Chronic Fatigue and Magnesium Health

Summary By Hans R. Larsen MSc ChE –

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA. Dr. Melvyn Werbach, MD of the UCLA School of Medicine has just published a thorough review of nutritional deficiencies involved in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These include deficiencies in vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, zinc, sodium, l-tryptophan, l-carnitine, essential fatty acids, and various B vitamins. He points out that there is some evidence that the deficiencies are caused by the disease itself rather than by an inadequate diet. He suggests that the deficiencies not only contribute to the symptoms of CFS but also impair the healing process. Although the results of supplementation trials involving CFS patients have been inconclusive so far Dr. Werbach nevertheless recommends that CFS patients be given large doses of certain supplements for at least a trial period to see if their symptoms improve. His recommendations are:

* Folic acid: 1-10 mg/day for 3 months
* Vitamin B12: 6-70 mg (intramuscular injection) per week for 3 weeks
* Vitamin C: 10-15 grams/day
* Magnesium: 600 mg/day + 2400 mg/day of malic acid for 8 weeks
* Zinc: 135 mg/day for 15 days
* 5-hydroxytryptophan: 100 mg three times daily for 3 months (if fibromyalgia is present)
* L-carnitine: 1-2 grams three times daily for 3 months
* Coenzyme Q10: 100 mg/day for 3 months
* Essential fatty acids: 280 mg GLA and 135 mg EPA daily for 3 months

The supplements should be administered with medical supervision and accompanied by a high-potency vitamin/mineral supplement for the duration of the trial. [95 references]

Werbach, Melvyn R. Nutritional strategies for treating chronic fatigue syndrome. Alternative Medicine Review, Vol. 5, No. 2 April 2000, pp. 93-108

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