Researched Supplements For Fibromyalgia

Welcome to my blog post ‘The Most Researched Supplements For Fibromyalgia ‘.

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Muscle pain has been associated with deficiencies in amino acids, magnesium, selenium, vitamins B and D, as well as with the harmful effects of heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, and lead. Research indicates that patients deficient in certain essential nutrients may develop dysfunction of pain inhibitory mechanisms together with fatigue and other FM symptoms. Additionally, mercury and other toxic elements may interfere with the bioavailability of essential nutrients. This review examines the many effects of metals and vitamins in pain evaluation of FM patients.

Dietary guidance is therefore critical for FM patients to help them in correcting a suboptimal or deficient intake of essential nutrients. When optimal levels of nutrition are achieved, pain levels are usually lowered.

B Vitamins

Some FM patients might have B vitamin deficiencies, especially B12. The positive effects of B12/folic acid supplementation for FM patients have been reported. In this study of FM patients who reported themselves as “much improved” subjects had been given higher, more frequent doses for a longer period. Furthermore, increased levels of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid and low levels of B12 in the brain of FM subjects were described and further associated with FM-related musculoskeletal pain. In many of these cases, FM patients may benefit from B vitamin supplements.

B Vitamin Supplement: Click here.

Vitamin D

In some FM patients, problems may be associated with low vitamin D levels, which also interferes with the absorption of Mg.

One study demonstrated a strong association between fibromyalgia symptoms and vitamin D deficiency. Also, studies on the muscles of vitamin D deficient patients showed a reduction of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, similar to those of FM patients, causing acute pain. Another study showed that deficiency of vitamin D was related to depression and anxiety in FM. It has been reported that vitamin D supplementation can improve the quality of life in FM patients.

Ninety FM patients with mild to moderate vitamin D deficiency were randomly assigned to receive 50,000 units of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) per week compared with a placebo. After 8 weeks of intervention, the treated group showed a significant improvement in FM scores, in contrast to the placebo group.

All of these studies reported a beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation… However, all authors stressed the importance of testing serum vitamin D levels and recommend supplementation when risk factors for vitamin D deficiency are present.

Vitamin D Supplement: click here.

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiencies were largely associated with low-grade inflammation, muscle weakness and paresthesia, which are typical symptoms of FM.

Deficiency of Mg appears to accompany low-grade chronic systemic inflammation and may increase substance P levels, a signal sub- stance that has been reported as being responsible for elevated levels of pain in patients with FM. Also, Mg deficiency could induce a minor increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP) and thus accentuate health problems accompanying FM. Research has also shown that chronic sleep deprivation leads to intracellular Mg deficiency and reduced tolerance to exercise.

Disruptions of hormonal balance may in some cases precipitate Mg deficiency. For example, the presence of estrogen increases Mg utilisation, which may explain why numerous women are diagnosed with FM after menopause when the levels of estrogen are declining.

Magnesium Supplement: Click here

Nutrients. 2020 Sep; 12(9): 2664.

Iron

With regard to other minerals, some studies indicated a potential link between iron deficiency and FM; however, only one study evaluated the effect of iron supplementation on FM symptoms, fatigue and iron status of 81 FM subjects, showing an overall improvement only in the treated group

Antioxidants For Fibromyalgia

Antioxidants and mitochondrial dysfunction might offer a new approach to the treatment of these patients.

Actually, recent hypotheses associate FM with an inflammatory response caused by mitochondrial dysfunction or redox-mediated impairment of mitochondria.

Treatment with vitamin C and E combined with or without exercise compared to exercise only in 32 women with FM over a 12 week period did not show a statistically significant improvement in FM symptoms, although both interventions resulted in significantly higher serum levels of vitamin A, C and E.

Vitamin C Supplement: Click here

Probiotics For Fibromyalgia

Increasing evidence suggests that FM patients may present altered microbiota, with the abundance of different taxa selectively correlated with disease-related symptoms. This has led researchers to hypothesize a potential beneficial use of probiotics in the treatment of FM. A pilot study to investigate the effect of a 7 week supplementation with a multi-species probiotic showed improved cognition, particularly impulsive choice and decision-making, in 40 subjects diagnosed with FM. On the other hand, no other beneficial effects were observed in self-reported pain, quality of life, depression or anxiety.

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Selenium For Fibromyalgia

In a study from Germany of 68 consecutively referred FM patients (59 females, mean age 49 years and nine males, mean age: 47 years), the serum levels of Se were evaluated. The Se status in the FM patients was found to be significantly reduced compared to the control group . Also, skeletal muscle disorders characterised by fatigue, muscle pain, and proximal weakness have been recognised in patients with Se deficiency.

Selenium Supplement: Click here

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 103 (2018) 531–538

I add these nutrients here as, in some ways, they are the building blocks of our ‘diets’. But what does the research show from an actual dietary perspective?

Other Supplements For Fibromyalgia

One review of 22 nutritional intervention studies provided conflicting results across a multitude of outcome measures. Pain which is often regarded as the characterising symptom of FMS was significantly improved after the consumption of: Chlorella green algae, vegan diet, coenzyme Q10, acetyl-l-carnitine; a low-FODMAP diet; and, a combination of vitamin C, E and Nigella sativa seeds.

Nutrients 2020, 12, 2664

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Another review also commented on hoe several nutritional supplements such as Chlorella pyreinoidosa, cellfood, coenzyme Q10, Ginkgo biloba, ascorbigen, L-carnitine, S-adenosylmethionine, creatine and melatonin have shown some benefits for fibromyalgia patients, improving symptoms such as muscle pain, fatigue, morning stiffness and quality of life. Although patients frequently experience several positive effects from supplementations, there is insufficient evidence to recommend their use in the clinical practice.

While the published evidence may not be there, the real life, in clinic, experience most certainly is! And in fact a deeper look in to the research shows some of these are well evidenced! Let’s take a look at Co Q 10.

Coenzyme Q 10For Fibromyalgia

After treatment, all patients showed an important improvement in clinical symptoms in all evaluation methods.

The authors of this paper concluded: “According to our results, and evaluated by three methods, patients with FM are candidates for treatment with CoQ10.”

CoQ10 Supplement: Click here

L-Carnitine For Fibromyalgia

In one study, one hundred and two patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology criteria for FMS were randomised into the study. The treatment consisted of 2 capsules/day of 500 mg LAC or placebo plus one intramuscular (i.m.) injection of either 500 mg LAC or placebo for 2 weeks. During the following 8 weeks the patients took 3 capsules daily containing either 500 mg LAC or placebo.

The results?

A statistically significant between-group difference was observed for depression and musculo-skeletal pain.

L-Carnitine Supplement: Click here

Chlorella For Fibromyalgia

In a pilot study, each day for 2 months, participants consumed two commercially available Chlorella-based products, 10 g of ‘Sun Chlorella‘ tablets and 100 mL of liquid ‘Wakasa Gold’.

The results of this pilot study suggest that dietary Chlorella supplementation may help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia in some patients and that a larger, more comprehensive double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in these patients is warranted.

Chlorella Supplement: Click here

SameE

Two small randomised trials have found benefit of SAM-e supplementation in tender points, pain perception, and fatigue when dosed at 800 mg/d in adults.

Curcumin And Fibromyalgia

This review focuses on pre-clinical and clinical studies in the treatment of pathological pain. Although the mechanisms of pain mitigating effects are not very clear, there is compelling evidence proved that curcumin plays an essential role. However, further high-quality clinical studies should be undertaken to establish the clinical effectiveness of curcumin in patients suffering from pathological pain.

Curumin Supplement: Click here

Conclusion Of ‘The Most Researched Supplements For Fibromyalgia’

  • In the therapy of fibromyalgia, some minerals and vitamins have been shown useful.
  • Numerous supplements have been shown to be helpful in fibromyalgia.
  • When ever possible, functional testing may help personalise treatment.

There is a saying in Functional Medicine, “treat the individual, not the disease”. While I hope this blog is helpful for people, it is important to appreciate that not all of these are needed, and that just because evidence suggests a supplement is helpful, doesn’t mean it will be in your case. It is important (and I truly appreciate often incredibly challenging) to stay patient, to stay curious, as your travel on your journey back to optimal health.

Finally, please please please do not ignore the role that our diet, exercise, stress management, sleep and time spent outside grounding plays within the recovery!

Resources For ‘The Most Researched Supplements For Fibromyalgia’

Check out this book on Fibromyalgia, and the books I recommend in my library, such as Mindfulness For Health.

References For ‘The Most Researched Supplements For Fibromyalgia’:

  1. Effect of coenzyme Q10 evaluated by 1990 and 2010 ACR Diagnostic Criteria for Fibromyalgia and SCL-90-R: four case reports and literature review: click here.
  2. Nutritional Interventions in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: click here.
  3. Effect of vitamin D supplementation in chronic widespread pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis: click here
  4. Magnesium and Pain: click here.
  5. Double-blind, multicenter trial comparing acetyl l-carnitine with placebo in the treatment of fibromyalgia patients: click here.
  6. Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a pilot study: click here.
  7. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in primary fibromyalgia. Double-blind clinical evaluation: click here.
  8. Complementary and Integrative Methods in Fibromyalgia: click here.
  9. Role of curcumin in the management of pathological pain: click here.
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