Reducing Fibromyalgia Pain with CoQ10

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If you were ever looking for of a “wonder-drug,” you may have just stumbled across it. Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10 or just Q10, is found in every cell of the body. In fact, it’s essential for basic cell function. Q10 mainly plays role in energy production for cell growth and maintenance and it also acts as an antioxidant.

Furthermore, since it’s an enzyme, it works to digest food. You can actually find it as a naturally occurring enzyme in several foods. But experts say “levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.”

So, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, your options are limited and even more so if you also have soy and peanut allergies. Not to worry. Q1o is also available as a supplement in stores, but just be sure to check its source in case allergies are an issue.

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10, or “CoQ10,” is a substance made by the body and found in every cell of the body. The energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance is produced by CoQ10. CoQ10 also protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules due its antioxidant property.

It is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, and in larger concentrations in foods such as fish and meats, as well as oils from soybean, sesame and canola. Ubiquinol and ubiquinone are two forms of CoQ10. Both forms are present in many multi-ingredient supplements; however, ubiquinol has better antioxidant effectiveness than the ubiquinone form.

Dysfunction in mitochondria of the cells and lack of Q10

Several studies have shown that both dysfunctions in the mitochondria of muscle cells and lack of Q10 are involved, even though there can be many different underlying causes of fibromyalgia. Mitochondria are minute “powerhouses” present in every cell that convert fat, carbohydrate, and protein into energy with help from coenzyme Q10 and oxygen.

All body functions including monitoring, calcium signaling, and cell division are affected if the mitochondria fail to function correctly. Unlike cells in general, mitochondria are not able to repair to their own DNA. This makes them highly susceptible to free radical activity, which is increased enormously by stress, poisoning, and swelling.

Q10, by the way, is the only antioxidant that protects mitochondria against oxidative destruction caused by free radicals. Endogenously we humans produce the major part of our Q10, but this production reduces we grow older. The body’s Q10 levels may be reduced due to stress, certain diseases and some medicines.

CoQ10 for fibromyalgia

Research shows that people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have significantly low levels of CoQ10. Early studies have shown that Q10 is helpful for fibromyalgia patients but more research is still needed. This includes a “prominent reduction” in pain, fatigue, and morning tiredness.

That same study added, “Furthermore, we observed an important reduction in the pain visual scale (p<0.01) and a reduction in tender points (p<0.01), including recovery of inflammation, antioxidant enzymes, mitochondrial biogenesis, and AMPK gene expression levels, associated with phosphorylation of the AMPK activity.

These results lead to the hypothesis that CoQ10 have a potential therapeutic effect in FM [fibromyalgia], and indicate new potential molecular targets for the therapy of this disease. In other words, it worked. And that was just after 40 days of 300mg. Given all of the symptoms associated with fibro as well as the conditions Q10 can treat, that makes a lot of sense. Indeed, the Mayo Clinic now recommends taking 300mg for nine months to treat fibromyalgia.

CoQ10 is helpful for children too

In a second study, published in the journal, researchers looked at increased oxidative stress and CoQ10 deficiency in juvenile fibromyalgia patients. Lab tests conducted at the beginning of the study showed that children with fibromyalgia had significantly decreased serum plasma levels of ubiquinol, and a significantly increased ratio of ubiquinone (oxidized CoQ10) to total CoQ10, compared to healthy controls, suggesting that fibromyalgia is associated with CoQ10 deficiency and increased oxidative stress, according to the researchers.

Next, the researchers supplemented the children with 100 mg per day of ubiquinol-10 for 12 weeks. The patients saw significant improvements in chronic fatigue scores, as well increased Co10 levels and decreased ubiquinone levels. The researchers concluded that CoQ10 status may be impaired in subjects with juvenile fibromyalgia and that supplementation with CoQ10 may be of benefit. Fibromyalgia can be caused by a variety of triggers, with the most common being a viral infection, most commonly Epstein-Barr, Cytomegalo or HHV6.

A large number of fibromyalgia patients also have low thyroid hormone levels and thyroid receptor resistance that doesn’t appear on standard blood tests due to pituitary dysfunction. Adrenal insufficiency, growth hormone deficiency, and coagulation defect is often also seen in fibromyalgia patients.

Supplementation with CoQ10 can be a valuable addition to a multi-system approach that includes treatment with anti-viral medication, as well as addressing thyroid, adrenal and other hormone deficiencies. By using an integrated treatment program that also addresses any underlying issues, patients can see significant recovery or a complete resolution of symptoms.

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References:

  • Q10: Is Coenzyme Q10 a Wonder Drug for Fibro? by Tiffany Vance-Huffman via Fibromyalgia Treating
    • Coenzyme Q10 and fibromyalgia via Q10 Facts 

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