Metabolites are substances that are made or used when the body breaks down food, drugs, or chemicals during metabolism. Its alteration could be behind the migraines.

This is at least what a new genetic study carried out by researchers at the QUT Center for Genomics and Personalized Health suggests and which has been published in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Three levels of metabolites

The relationships observed between genetic factors influencing blood metabolite levels and the genetic risk of migraine suggest an alteration of metabolites in people with migraine. The team identified causal genetic links with three levels of metabolites in the blood that increase the risk of migraine:

  • Lower levels of DHA, an omega-3 known to reduce inflammation. People with migraine had higher levels of shorter fatty acids except for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a very long-chain omega-3 that protects against migraine headaches.
  • Higher levels of LPE (20: 4), a chemical that blocks an anti-inflammatory molecule.
  • Lower levels of a third metabolite, currently uncharacterized, called X-11315.

These genetic links could now be the target of future research and clinical trials to develop and test compounds that influenced metabolite levels and prevented migraine headaches.