Coenzyme Q10 and mitochondrial malfunction

The number of bean-shaped mitochondria in our cells varies according to the energy needs of the various organs. The cells in organs with high energy needs, e.g. the heart, the liver, the skeletal muscle, will have greater numbers of mitochondria than will the cells of less active organs, e.g. the skin.  Adequate supply of Coenzyme Q10 is necessary to keep the mitochondria actively producing ATP molecules.

You cannot read much about the importance of Coenzyme Q10 supplements without coming across the term “mitochondria” (singular form = mitochondrion).  The mitochondria inside our cells are microscopic organelles that have an inner and outer membrane and their own DNA, which suggests that the mitochondria derive originally from bacteria that got inside animal cells quite early in the evolution of eukaryotic cells.

Our cells and the mitochondria inside them co-exist in a symbiotic relationship.  Our cells provide a secure home for the mitochondria, and the mitochondria serve as the energy factories for our cells.  The mitochondria convert the energy that is in carbohydrates and fatty acids to energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

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Coenzyme Q10 improves chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms

Tired woman at computer
Fatigue.  Loss of memory and concentration. Sleep that does not refresh you.   Feeling of exhaustion lasting 24 hours or more.  These are symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Supplementation with a well-documented Coenzyme Q10 supplement can help.

Some very interesting studies of the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome patients with oral Coenzyme Q10 supplements have revealed improved symptoms for as long as the treatment continued. What happened in these studies?

The chronic fatigue syndrome patients in these studies had abnormally low plasma and tissue (leg muscle) Coenzyme Q10 concentrations at baseline.  Oral administration of a well-formulated Coenzyme Q10 dissolved in vegetable oil resulted in significant increases in plasma and tissue Coenzyme Q10 levels.

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Coenzyme Q10 and chronic fatigue syndrome

Tired woman
Patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome have abnormally low plasma (and muscle tissue) Coenzyme Q10 concentrations. Supplementation with a well-formulated Coenzyme Q10 preparation improves symptoms.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated illness.  As its name states, it is a chronic condition, and it is characterized by a debilitating fatigue.  The fatigue may be exacerbated by physical or mental exertion.  Strangely enough, the fatigue is not alleviated by rest or relaxation [Mayo Clinic].

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is still unknown.  The major symptom, the chronic fatigue, is also seen in such related conditions as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) [Mayo Clinic].

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