I’ve read one of my emails on fibromyalgia (1). Though I don’t think that “an estimated 50-70 percent of fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome”, I thought it worth wise to look at what there is to find. 70% is a good estimation, when it comes to fatigue in fibromyalgia patients, but the chronic fatigue syndrome is an entity of its own. Some people think that there is an overlap, but I have a different point of view. Fatigue is a very frequent symptom in fibromyalgia.
Let’s go into detail. I've read: “While there is still no concrete known cause of fibromyalgia – many researchers suspect that mitochondrial dysfunction plays some role. Mitochondrial dysfunction disrupts the mitochondria’s ability to convert fuel into energy for the cells.” “Many researchers” – I see two Spanish groups, one in Barcelona and the other in Seville. I’ve looked at recent (2,3) and older studies.
M.D. Cordero and colleagues see an activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in fibromyalgia (4). They concluded: “These findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of FM and suggest that NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition [capacity of CoQ10 in the control of inflammasome] represents a new therapeutic intervention for the disease.” As the fibromyalgia group was very small and had been split up into two groups, each N=10, the results need to confirmed in larger groups.
J. Castro-Marrero and colleagues asked the question (5): “Could mitochondrial dysfunction be a differentiating marker between chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia?” they studied 23 CFS patients, 20 FM patients, and 15 healthy controls and came to the conclusion: “These data lead to the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction-dependent events could be a marker of differentiation between CFS and FM, indicating the mitochondria as a new potential therapeutic target for these conditions.” They came to a hypothesis. Actually they came to two ones: 1. mitochondrial dysfunction could be a marker for fibromyalgia, and 2. Mitochondria could be a therapeutic target. But both need to be tested.
M.D. Cordero and colleagues presented results in 2012 (6): “After CoQ10 treatment, the patient reported a significant improvement of clinical symptoms. At the cellular level, CoQ10 treatment restored mitochondrial dysfunction and the mtDNA copy number, decreased oxidative stress, and increased mitochondrial biogenesis. Our results suggest that CoQ10 could be an alternative therapeutic approach for FM.”
Summing up, mitochondria dysfunction could be involved in fibromyalgia. Some hypothesis still waits to be tested. Very early stage of scientific research.
1. Eat more antioxidant-rich superfoods
I’m with you in this.
“Try adding these antioxidant-rich foods to your grocery list:
Russet Potatoes (cooked)“
2. Try Antioxidant Supplements:
“Take Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Take Co-Enzyme Q10
Sorry, but supplements haven’t proven to have an advantage.
3. Eat More Healthy Fats:
“Oily Fish (or take a fish oil supplement)
Flax Seeds or Flax Seed Oil”
No need for supplements. I don’t see the rule, which makes one of these fats healthy and others not. In this list you have omega-9, omega-6, omega-3 as well saturated fatty acids.
4. Take a Magnesium Supplement
No! Please eat spinach, bananas, dried fruit, almonds, chard, yoghurt, beans, avocado, figs, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, dark chocolate, okra, quinoa, lentils, …
5. Watch your calories
Yes?! And then? O.K. Keeping an eye on weight control is more than O.K.
6. Watch your fructose consumption
That’s a good idea. Especially try to avoid High fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
7. Stimulate Mitochondria with exercise
Exercise is a good idea. Don’t over exercise, though!
8. Try Taking a PQQ Supplement
No human study to support the idea of a PQQ supplement to improve fibromyalgia. PQQ stands for Pyrroloquinoline quinone – try to pronounce a couple of times and think of taking it. Or better, read the article on Wikipedia (7), where you find: “A 2017 study found that PQQ had protective effect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a mouse model.”
What is the gist? Eat healthy and exercise.