Tip of the Day – 01/31/2006

An open, uncontrolled study was undertaken to measure the subjective effects of coenzyme Q10 combined with a Ginkgo biloba extract in volunteer subjects with clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia syndrome.

Anecdotal reports from patients with fibromyalgia syndrome have claimed benefits from the use of these supplements. The aim of this study was to determine if these reports could be substantiated in a pilot clinical trial.

Patient questioning had determined that poor quality of life was a major factor in the condition and a quality-of-life questionnaire was used to measure potential benefit. Subjects were given oral doses of 200 mg coenzyme Q10 and 200 mg Ginkgo biloba extract daily for 84 days. Quality of life was measured, using the well-validated Dartmouth Primary Care Cooperative Information Project/World Organization of Family Doctors (COOP/WONCA) questionnaire that measures seven different subjective responses, at 0-, 4-, 8-, and 12-week intervals. The subjects were asked for an overall self-rating at the end of the study.

A progressive improvement in the quality-of-life scores was observed over the study period and at the end, the scores showed a significant difference from those at the start. This was matched by an improvement in self-rating with 64% claiming to be better and only 9% claiming to feel worse. Adverse effects were minor. A controlled study is now planned.

Source: J Int Med Res 2002 Mar-Apr;30(2):195-9

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