A recent study has suggested that increasing the intake of coffee or similar caffeinated beverages can increase the risk of migraine in people who are prone to the disease. As per the study published by the Harvard researchers in The American Journal of Medicine, a person who normally takes one or two cups of coffee, if he takes one more extra cup of coffee that might trigger a severe headache.
Elizabeth Mostofsky, lead author of the study said that drinking one or two caffeinated drinks did not lead to migraine in people who had episodic migraine. However she said that having three drinks a day was linked to a higher risk of migraine. She has told to NBC News that these studies suggest that one should limit to a maximum of two servings of caffeinated beverages a day to stay away from migraine.
To study the impact caused by caffeine on migraines, 98 volunteers were recruited, most of whom were women who suffered two to fifteen headaches a month. The volunteers kept a note of their lifestyle factors such as physical activity, stress levels as well as alcohol and caffeine consumption for a period of about six weeks. 66% of the total participants reported that they had taken one to two servings of caffeinated beverages per day and 20% said that they completely stayed away from caffeinated beverages. About 12% had reported to have taken three to four servings a day. On the whole, 825 migraines were reported during the period of 4,467 days of study.
In majority of the people, they did not find a link between migraines and having less than two servings a day of caffeinated drinks. However in people who completely stayed away from caffeine consumption, the headache risk increased by having just one or two servings. Similar was the case with people who had one to two servings a day. Headache risk increased when their consumption went beyond three servings. The odds of getting a migraine was found to be 1.4 times greater in people who had more than three servings and it was 2.61 times greater in those who had greater than five servings a day.
The associate professor of neurology at University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC Headache Center, Dr. Laurie Knepper said that they always counseled their patients to limit their coffee intake to 8-12 ounces a day.