Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that is made by our bodies. However, its production declines naturally as we get older. In addition, statin drugs, taken for lowering cholesterol, deplete CoQ10. In Canada, the government requires that statin drug labels carry a warning about CoQ10 depletion.
Food is not a significant source of CoQ10. The nutrient is found in very small quantities in meat, especially organ meats, but these amounts are not sufficient to produce health benefits. Supplements are the only therapeutic source.
Without CoQ10, the mitochondria in cells simply can’t do their job. Studies have found that compared to healthy people, levels of CoQ10 are significantly lower in those
with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. CoQ10 supplementation can be very helpful in relieving symptoms.
In one study, 300 mg of CoQ10 a day significantly reduced pain, fatigue, and morning stiffness among people with fibromyalgia. Benefits were measured after 40 days of supplementation, but clinical experience shows that improvement usually occurs gradually. Some people may notice benefits after only a few days of supplementation.
In addition to providing fuel for mitochondria, CoQ10 is an antioxidant, and reduces levels of harmful molecules known as free radicals. It also reduces inflammation and protects mitochondria.
The researchers, whose study was published in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, concluded that CoQ10 could be part of an effective therapy for fibromyalgia.
Other studies show that the supplement is equally important for people with CFS. For example, a study published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters noted that “symptoms, such as fatigue, and autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms may be caused by CoQ10 depletion.”
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