Co-Enzyme Q10 Deficiency & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME

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There is now a growing body of scientific evidence which has found that many individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME have lower blood plasma levels of a mitochondrial nutrient called Co-Enzyme Q10.

Co-Enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance which is heavily involved in cellular energy(ATP) production and has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a medical illness characterized by disorders in inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways, the main characteristic symptom being profound disabling fatigue not alleviated by rest and sleep.

One study from 2009 concluded that – “Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is related to fatigue, autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms and is another risk factor explaining the early mortality in ME/CFS due to cardiovascular disorder.”

The study found that blood plasma levels of Co-Enzyme Q10 were significantly lower in ME/CFS patients than in normal controls.

Individuals with very low CoQ10 levels suffered significantly more symptoms such as concentration and memory disturbances, not to mention fatigue and autonomic related symptoms.

Overall the study concluded – “The results show that lowered levels of CoQ10 play a role in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS and that symptoms, such as fatigue, and autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms may be caused by CoQ10 depletion. Our results suggest that patients with ME/CFS would benefit from CoQ10 supplementation in order to normalize the low CoQ10 syndrome and the IO&NS disorders.

The findings that lower CoQ10 is an independent predictor of chronic heart failure (CHF) and mortality due to CHF may explain previous reports that the mean age of ME/CFS patients dying from CHF is 25 years younger than the age of those dying from CHF in the general population. Since statins significantly decrease plasma CoQ10, ME/CFS should be regarded as a relative contraindication for treatment with statins without CoQ10 supplementation.” [1]

 

The research here confirms that the pathophysiology of ME/CFS has real physical biochemical causes, which the end result here is mitochondrial dysfunction due to energy co-factor nutrient deficiencies such as Co-Enzyme Q10.

Hopefully, this can finally put to bed the out-dated “myth” that CFS is merely a psychosomatic/mental condition and should be treated with anti-depressants and an non-evidence based CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy).

The above study also highlights the vital importance of detecting Co-Enzyme Q10 deficiency early, as low levels of CoQ10 were found to be another risk factor in the early death in ME/CFS patients due to cardiovascular disorder.

Co-Enzyme Q10 is an extremely important nutrient for cardiovascular health, multiple studies have found that CoQ10 can improve many areas of heart health such as lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, stabilizing arrhythmia’s, and preventing congestive heart failure.

Scientific research hasn’t only found that levels of Co-Enzyme Q10 are lower in CFS/ME patients, but multiple human clinical studies also indicate that Co-Enzyme Q10 supplementation can clinically improve symptom’s especially related to fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

The best form of Co-Enzyme Q10, in my opinion, is the reduced form called Ubiquinol, which studies have found to be significantly better absorbed than many other Co-Enzyme Q10 supplements.

References

1. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is related to fatigue, autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms and is another risk factor explaining the early mortality in ME/CFS due to cardiovascular disorder.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010505

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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