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When dealing with fibromyalgia, pain and depression are enough on their own to make life hard for patients but when you add in chronic fatigue, it can become a real nightmare. Only a few supplements help with your energy levels but is NADH one of them?

Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia will often present with a triad of symptoms; the most common

  • pain,
  • unsatisfied fatigue 
  • and lingering depression [1].

Medical intervention is possible in the form of anti-depressants for this depression and various pain-killers to bring fibromyalgia pain relief, but there is a void in adequate treatment when it comes to the fatigue patients experience with fibromyalgia [2]. Typically, patients will be prescribed mild anti-psychotic medication to help boost their energy levels, but this may not be appealing for most patients due to the multitude of side effects associated with these drugs [3]. Various supplements for fibromyalgia are available to help boost your energy levels. One, in particular, has received a lot of attention due to its effectiveness in other medical conditions. It goes by the name NADH but when it comes to your fibromyalgia, can we use NADH to boost your energy levels? 

What is Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)? 

It is believed that patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndromes like fibromyalgia have depleted stores of enzymes like NADH [4]. Our body meets its daily requirements for NADH with as little as 20 milligrams of niacin a day (also known as Vitamin B3) and a niacin deficiency is only rarely seen in vegetarians who do not eat supplemental protein in the modern age [5]. Nevertheless, it is believed that low levels of this factor can help patients develop a number of chronic diseases. 

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is a transporter that has a very important physiological role when it comes to generating energy. It transports electrons through the walls of the mitochondrial membrane and generates energy in the form of ATP. If this bombardment of science is too much for you to handle, think of the NADH as a transport truck and electrons that NADH transports as coal used to generate power. A mitochondrion is our physiological "energy factor" and NADH makes sure that this factory is always running at full capacity. [6

On the surface, this is a logical train of thought. If patients do not feel they have enough energy, a good solution would be to increase the number of "transport trucks" bringing fuel into the "factory" to generate more power. If patients turn to NADH as a potential supplement for fibromyalgia, they should also have an increase in their energy output and be able to be more active. 

Will NADH Help Boost Your Energy Levels? 

To test to see if this logical train of thought would propel NADH into the realm of a useful supplement for fibromyalgiaa study was conducted to determine if physicians could use NADH to boost your energy levels. In this study, 113 patients suffering from a chronic fatigue syndrome were enrolled and given 20mg of supplemental NADH along with 200mg of CoQ10 (an enzyme that actives NADH) and compared the levels of energy to patients only given a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, it was found that patients that had been given this combination of NADH and CoQ10 had significantly higher levels of ATP and lower levels of lipoperoxides (a by-product that is produced to make you tired) compared to patients from the control group. This demonstrates that physicians can use NADH to boost your energy levels significantly. [7

Medical research encourages patients that have fibromyalgia to consider NADH along with other fibromyalgic supplements to bring relief to these patients. There is a complex pathology that occurs to make treating fibromyalgia quite difficult, and it can be quite frustrating for patients when they are unable to realize improvements in their general condition. By introducing supplements that are designed to increase energy stores in the body, patients will feel better, be more responsive to therapy and be more likely to exercise more routinely to manage their fibromyalgia fully. 

Exercise therapy is one of the cornerstone treatments that physicians will routinely recommend to help patients improve. Studies show that patients who partake in regular aerobic exercise programs have less fibromyalgia related pain, but also a reduction in other lingering symptoms like depression and anxiety [8]. 

A big hurdle to this improvement, however, is the chronic fatigue that is coupled with this disease. Even if patients will feel much better after exercising long-term, when a patient has difficulty even performing everyday routines, advocating for patients to go for morning jogs can be as fruitful as trying to force a horse to drink water (it just won't happen). This conundrum can be solved, if patients with fibromyalgia feel that they have more energy. With the addition of NADH supplementation into their diets, they will be able to exercise more routinely, have a reduction in other fibromyalgic symptoms and be able to have a much higher quality of life. [9]

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