Fibromyalgia Patients Taking MitoQ Reported Less Pain, Improved Memory in Online Study

Fibromyalgia Patients Taking MitoQ Reported Less Pain, Improved Memory in Online Study

After six weeks of treatment with the mitochondrial supplement MitoQ, fibromyalgia patients said they had reduced pain and improved memory, according to a study conducted entirely online.

The study, The influence of MitoQ on symptoms and cognition in fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue, represents a new way of performing research, largely omitting the costs associated with traditional clinical trials.

The trial was conducted by Cort Johnson at Health Rising, an information site for patients with fibromyalgia, and Joshua Grant, a neuroscientist at Mendus.org, an online platform where people with health conditions can help create their own research studies. In contrast to traditional studies, patients measured and reported all their symptoms and could also individually manage their treatment regimens.

However, the study was performed just as a traditional clinical trial: Patients were randomized to receive either supplements or a placebo, and both patients and scientists managing the study did not know who was assigned to the treatments.

MitoQ is a supplement to improve mitochondrial function by providing more of the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10. The supplements are designed to improve the uptake of the molecule when taken in a capsule form.

The study is the largest conducted by Mendus.org to date, and was in part made possible by MitoQ, which provided patients with their product or a placebo supplement  which was visually identical to the MitoQ capsules.

A total of 47 fibromyalgia patients participated in the study, which also recruited 51 people suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

The trial was designed as a cross-over study — a setup where a patient receiving an active supplement then switches to a placebo and vice versa. This way, researchers could analyze data even if a patient missed reporting during a time point, and could also conclude whether the effects changed when patients switched between the active supplement and a placebo.

Fibromyalgia patients who took MitoQ reported pain scores 24 percent lower than placebo-treated patients, a significant reduction, according to the report. Working memory also improved by 10 percent.

Beneficial effects were seen only when patients were taking the supplements and were lost when the same patients were taking a placebo. The study found no effects of MitoQ on symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

“There were both encouraging and disappointing results. MitoQ seems to work quite well for fibromyalgia, lowering pain and improving memory,” Grant said in a news release.

“With its excellent safety profile and availability without prescription, MitoQ may have the potential to help millions of similar patients look forward to a less painful tomorrow,” he added.

Although the report is available online, it has not yet been peer-reviewed and published in a scientific journal.

6 comments

  1. Marvin says:

    One study by the producer hardly rates coverage. Blaming the cost of controlled studies is an excuse to avoid them, ditto dealing with peer review. I’m not a doctor, a consumer trying to find solid information and this is more like marketing material.

  2. Valiant says:

    To bad they didn’t mention those who had to stop taking it due to side effects. (Yes, there are side effects even from supplements.) I have FM and tried taking Co-Q10 but I had to stop. It made me extremely agitated, tense, and anxious. I tried cutting the dose down from 100mg a day to 50mg and it was still way too much. Now I take it but only when I feel a virus coming on for one day and only 50mg. Doubt it does anything at that dose but I’m just using up what’s left in the bottle.

  3. Joshua Grant says:

    Hi folks,

    I came across the article and thought I’d throw in my 2 cents. I’m the one who actually conducted the study.

    The study wasn’t really ‘by the producer’. Yes, they provided their product to the participants but they did so with full knowledge that the results would be publicly available regardless of what we found. That doesn’t happen very often. The trial was initiated for CFS, not for FM. And for CFS it didn’t work and that’s what we’ve reported. Not very good marketing if that’s what you feel this was.

    Rather, this was a way to gather preliminary data which might otherwise never be gathered. We point out the many limitations of the study in the report. The goal was not to demonstrate the their is 100% chance that Mitoq will help you. There were 2 goals. First, to allow individual people to assess the product, for themselves, in a fairly standardized way. You see everyone was (and still is) able to access their own results. The second aim was to determine whether more controlled lab-based studies are warranted. We now believe they are and it will be up to others to see if what we found (for free) can be replicated.

    We also reported the number of people who dropped out due to side effects. Interestingly, more dropped out while on placebo than Mitoq. Go figure.

    I urge everyone to keep an open mind. I started Mendus as a way to potentially provide a few people some relief and possibly kickstart some new research that might otherwise never be done. It’s not perfect but we admit the limits and thus far it’s succeeded on both fronts.

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks Josh. I think Mendus is a wonderful idea and I’d really like to see a trial using LDN if there hasn’t been one already.

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