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Various neurotransmitters are involved in headaches:


The role of serotonin is confirmed by the efficacy of triptan drugs, that are serotonin agonists, i.e. they are so similar to serotonin to be exchanged for it. Thus, the importance of increasing serotonin availability is essential.

Unluckily due to their side effects, a frequent use in grown ups is discouraged and they cannot be prescribed to teenagers.

Serotonin is synthesized by tryptophan (Trp) only. Trp is an essential amino-acid (see serotonin synthesis).


It originates from histidine decarboxylation. Histidine is an essential amino-acid (see dysbiosis histidine).

Headache patients feature high plasma levels of histamine. Eating foods rich in histamine as well as their inhalations, generates headache attacks in vulnerable subjects,.

The role of intestinal flora on these neurotransmitters’ precursors availability:

A dysbiotic flora (see dysbiosis) excessively decarboxylates all of protein amino-acids.

Trp is decarboxylated into indole and skatole (see trp dysbiosis), thus reducing serotonin synthesis.

Histidine is decarboxylated into histamine, thus increasing its brain uptake.

An altered intestinal flora therefore produces two distinguished effects: serotonin reduction and histamine increase, that strengthen cephaleas’ pathogenetic mechanisms.

Patients very often remark that their headache attack is caused by eating foods that are rich of histidine, while the assumption of carbohydrates mitigates these attacks due a better brain uptake induced by the insulin response to carbs.

Reducing dysbiosis enables to increase serotonin brain synthesis and to reduce histamine’s brain level.