Publications : 2022

Li H, Krall JR, Frankenfeld C, Slavin M. 2022. Nutritional intake of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and probable migraine: A cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2004. Nutr Neurosci 29:1–10,



Clinical studies demonstrate that supplemental riboflavin is an efficacious and low risk prophylactic treatment for migraine. However, background riboflavin intake of adults with migraine from nutritional sources has not been evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate riboflavin consumption of adults with migraine in the United States, and further investigate the relationship between nutritional riboflavin consumption and the prevalence of migraine among adults.


This cross-sectional secondary analysis included 3439 participants ages 20–50 years old in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2004. Presence of migraine in the past three months was self-reported. Riboflavin intake was determined from one 24-hour recall interview. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for riboflavin intake quartiles using an adjusted logistic regression model. Statistical significance was determined using an adjusted Wald test.


Results showed that mean dietary consumption of riboflavin fulfilled the Recommended Dietary Allowance for migraine and control groups. Dietary riboflavin intake was associated with the odds of migraine (pWald = 0.002), but no association was found for supplemental or total riboflavin consumption (pWald = 0.479 and 0.136). When stratified by gender, there was no association of dietary riboflavin with migraine in males (pWald = 0.423), but an association was observed in females (pWald = 0.014).


The RDA value for riboflavin was not relevant for assessing odds of migraine; however, differing odds of migraine were detected across dietary riboflavin consumption groups at levels above the RDA. Future riboflavin supplementation trials for migraine prophylaxis should consider measuring background dietary intake.