By Michael A. Smith, MDFibromyalgia is a relatively common disease that affects 2% of the U.S. adult population.1 Despite its prevalence, it still remains somewhat elusive.
People with fibromyalgia may experience pain that lasts for months or even years. Some people live in constant pain with the condition, and this can get worse over time.
Fortunately, finding relief and improving quality of life is possible by targeting supplementation. Here are three pathological processes related to fibromyalgia that nutrients can help with:
- Low levels of ATP, the energy molecule.
- High levels of oxidative damage.
- Increased systemic inflammation.
Optimize Cell Energy Production by Boosting ATPAdenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy molecule for all of the cells in your body. One study demonstrated that people with fibromyalgia tend to have low levels of ATP.2
As a result, boosting ATP production is an appropriate goal. Here are the supplements that can help:
- D-Ribose is a 5-carbon sugar that forms the base of ATP. Supplementing with 3 grams a day may be helpful in boosting ATP production.3
- Magnesium is essential to healthy muscle function. The enzymes that metabolize ATP to release energy require magnesium to function. Multiple controlled clinical studies have found that magnesium is effective in relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.4
- Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Shilajit enhances cellular energy by increasing ATP production better than CoQ10 alone. For instance, the combination increased brain energy 40% more than CoQ10 alone and increased energy in the heart 27% more than CoQ10 alone.5
Reduce Widespread Oxidative Damage with AntioxidantsMore and more studies are finding high levels of oxidative damage — reactive oxygen molecules that damage important cellular structures like DNA6 — in people with fibromyalgia and related disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome.7,8
One of the key oxidants implicated in these related disorders is called peroxynitrite. Researchers from Washington State University have hypothesized that antioxidants may help minimize damage from peroxynitrite and subsequently improve the severity of symptoms.9
So which antioxidants can help combat oxidative damage? Here are some suggestions:
- Blueberries anthocyanins
- Vitamins C & E
- Pomegranate polyphenols
- Reduced L-glutathione
Ease Systemic Inflammation NaturallyHigh levels of systemic inflammation have also been reported in people with fibromyalgia.10 As a result, easing inflammation with specific nutrients can go a long way in helping people with the disease feel better.
Here are some suggestions for easing inflammation:
- Black tea theaflavins can help turn off specific genes in your DNA that express inflammatory cytokines.11
- Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric. It’s been shown to inhibit the effects of the master inflammatory molecule, called NF-kappaB.12
- Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats have been shown to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2, an enzyme used to produce powerful pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.13
Which Nutrients Are Right for You?After you’ve read and absorbed this post, please head over to our fibromyalgia protocol for even more info on the nutrients covered here.
Next, consider calling one of our advisors for personalized guidance and suggestions - they’re always happy to help: 1-800-226-2370.
Do you or a loved one suffer from fibromyalgia? Have any of these nutrients helped make a difference? Please share your experiences in the comments.
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- Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jun;63(6):985S-990S.
- Rheumatol Int. 2005 Apr;25(3):188-90.
- Rheumatol Int. 2006 May;26(7):585-97.
- Med Hypotheses. 2000 Jan;54(1):115-25.
- Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Dec;29(12):1403-12
- Crit Care Med. 2004 Oct;32(10):2097-103.
- J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2004 Aug;6(4):367-7.
- Drug News Perspect. 2008 Dec;21(10):552-61.
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