Maylin Rodriguez Paez RNA strange illness plagues many Gulf War veterans. Their symptoms consist of insomnia, dizziness, exercise intolerance, rashes, diarrhea, and memory problems. These symptoms are collectively known as Gulf War Syndrome or Gulf War Illness.
Approximately 30% of the 700,000 soldiers deployed to the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War are estimated to have this condition, leaving many disabled.
A new study offers hope. CoQ10, an antioxidant often taken for heart problems, has been shown to improve symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome. The results were published in the November issue of Neural Computation.
CoQ10 Improved Symptoms in 82% of VeteransA total of 46 Gulf war veterans were recruited for the study. All were diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome and were randomized to receive 100 mg of CoQ10, 300 mg of CoQ10, or a placebo. The study was conducted over a period of three and a half months.
About 82% of the veterans taking CoQ10 showed improvement in measures of physical function. Symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and memory problems also improved.1
The veterans who most benefited had higher levels of CoQ10 in their blood.
Is Mitochondrial Dysfunction Behind Gulf War Syndrome?The exact cause of Gull War Syndrome is unknown. The use of vaccines or exposure to burning oil wells, uranium, pesticides, and even nerve gas have been cited as potential causes.
Some evidence points to pyridostigmine bromide, a chemical given to over 250,000 soldiers during the Gulf War. The purpose of the chemical was to protect soldiers against the deadly effects of nerve gas, but interestingly enough it produces mitochondrial damage.2, 3
Many of the symptoms experienced by the soldiers afflicted with Gulf War Syndrome are similar to the symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction (fatigue, exercise intolerance, and cognitive problems).
A small study published in March 2014 demonstrated that soldiers who fought in the Gulf War showed evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction in comparison to controls.2
If mitochondrial dysfunction is at the root of Gulf War Syndrome it’s not surprising to see improvements with CoQ10. CoQ10 enhances mitochondrial function, assisting in the body’s energy production process, and it shields the mitochondria from free radical damage.
Further studies should be conducted with other mitochondrial supporting agents.
- Neural Comput. 2014 Nov;26(11):2594-651.
- PLoS One. 2014 Mar 27;9(3):e92887.
- Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1985 Dec;5(6 Pt 2):S260-9.
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