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Multivitamin mineral supplementation in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

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By Daniela Maric et al. • • January 30, 2014

Editor's Comment: Dr. Martin Pall, Dr. Paul Cheney and other researchers and clinicians have proposed that oxidative stress (the production of free radicals) is one of the primary molecular mechanisms of ME/CFS. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that serves as an important antioxidant in nearly all cells in the body. It reduces chronic inflammation and other potentially harmful effects of free radicals. In this study, the researchers used SOD activity levels to monitor oxidative stress in ME/CFS patients. They found that a two-month program of nutritional supplements increased SOD levels, decreased oxidative stress, and reduced symptoms in 38 patients. 

By Daniela Maric et al.

Background: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by medically unexplained persistent or reoccurring fatigue lasting at least 6 months. CFS has a multifactorial pathogenesis in which oxidative stress (OS) plays a prominent role. Treatment is with a vitamin and mineral supplement, but this therapeutic option so far has not been properly researched.
Material and Methods: This prospective study included 38 women of reproductive age consecutively diagnosed by CDC definition of CFS and treated with a multivitamin mineral supplement. Before and after the 2-month supplementation, SOD activity was determined and patients self-assessed their improvement in 2 questionnaires: the Fibro Fatigue Scale (FFS) and the Quality of Life Scale (SF36).
Results: There was a significant improvement in SOD activity levels; and significant decreases in fatigue (p=0.0009), sleep disorders (p=0.008), autonomic nervous system symptoms (p=0.018), frequency and intensity of headaches (p=0.0001), and subjective feeling of infection (p=0.0002). No positive effect on quality of life was found.

Conclusions: Treatment with a vitamin and mineral supplement could be a safe and easy way to improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with CFS.
Source: Daniela Maric, Snezana Brkic, Slavica Tomic, Aleksandra Novakov Mikic, Tatjana Cebovic, Vesna Turkulov. Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:CLR47-53 DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889333

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