Supplement Options for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is characterized by various symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, and muscle aches. Some supplements may help reduce these symptoms. Supplements that may be beneficial include coenzyme Q10, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, ribose, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin D.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that the body naturally produces. It helps with energy creation in the body’s cells. Supplementing with CoQ10 may reduce fatigue for those with ME/CFS, especially when taken with the supplement nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.
- Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)
NADH is also naturally produced by the body. It aids in the chemical process that produces energy. NADH supplements may reduce the fatigue and memory/concentration problems associated with ME/CFS.
Ribose, or D-Ribose, is a simple sugar that the body naturally produces to supply energy to cells. Individuals with ME/CFS who take a ribose supplement may experience a reduction in brain fog and muscle or joint pain. It may also help with sleep.
Research shows that some individuals with ME/CFS have low levels of magnesium. For these individuals, a magnesium supplement may increase energy, reduce fatigue, decrease muscle weakness or pain, and improve mental functioning.
- B vitamins
Some research suggests that ME/CFS is associated with low levels of B vitamins. Low levels of B vitamins can lead to depression and memory impairment. If a vitamin B deficiency is present, supplementing with B vitamins can improve mental functioning. However, more studies are needed on the relationship between B vitamins and ME/CFS.
- Vitamin D
Approximately 50% of the general population has a vitamin D deficiency. For those with ME/CFS who have low levels of vitamin D, supplementation may help reduce pain.
Because supplements have potential side effects and can interact with medications or other supplements, a medical professional should always be consulted before taking any new supplement.