New research may help answer the age-old question of whether factors such as the weather or drinking red wine can set off a migraine.
According to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society in Los Angeles, both of these factors can trigger the excruciating headaches, but not for all people and not all the time.
One small study looked at 33 adults in Brazil who considered themselves regular red-wine drinkers and believed that the beverage had caused migraines in the past. All were asked to drink half a bottle (375 milliliters) of a Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wine from South America at least four days apart.
Although most participants reported having a migraine at least once within 12 hours of drinking wine, some wines were more to blame than others — specifically Tannat and Malbec. Both varieties contain higher levels of flavonoids known as tannins, which provide red wine’s rich coloring.