hexane. Other solvents used to produce vegetable oils have also been put in question in relation to health hazards.

Plant-based meat, such as the branded Impossible Burger or the Beyond Burger, is a vegetable product that mimics meat making use of heme, a complex that includes a metalloprotein that can be produced through genetically modified soybean. The importance of heme is that it can provide the same taste and color as if it were real meat.

A lab-grown burger would be technically made of real muscle fibers together with other animal tissues that would make it tastier. Cells that end up forming these fibers grow in a nutrient serum that at the moment is generally made from animal blood, which violates vegans’ ethics. The final goal for lab-grown meat is indeed to be produced through animal-free methodologies.

In terms of environmental resources, in the foreseeable future a veggie burger will be much more efficient to produce than a lab-grown burger.

Costs of producing lab-grown meat

Mark Post, professor at Maastricht University, was the first scientist to produce a lab-grown minced meat burger in 2013 with a cost estimated at US$330,000. This first trial was certainly a big achievement despite the cost and being a burger not so delicious as expected according to the two elected tasters. Apparently, the lack of fat tissue made it less appetizing.

However, that was just a prototype and thus very costly as lowering costs is mainly a matter of refinement and scalability. There are estimates of a cost of less than US$5 per unit for some types of burger in an industrialized context making use of large bioreactors, which could happen in approximately three to four years or even earlier as reported by companies involved in this field. These large bioreactors with a minimum volume of 25,000 liters to feed 10,000 people would provide the necessary nutrients and stimulation to work out the muscle cells. Smaller bioreactors could also be possible to meet lower needs.

Growing lab-meat will eventually be more energy-efficient than conventional meat taking into account that energy will only be spent on a product that we will use entirely, where there will be no need to discard bones, fur or other organs.

Methodologies and technical difficulties to grow synthetic meat

Meat is basically formed by muscle cells and tissue. Methodologies to grow synthetic meat are based on pluripotent stem cells. In theory at least, stem cells can multiply by cell division ad infinitum. However, muscle cells lose their ability to divide once they are made with the exception of smooth muscle cells that can retain their ability to divide too.

Pluripotent stem cells, which can potentially turn into any type of tissue, may be taken from embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells or induced stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are developed from a blastocyst, which is an early-stage pre-implantation embryo. Adult stem cells, also known as pluripotent somatic stem cells, are permanently present in the body ready to replace damaged tissues and therefore can hypothetically be turned into any desired type of cell such as muscle cells. Induced stem cells are obtained through epigenetic reprogramming, that is without making any changes in the genome but inducing or repressing genes expression to obtain different phenotypic results. Stem cells are commonly used in research and regenerative medicine nowadays and it is important to notice that these cells have nothing to do with immortal cell lines such as HeLa, which are the consequence of mutations causing cancer.

Companies generally stick to their own methodologies once they got a specific strain.

Until now in order to provide the necessary nutrients to grow skeletal and smooth muscle cells researchers and companies have resorted to make use of serum in the culture, which is currently obtained from animal blood, frequently from fetuses of cows found pregnant at slaughter, making the process very expensive and presenting a dilemma for animal rights activists. In any case companies regard reducing or eliminating the amount of serum from animal sources as part of their goals, and in fact some companies already claim that they have achieved this goal. Some experts have speculated about the idea of producing serum based on photosynthetic algae or cyanobacteria. Moreover, all serum components could be compiled from different sources, at least in theory, but the key question is precisely which those main components are and in which quantity they should be used to create the magic potion that will certainly overshadow the Coca-Cola secret formula. Blood contains thousands of constituents in different quantities that together with different manufacturing processes make clear that there is no single answer for that secret formula. In the future there could be hundreds of different magic potions in many companies’ hands either as an industrial secret or in the form of complex patents to protect their investment. The right amount of ingredients processed with different techniques will probably vary providing different tastes and textures as a result. One can easily imagine the creation of several appellations of origin or brand names for different synthetic meat products in the years ahead.

Still we are talking about minced meat as steaks as we know them in three dimensions are a further complicated process where molecular scaffolding materials are engaged. One of the main technical difficulties in the production of steaks as we know them is the need of iron that is carried by myoglobin together with oxygen. Myoglobin is a cytoplasmatic protein found in the skeletal muscle tissue of vertebrates whose expression is suppressed in high-oxygen environments that are needed at the same time for skeletal muscle cells to grow in three dimensions because we cannot count on a circulatory system as it happens in living vertebrates.

Machine learning intermingled with biological expertise will probably play a crucial role in the development of this market, particularly for difficult challenges as the production of animal-free serum. On its side, 3D printers could probably play a relevant role particularly in the production of steaks.

Practical Applications of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 12th International Conference
This book introduces the latest international research in the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology. It includes various studies in the area of machine learning in bioinformatics, systems biology, omics data analysis and mining, biomedical applications and sequences, which were selected by an international committee and presented at the 12th International Conference on Practical Applications of Computational Biology & Bioinformatics held in Toledo in June 2018.

If this market evolves as expected there is no doubt that a whole new industry could emerge operating as suppliers and complementors in a co-opetition environment.

Legislation on lab-grown meat

When talking about lab-grown meat it is expected that new regulations will soon come into effect particularly in aspects related to manufacturing and labelling. Even terminology has been put in question with requests to limit the use of “beef” or “meat” exclusively for products obtained from farm animals.

In the United States there is also controversy about which agency should have jurisdiction about lab-grown meat. The FDA has jurisdiction over genetically engineered animals whilst the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which depends on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in charge of regulating the commercial supply of meat, poultry and egg products.

In Europe, where lab-grown meat (synthetic meat) is not authorized for commercialization yet but seems to enjoy favorable reception, the term often used to refer to this type of product is “meat analogue”, “alternative meat products”, or “novel foods”, where plant-based products mimicking meat are often included. The term “clean meat” seems to have wide acceptance and it may sound better than synthetic meat for this purpose.

The Venture Capital Deformation
In spite of the robust development of venture capital that has occurred over the last three decades, returns from venture capital have been declining. This book focuses on a simple question: why? The answer lies in the context of multiple deformations that have occurred throughout the venture capital process.

Market structure for lab-grown meat

There are approximately 23 companies working on synthetic meat worldwide. Most of them are working on beef and to a lesser extent pork and chicken while there are 3 companies focused on seafood. In the United States 2 companies produce synthetic meat destined to the pet food market.

Country

Companies involved in synthetic meat

 United States

Balletic Foods, Blue Nalu, Bond Pet Food (pet food), Finless Foods, Just, Kiran Meats, Memphis Meats, Mission Barns, New Age Meats, Wild Earth (pet food), Wild Type

 Israel

Aleph Farms, Biofood Systems, Future Meat Technologies, SuperMeat

 The Netherlands

Meatable, Mosa Meats

 Canada

Appleton Farms, SeaFuture

 Japan

Shiok Meats

 Spain

Cubiq Foods (Omega-3)

 China

Avant Meats

 United Kingdom

Higher Steaks

 Turkey

Biftek

We have chosen 8 relevant companies to get an idea of what is the current state of this promising market.

Just, Inc., formerly Hampton Creek, Inc. that was founded in 2011 in the United States, produces plant-based food that is sold worldwide, and started working on cultured meat in 2016. The company claims that they already have the necessary technology to produce clean meat and that only government regulations are preventing the launch of their products into the market. Just has already been able to make foie gras and is currently working on cultured chorizo and cultured nuggets. The company also alleges that it has found a formula to compile a cell culture without the need to make use of serum and thus animal blood.

Finless Foods, Inc. was founded in 2017 specializing in seafood. The company works on progenitor cells, in the early phases of stem cells development, to produce different types of lineage cells adding specific nutrients to the broth. The company has started working on bluefin tuna. Finless Foods promotes its products as sustainable environmentally friendly good quality food at affordable prices and plans to launch its first product at the end of 2019.

Memphis Meats, Inc. was founded at 2015 as a food technology company by three scientists to produce cultured meat. The company is fully supported by strong investors such as Tyson Foods, the American meat giant. The company is working on cultured beef, chicken and duck making use of stem cells to turn them into muscle tissue. Memphis Meats expects to launch its products by 2021. This company filed a very strong international patent publication number WO2017124100 in January 2017 related to methods for extending the replicative capacity of somatic cells during an ex vivo cultivation process where CRISPR-Cas9 technology is involved. Other interesting patents held by the company include methods for scalable skeletal muscle lineage making use of a myogenic transcription factor (WO2015066377); increasing the culture density in the absence of serum (WO2018208628); and increasing the efficiency of cultivation modifying the cells with a myogenic transcription factor and introducing into the cells polynucleotide sequences encoding a telomerase reverse transcriptase, glutamine synthetase, insulin-like growth factor, and albumin (WO2019014652).

SuperMeat The Essence of Meat Ltd. is an Israeli startup founded in 2015 to develop chicken cultured meat through crowdfunding. The company emphasizes that its products are eco-friendly, more humane, fight world hunger and will be non-GMO. The company filed international patent publication number WO2018189738 in April 2018 where it is described a method for producing cultured meat-containing hybrid food making use of numerous types of cells from different species (hepatocytes, myoblasts, osteoblasts, fibroblasts, lipoblasts, odontoblasts, etc.) which also includes a plant-originated substance to enhance organoleptic and nutritional properties in specific quantities.

Future Meat Technologies Ltd. is an Israeli biotech company founded in 2017 by one of the co-founders of SuperMeat that aims to manufacture non-GMO fat and muscle cells in a serum-free medium increasing food safety and reducing ecological impact worldwide focusing on local and individual needs. Plans include to make use of small proprietary bioreactors that can be sold to individual clients using capsules comprising the proprietary starter tissue and necessary nutrients manufactured by the company. The company claims that its cellular agriculture technology has been developed by biologists, bioengineers and reputed chefs. Future Meat Technologies has received funds from a collaborative grant between Israel and China and Israel’s Modern Agriculture Foundation as well as companies such as Tyson Foods. International patent publication number WO2018011805A9 filed by Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. in July 2017 describes a system for growing cells in a small bioreactor with a delivery system for a perfusion solution.

Impossible Foods Inc. is an American company founded in 2011 that produces plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products. The company claims that just eating its star product Impossible Burger 2.0 we humans save the equivalent of 96% less land, 87% less water and 89% fewer emissions according to an environmental life cycle analysis. Impossible Foods has filed approximately 7 international PCT patents since 2012 related to affinity reagents for protein purification, pH switchable reagents, soy-based cheese, ground meat replicas, etc. International patent publication number WO2015038796 filed by the company in September 2014 discloses methods and compositions for the expression and secretion of heme-containing polypeptides.

Wild Type Inc. with a team of five and backed up by Spark Capital is working on salmon meat. The company filed international patent publication number WO2018227016 in June 2018 that describes systems and methods to produce ex vivo meat with all claims affected by two patents and two scientific disclosures.

Cubiq Foods works on cultivated fat from animal cells like Omega-3 for industrial clients.

This developing market is the result of an adequate surrounding environment. For example, Counter Culture Labs is an American community of scientists and biotech professionals based in California that works as a hub helping synthetic biology projects and therefore synthetic meat to spin off. In relation to funding we have New Harvest, a public charity that was established in 2004 to operate as a research institute working in the field of cellular agriculture funding and conducting open, public, collaborative research to produce animal products without animals.

The first ones to punch will punch twice but successive initiatives and startups will also enjoy excellent opportunities provided further scientific studies assure quality and safety and public acceptance is widely met. As the market develops further suppliers and complementors will probably appear and new business models may emerge.

JM Cejudo, MSc in Biological Sciences

Disclaimer

We are not financial advisors. The content on this article and website are for educational purposes only and merely cite our own personal opinions. In order to make the best financial decision that suits your own needs, you must conduct your own research and seek the advice of a licensed financial advisor if necessary. Know that all investments involve some form of risk and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in making, saving, or investing money; nor is there any guarantee that you won’t experience any loss when investing. Always remember to make smart decisions and do your own research!

Any information regarding intellectual property (patents, copyright, etc.) are exclusively intended to be educational and in no way should be construed to be legal advice. Please consult a patent attorney or patent agent in order to obtain legal advice.

 

Blogs Directory

Antidepressants could be expanded in the treatment of migraine

Antidepressants are often used for migraine prophylaxis, but their use is limited to off-license. A high percentage of patients not fully satisfied with their current treatments could justify more research to develop licensed antidepressants to deal with this medical condition.

Main use of antidepressants

The purpose of prescribing antidepressants is to help relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders and other medical conditions that include migraine prophylaxis, at least used off-label. It is important to note that these medicines do not cure the disease but just treat symptoms.

Antidepressants
CRLifeSc recommends this book as part of its affiliate marketing. This volume reviews the known neurobiology of depression and combines classic data on antidepressant treatments with modern theory on the physiology of depression. It also discusses novel mechanism of action drugs.

The mechanism of action of these drugs is mainly based on targeting imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain that could be part or a consequence of the origin of these medical conditions.

Antidepressants in the treatment of migraine

Migraine and depression may share modulatory factors

Chronic stress and depression are frequent in migraineurs and thus seem to share, at least in part, modulatory factors. Just in the United States 8% – 12% of people aged over 12 years old are using antidepressants, with females representing approximately three quarters of patients. It is estimated that around 22% of migraineurs may be suffering from depression, and it seems common that patients are diagnosed with depression or anxiety just after being diagnosed with migraine – this may be influenced by the fact that antidepressants are not always covered by health insurance to treat migraine as a first-line therapy, particularly in the United States.

Migraineur

According to many studies, it seems obvious that serotonin plays a relevant role in migraine and depression.

Serotonin, released from brainstem serotonergic nuclei, is thought to be mediated by its direct action upon the cranial vasculature. Vessel vasodilation seems one of the main causes that result in migraine headaches. Other scientists have suggested that serotonin could intervene in central pain control pathways or could be the consequence of cerebral cortical projections of brainstem serotonergic nuclei. Low levels of serotonin could make easier the activation of the trigeminovascular nociceptive pathways in conjunction with cortical spreading depression.

In any case, serotonin receptors (5-HT receptors) have been one of the main targets in the development of antimigraine drugs. There are at least 7 classes and 14 subtypes of 5-HT receptors, all with varied biological effects. 5-HT1B serotonin agonists in blood vessels known as triptans are the most relevant antimigraine abortive drugs now. Still, triptans are also agonists at the 5-HT1D receptor, which contributes to their antimigraine effect caused by vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain.

On the other hand, scientists believe that an imbalance in serotonin levels, particularly diminished activity of serotonin pathways, may influence mood in a way that leads to depression. It is important to notice that this theory has not been fully substantiated though. Some authors suggest that an imbalance in serotonin levels may not be the only cause to suffer from depression and that other factors may also influence, or even be the main cause on their own for certain patients.

SAMe (S-adenosyl-l-methionine), an amino acid-based substance produced naturally throughout the human body, has been postulated as a potent antidepressant that could also be useful to treat migraines due to its modulating effect on serotonin. SAMe has been available as a dietary supplement in the US since 1999, but it has been used as a prescription drug in Germany since 1989.

Studies and experts’ opinions may lead us to think that serotonin levels and imbalances may affect certain individuals under certain circumstances that may prompt migraine and depression or anxiety disorders at the same time. However, it is clear that serotonin is not the only cause for migraine and depression because not all people suffering from migraine have depression and vice versa.

TCAs and SSRIs are the main antidepressant categories used in migraine prophylaxis

Focusing on the prevention of migraine, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective-serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most often used categories of antidepressants because these types of product seem to block serotonin reuptake. However, more selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are not very effective in migraine prevention. Within the TCA category amitriptyline and nortriptyline dominate this segment whilst duloxetine hydrochloride is the leading SSRI drug for migraine treatment.

From a patients’ profiling point of view, as an example, a study showed that migraine attacks after use of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) was reduced in all NOS3 genotypes (nitric oxide synthase 3) patients, though there was no significant effect in intensity of headache. Researchers detected an inhibitory role in migraine generation, predominantly in patients with homozygous genotype, due to the decreased frequency of migraine attacks.

Nonetheless, a major concern in the use of antidepressants is their side effects. The use of amitriptyline conveys major worries about suicidality that may not be worth running the risk of their prescription. Patients also report suicidal thoughts with other antidepressants including SAMe.

Serotonin syndrome may also happen in patients that take triptans, TCAs or SSRIs abusively. Symptoms for serotonin syndrome include high body temperature, agitation, increased reflexes, tremor, sweating, dilated pupils, and diarrhea. Under extreme circumstances it may also include seizures and extensive muscle breakdown.

Anyhow, antidepressants should be avoided in elderly migraineurs and patients with comorbid overweight, epilepsy, or concentration and mental psychic performance.

The antidepressants market in the treatment of migraine

In the United States no antidepressant is officially approved to treat migraine, but just in the US market amitriptyline may be generating more than $10.0 million annually specifically targeting this indication at manufacturers’ level. Both nortriptyline and duloxetine hydrochloride combined may be around another $10.0 million. In Germany and the United Kingdom amitriptyline is estimated to have sales of approximately $1.60 million and $2.99 million respectively per annum for the prevention of migraine alone.

Some products containing amitriptyline are approved for the treatment of migraine in Germany. In the United Kingdom this active ingredient is used unlicensed for migraine prophylaxis according to the British National Formulary (BNF). In the United States it is used off-label.

Amitriptyline oral tablets and combinations with chlordiazepoxide, a sedative drug, or perphenazine, an antipsychotic drug, are off patent.

Nortriptyline oral capsules and solution and duloxetine hydrochloride delayed release pellets capsules have also lost their patent protection.

Medical devices may treat migraine and depression too

The connection between depression and migraine is also perceived strongly in the interest shown by some companies in the development and use of medical devices.

Patent publication number WO9400189 filed in 1992 by Cyberonics describes alleviation of migraine attacks by selectively applying by electrodes a predetermined electrical signal to the patient’s vagus nerve with an implanted neurostimulator device. Cyberonics markets the Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy System, which was FDA-approved in 1997 and received CE Mark in 1994 for the treatment of refractory epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression. However, this is just an example as there are a large number of patents related to medical devices describing treatment of depression and migraine that have been filed by many companies.

In Europe, electroCore’s nVNS technology has a CE mark for primary headache (migraine and cluster headache), bronchoconstriction, epilepsy, gastric motility disorders, and anxiety and depression with medical prescription. gammaCore-S® is currently under study for the acute treatment of migraine.

The Fisher Wallace Stimulator received FDA clearance in 1991 for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, depression and pain, and it is occasionally used off-label for the treatment of migraine.

Antidepressants in personalized migraine prevention may be profitable

In a more personalized medicine in the near future there may be opportunities to develop antidepressants to treat specific subtypes of migraines with ameliorated adverse effects. Understanding serotonin pathways better and improving patients’ genetic profiling will help to find better targets.

The development of a more personalized medicine will force existing products to find their market niches. Improving formulations of existing antidepressants that fit better specific genetic or biochemical patients’ profiles may be profitable for companies and advantageous for these patients. Covering these improved formulations with patents in order to trade them may also be interesting for small companies that do not have the economic muscle to market the product. Prices will be necessarily higher, but a number of patients will increase their quality of life. If these improved formulations are similar enough to the original approved active ingredient the approval process may be shortened and thus costs will also be reduced.

For more information about the antimigraine market in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom please follow this link

Migraine Surgery
Migraine surgery is the only existing treatment option that can lead to a permanent symptomatic improvement. Surgical techniques and advances in the understanding of the underlying mechanisms are evolving rapidly. This book intends to familiarise surgeons with the concept of migraine headaches and explains the surgical deactivation of trigger sites, which consists of much more than the decompression of pericranial nerves.