People who suffer from chronic migraines could find relief by eating more of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) found in fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout.

A clinical trial in the July 3, 2021, issue of The BMJ involved 182 people who averaged about 16 headache days per month with attacks lasting more than five hours each.

Study participants were randomly assigned to one of three diets: One was high in EPA and DHA (1.5 grams total per day) from fish and also high in linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid found in corn and soybean oils and some nuts and seeds). Another diet had high EPA and DHA and low linoleic acid levels. The third was a control diet high in linoleic acid and low in EPA and DHA (only 150 milligrams total per day), a ratio that reflects the average American diet.

After 16 weeks, those who ate the diets high in EPA and DHA had 30% to 40% fewer headache days per month and headache hours per day than people who had a lower intake of these omega-3s.

Source: Harvard Health publishing