8 Energy-Boosting Supplements for Fighting Fibromyalgia Fatigue
Mar 30, 2012 (updated Feb 6, 2015)
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Fatigue, often extreme fatigue, is a key symptom of fibromyalgia. For many, it can be even more debilitating than the pain.
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It is the job of the mitochondria to supply energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Scientists have found that people with fibromyalgia have low levels of ATP and a reduced capacity to produce ATP in our muscles. Following are supplements recommended by many fibromyalgia specialists for increasing energy and reducing fatigue.
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CoQ10 is the catalyst that makes it possible for the mitochondria to produce ATP, the molecule upon which all cellular functions in the body depend. A severe CoQ10 deficiency can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which in turn has a serious negative impact on multiple organs and body systems.
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NADH sets off a chemical chain reaction by transforming Coenzyme Q10 into its reduced form, which then serves as the catalyst that makes it possible for the mitochondria to produce ATP. Every molecule of NADH results in the production of three molecules of ATP energy. Without NADH, the mitochondria cannot produce energy and the cells will die.
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Many people with fibromyalgia have a relatively low B12 level. Even minor B12 deficiencies can cause anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness. B12 is best taken in a sublingual form or by injection because it is not absorbed well in the stomach.
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Perhaps best known for its ability to improve memory and cognitive functioning problems, Acetyl-L-Carnitine also aids in reducing fatigue. According to a 2007 study, L-Carnitine supplementation improved both physical energy levels and cognitive function in centenarians (people 100 years of age and older).
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D-Ribose is a naturally-occurring sugar used in cell metabolism and the production of energy. It has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in the heart and skeletal muscles. A 2006 pilot study showed that D-ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and ME/CFS.
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Magnesium and malic acid
When intracellular magnesium is low, the muscles are not able to relax and make energy. The combination of magnesium and malic acid works with the muscles to help them manufacture more ATP, resulting in more energy.
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Studies have shown that people with fibromyalgia have decreased growth hormone levels (IGF-1), a symptom of which is fatigue. Bovine colostrum contains growth hormone that is essentially identical to human IGF-1. Dr. Pelligrino says that 75 percent of his FM patients report improvement in their energy level and ability to concentrate when taking bovine colostrum.
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More than 34 human studies on ginkgo biloba show that it increases the body's production of the energy molecule ATP. This, in turn, boosts the brain's energy metabolism of glucose and increases electrical activity, resulting in more energy and improved cognitive functioning.