Hi All,

Dr Steve Novella over at Neurologica posted some interesting analysis on some research on coffee and caffeine. Migraine is mentioned:


Caffeine is one of the most, if not the most, commonly consumed drugs among humans. A 2005 extensive survey found that 87% of Americans consume caffeine regularly, with an average intake of 193 mg per day.

While many people feel that caffeine is a performance enhancing substance, the evidence has been largely against this notion, if somewhat mixed. But a recent large study ( … 1071a.html) strongly supports the evidence against any true cognitive or alertness benefit for caffeine.

The study authors looked at 162 non/low caffeine users and 217 medium/high caffeine users. They had participants refrain from caffeine use then challenged them with increasing doses of caffeine or placebo, and assessed their anxiety, alertness and headaches.

They found that caffeine withdrawal (giving placebo to high caffeine users) caused increased headaches and decreased alertness. This is no surprise and supports prior research. In my own practice I see a great deal of caffeine withdrawal headaches and can sometimes “cure” patients just by having them stop their daily caffeine use.

Caffeine also caused anxiety in non caffeine users, especially those with certain genetic variants. However, it did not increase anxiety in regular users, who therefore seem to be tolerant to the anxiety-producing effects of caffeine – even if they had the susceptible gene variants.

The take home is that regular use of caffeine produces no benefit to alertness, energy, or function. Regular caffeine users are simply staving off caffeine withdrawal with every dose – using caffeine just to return them to their baseline. This makes caffeine a net negative for alertness, or neutral at best if use is regular enough to avoid any withdrawal.

Migraneurs should also avoid caffeine as it can worsen a migraine syndrome.

Scott 8)

so do you wanna come to mine for a cuppu?
Hmmm maybe not.

jen 8)

Make it a double espresso with a big spoonful of sugar. I want to really trip out. :shock:

“Migraneurs should also avoid caffeine as it can worsen a migraine syndrome.”

I wish he would elaborate on this more. Does he mean in withdrawal from caffeine or as a trigger or during an attack? I can say that strangely enough, I can stop a migraine attack WITH caffeine! Even though I am not supposed to any more (meaning the doc wants me to use other meds, plus I am not having migraine attacks like I used to now I that I am on Topamax), I can say that when I did have a typical attack, downing a few Exederin tablets (chewable) would stop the migraine in mid-cycle. As you know, Excederin has caffeine in it. So this is most curious.

yep ,
it’s true,
if I can catch it quick enough, early during the Aura stage, coffee can knock the migraine out.
it’s all too confusing.

Excellent Scottie, see you soon. :lol:


Nothing particularly startling here, but for what it’s worth, here’s a press release I received, just out of embargo today. If anyone’s especially interested, I’ll exercise my media-given power and look through a copy of the ding an sich.

Alcohol Use and Smoking Are Associated with Headaches in High Schoolers
Study Says, Coffee Drinking and Inactivity Contribute to Migraines in Teens

A novel study by German researchers reported that alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking were associated with increased migraines and tension-type headaches (TTH) in high school students. Coffee drinking and physical inactivity were associated specifically with migraines. Results of this study, the first to investigate modifiable risk factors for different types of headaches in a youth population, appear online early in Headache, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Headache Society.

Prior studies have indicated that headache is one of the most frequently reported health complaints in adolescents with 5%-15% of this age group suffering from migraine and 15%-25% with TTH. Modifiable risk factors, such as alcohol use, cigarette smoking and coffee drinking which have been associated with headache in adults, have not been fully explored in a youth population.

Astrid Milde-Busch, Ph.D. and colleagues at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany invited 1,260 students in grades 10 and 11 (aged 14-20) from eleven area public schools to participate in the study. The students were asked to fill out a questionnaire on headache and associated lifestyle factors. Students were asked: ‘Did you have headache during the last seven days/three months/six months?’ and were classified as headache sufferers if the response was positive. Furthermore, migraine and TTH were differentiated by questions regarding headache characteristics and symptoms. The questionnaire also inquired about diet and lifestyle (e.g. ‘Do you daily have breakfast before you go to school?’; ‘How much beer, wine and cocktails do you normally drink?’; ‘How much coffee do you normally drink?’; ‘Do you smoke?’).

Research results show 83.1% of students reported headache at least once during the previous six months with 10.2% reporting migraine; 48.7% citing TTH; and 19.8% having combined migraine plus TTH. For diet, 28.4% of students never had breakfast; 16.5% did not eat a daily break meal (snack); and only 24.0% had a daily warm lunch. Researchers found that 22.3% of students consumed less than 1 liter (4.23 8 ounce cups) of non-alcoholic drinks per day. Alcohol consumption, however, was widespread among students in the study with 38.5%, 18.6%, and 25.3% drinking beer, wine, and cocktails at least once per week, respectively. Results also showed that 73.3% of participants reported never smoking and 43.4% students noted that they did not drink coffee.

The authors found that a high consumption of alcoholic drinks and coffee, smoking, and lack of physical activity were significantly associated with migraine plus TTH episodes. There was a significant association of coffee drinking and physical inactivity with migraine. “Our study confirms, adolescents with any type of headache might benefit from regular physical activity and low consumption of alcoholic drinks,” commented Dr. Milde-Busch. “In teens suffering from migraine a low coffee consumption should also be suggested.” Skipping meals or insufficient fluid intake was not associated with any type of headache.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75% of high school students in the U.S. have had one or more alcoholic drinks during their lifetime (2007). A 2004 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that alcohol consumption by those under 20 varies by country and “a trend of increased drinking to intoxication.” Cigarette smoking is another modifiable risk factor in which youths engage and a 2002 WHO report estimated about 1 in every 5 teens worldwide (aged 13–15) smoke. “A great number of teens are engaging in activities such as drinking and smoking which can trigger headaches,” concluded Dr. Milde-Busch. “Intervention studies that assess psycho-education programs to educate youths about headache-triggering behaviors are recommended.”

Full citation: Article: “Associations of Diet and Lifestyle with Headache in High-School Students.” Astrid Milde-Busch, Astrid Blaschek, Ingo Borggräfe, Florian Heinen, Andreas Straube, and Rüdiger von Kries. Headache; Published Online: June 07, 2010 (DOI:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2010.01706.x).

so Dave,
DoYA! wanna come to mine too.
have a coffee and some chocky cake , with almonds on top? :shock:
TI ti ti heeeee :smiley:

— Begin quote from “jennyd”

so Dave,
DoYA! wanna come to mine too.
have a coffee and some chocky cake , with almonds on top? :shock:
TI ti ti heeeee :smiley:

— End quote

I can imagine!

So that’s what I tell myself–at least I’ve had the experience. Hey, for one of my sweetie’s birthdays I bought her a pound of nibs. The real thing. I’ve never had a coffee that got me as wired as a cookie would, with nibs in it in place of chips. Too much, frankly. They never got much used, after our initial experiments with them; eventually they got tossed, after our fridge died and everything in the freezer (where we kept them) went manky.