Although some people claim that there are foods which cause migraines, recent research reveals that we shouldn’t blame food but the bacteria everyone have in their mouth.
Scientists discovered that those with migraines had more bacteria in the mouth and these bacteria modified chemicals known as nitrates. In terms of mouth hygiene, doctors underline that the bacteria in our mouths play an essential role in breaking the food down.
However, when people have more of these germs, they risk not just having severe headaches but also the development of halitosis, or traditionally said, bad breath. Some foods contain more nitrates than others, so experts underline that people should reduce the daily consumption of these products.
For instance, processed meats contain the highest level of nitrates which might be responsible for triggering migraines. Nitrates are converted by bacteria into a potentially dangerous chemical, called nitric oxide.
Even so, researchers stressed that their findings only point out a link between nitric oxide and migraines, not a cause-and-effect link. Still, they hope this study will encourage other scientists to join their efforts in this investigation.
According to Antonio Gonzalez, lead author and a University of California programmer analyst, if people are aware of these risks they should change their dietary habits by reducing the daily intake of nitrates.
During the survey, the team collected 172 oral samples and around 2,000 fecal samples from thousands of healthy participants involved in the American Gut Project, which is a large science project across the United States.
By analyzing the biomes in the participants’ fecal and oral samples, researchers concluded that those with severe headaches experienced significant levels of bacteria in their digestive systems, and mouths.
In addition to these facts, the American Gut Project findings revealed that people with migraines had high amounts of nitrate-reducing germs compared with those who didn’t suffer from migraines.
Gonzalez further added that ‘There is this idea out there that certain foods trigger migraines — chocolate, wine, and especially foods containing nitrates.’ Although it might sound surprising, there is no current treatment for migraines. That is why scientists hope that this study will lead the way to other surveys that will address this issue.
There are 38 million Americans with migraines, and a significant part of them confessed they consumed foods that had a high level of nitrates. Plus, nitrates were found in some medications as well.
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