Migraines linked with certain types of mouth bacteria

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

About 38 million Americans are afflicted with migraines, a condition which has largely remained a mystery to the medical community.

However, a new study led by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has found that the extreme headaches may be linked with bodily microbes.

SEE ALSO: 'Unhealthy' food may help prevent Alzheimer's

As one of the authors has explained in a news release, the research was prompted by a common theory that "certain foods trigger migraines—chocolate, wine, and especially foods containing nitrates."

Speaking of chocolate, ever wonder how it's made?

15 PHOTOS
Chocolate making
See Gallery
Chocolate making
A sample of liquid cocoa product, heated to 65 degrees celsius, sits in a test tray after collection from a storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Shavings of pressed cocoa butter sit before processing at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sample of liquid cocoa product, heated to 65 degrees celsius, sits in a test tray after collection from a storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sample of liquid cocoa product, heated to 65 degrees celsius, sits in a test tray after collection from a storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Shavings of pressed cocoa powder sit before melting at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee prepares a jar of hot liquid cocoa butter for testing in the control laboratory at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Shavings of pressed cocoa powder sit before melting at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee prepares a sample of liquid cocoa product for testing in the control laboratory at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee moves a pallet containing boxes of compressed cocoa butter around a storage area at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee unwraps a large briquette of compressed cocoa powder for smelting at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee pours a sample of liquid cocoa product, heated to 65 degrees celsius, from a storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee holds a sample of liquid cocoa product, heated to 65 degrees celsius, after collecting it from a storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee walks across the top of a liquid cocoa product storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee pours a sample of liquid cocoa product, heated to 65 degrees celsius, from a storage tank at the new Transmar Group plant which makes cocoa products for Russian chocolate makers in Ozery, Russia, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Transmar Group, one of the world's largest independent cocoa processors, is targeting the $7.3 billion Russian chocolate market by opening a new factory. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The team accessed the American Gut Project database to analyze the bacteria in 172 oral and nearly 2,000 fecal samples.

They found that those participants who admitted to migraines were more likely to have the kind of microbes that break nitrates down into nitrites.

Because nitrites can be further reduced to nitric oxide, a substance associated with migraines, the team concluded that the bacteria, especially those found in the mouth, are also a likely factor.

The researchers' next step is to further examine oral bacteria and the frequency and severity of migraines.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Best Bites by AOL and receive delicious recipes delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.