If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, one of the symptoms you may have been experiencing is that of profound fatigue. You may feel each and every day as if you have just finished a marathon. Perhaps you awaken each and every morning feeling as if you could sleep for another ten hours. You would be willing to try anything that could help you bring back some vitality and vigor. Two supplements you should consider are Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone) and D-ribose.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone (ie, it is ubiquitous or found in every living cell) is necessary fuel for the mitochondria or the energy and power center of the cells in your body. Without it, the cells can’t work efficiently. There is some evidence that dysfunction of the mitochondria may be important in the development of fibromyalgia. The authors of one study concluded that levels of ubiquinone were very low in the cells and tissues of the body (where they need to be) compared to the high levels found in the inflammatory or immune- related cells. (where they shouldn’t be). Ubiquinone is vital for proper mitochondrial functioning. This is crucial, especially in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Another supplement that your muscle cells need for energy and optimal functioning is D-ribose. This is a natural sugar that aids in the formation of ATP (or adenosine triphosphate for short). ATP is the fundamental unit of energy for any cell. Without adequate levels of ATP, your mitochondria does not have the energy it needs to optimally function. It is like trying to operate a car without fuel or low octane fuel. Supplementation with D-ribose has been demonstrated to improve the energy level and decrease the pain of those with fibromyalgia.
While taking each of these supplements separately can help in the treatment of fibromyalgia, the effect of taking both of them is likely to be immensely helpful. As with any supplement, smaller doses taken two to three times a day improve absorption and provide a better therapeutic benefit. The usual starting doses for Ubiquinone are 50-100 mg two to three times a day. D-ribose is available in capsule or powdered form. The powdered form is very well tolerated, and it is reasonable to start at 2500 mg daily and increase the frequency of this supplement to two to three times a day.
Be aware that these two supplements also have a heart benefit as well. Just as they can increase the energy and power to the muscle cells of your body, this “power couple” also can increase the energy to the cells in your heart as well! Don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare practitioner about incorporating these two supplements into your daily regimen.
By: Dr. Rich Snyder, DO
- Cordero MD, CotainD et al. “Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves clinical symptoms and recovers pathologic alterations in blood mononuclear cells in a fibromyalgia patient.” Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1200-3.
- Cordero MD, Cotan D et al. “Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves clinical symptoms and recovers pathologic alterations in blood mononuclear cells in a fibromyalgia patient.” Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1200-3
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- Miyamae T, Seki M et al. “Increased oxidative stress and coenzyme Q10 deficiency in juvenile fibromyalgia: amelioration of hypercholesterolemia and fatigue by ubiquinol-10 supplementation. Redux Report. 2013;18(1):12-9
- Teitelbaum J, Johnson C et al. “The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2006 Nov;12(9):857-62.
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