Two studies examined the effects of foods containing aspartame or chocolate on the course of headaches. Daily consumption of foods containing high doses of aspartame for 4 weeks increased the frequency, but not the severity, of headaches in migraine patients, who, prior to the experiment, noted the occurrence of headaches when taking it. The test participants received huge doses of aspartame (300 mg) four times a day, which is equivalent to the daily consumption of 12 cans of baking soda or 32 packs of sweetener per month.
The study of low doses of the substance in the framework of the test was not conducted; however, as a result of the regular use of such a large amount of aspartame, only a slight increase in headaches was found.
In another study, the effect of chocolate on headache provocation was studied. 63 women with chronic headaches took part in the trial. Women were asked to follow a diet based on the exclusion of foods that usually aggravate headaches, and to divide 60 g of chocolate in the tiles into four doses, noting the frequency of headaches before and after changing the diet. Two tiles were chocolate, and two did not contain chocolate.
In order for chocolate to be indistinguishable from placebo, all samples had a mint flavor. Even women who considered chocolate to be a provoking factor had less frequent use of headaches than in the placebo group. The activity of the headaches did not increase even if the pseudo-diet was observed, which included peanut butter, cola or pizza (fresh yeast bread combined with tomato sauce) used with chocolate.
The use of specific foods usually did not aggravate the flow of headaches; at the same time, it was found that fasting significantly worsens the course of headaches, in connection with which patients were recommended regular split meals throughout the day. Moreover, relief of headaches was facilitated by fluid intake in an optimal volume. In a small study, the increase in daily fluid intake per liter was accompanied by a slight decrease in the frequency of headaches.