Gut Inflammation in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Shaheen E Lakhan; Annette Kirchgessner


Nutr Metab. 2010;7(1) 

In This Article

Coenzyme Q10

Deficiency of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been found in some CFS patients.[85] CoQ10 is a mitochondrial nutrient, which acts as an essential cofactor for the production of ATP and displays significant antioxidant activities and anti-inflammatory effects.

In a study conducted by Maes and colleagues, more than 40% of patients with CFS had values below the lowest CoQ10 value detected in normal, healthy controls (490 microg/L). Moreover, CFS patients with very low plasma CoQ10 (< 390 microg/L) suffered significantly more from concentration and memory disturbances.[85] Deficiency of CoQ10 is also found in fibromyalgia, depression and a risk factor for atherosclerosis.[86] The presence of CoQ10 deficiency may also explain the accompanying depression seen in CFS and increased morbidity due to chronic heart failure in CFS patients. These results suggest that people with CFS might benefit from CoQ10 supplementation in order to normalize the low CoQ10 syndrome.

CoQ10 supplementation also appears to have a beneficial effect on gut dysfunction observed in animal models of colitis.[87] Over 12 weeks, the mice experienced a recovery in loose stools and bleeding in the GI tract. Since CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, it may help lessen the inflammation by reducing tissue damage caused by gut pathogens. Future studies are required to determine whether oral CoQ10 is beneficial in the prevention and/or treatment of symptoms associated with CFS.


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