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Can CoQ10 Treat Gulf War Illness?

Gulf War Syndrome, or Gulf War Illness (GWI), has not been discussed much in recent years, but there are still many veterans who suffer from symptoms associated with this illness. New research shows that CoQ10 may have the ability to help treat GWI and it’s many symptoms.

What Is Gulf War Illness?

Dr. Michael Smith says that even though the exact cause of Gulf War Illness is not known, it’s commonly believed that it may be due to exposure to weaponized toxins, gas, bacteria, or even something done to prepare troops such as vaccinations. One thing most researchers seem to agree on, however, is that it is linked to damaged mitochondria. The mitochondria is considered to be the “powerhouse” of the cell, providing it with the energy it needs to function properly.

Many of the GWI symptoms mirror mitochondria disorders: malaise, muscle pain (myalgia), fever-like symptoms, exercise-induced fatigue, insomnia, cognitive problems, memory issues, and mood swings. While these symptoms appear vague, they are all related to the cells being unable to generate the appropriate amount of energy.

Out of the 697,000 troops that served in the Gulf War, around 35 percent or 250,000 troops have reported symptoms of GWI. There are still many unanswered questions surrounding GWI; why does it happen? What exactly is it? Why is it a chronic, lifelong problem for some, while others only have it for a year or so before it clears up?

Interestingly, a published chart of symptoms revealed that the four biggest symptoms in order of prevalence were memory issues, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and nerve problems. Symptoms were also different depending on which country the person came from. For example, troops in the United States suffering from GWI had a much higher risk of developing tumors in solid organs like the liver or kidney compared to any other country.

CoQ10 May Relieve GWI Symptoms

CoQ10 is an enzyme co-factor that is naturally found within your body. It helps your cells perform basic functions, grow, and produce energy. There have been many benefits associated with taking CoQ10 supplements including an improved cardiovascular system, stronger immune system, and protecting against cancer.

Because of its role in helping the cells produce energy, researchers conducted a study that examined the effects of taking CoQ10 to combat GWI. The study, which was published in The Journal of Neural Computation, was a double-blind study that compared three different groups: one group received a placebo, another received 100mg of CoQ10 (Ubiquinol), while the last group received 300mg doses.

Surprisingly, the 100mg dosage group benefited the most, even more than the 300mg group. While higher doses of CoQ10 can have a greater impact against heart failure, it seems the smaller dose was actually a better solution for GWI. The 100mg group experienced an 80 percent improvement in physical function, which was associated to the increasing blood levels of the co-enzyme. Other symptoms significantly decreased included headache, irritability, fatigue, memory loss, and muscle pain.

The results look promising, and Dr. Smith strongly believes that GWI should continue to remain a topic of conversation in the media, due to its mysterious nature and lack of information. With CoQ10 improving GWI symptoms, perhaps now researchers have been pointed in the right direction to continue pursuing effective treatments.

In the accompanying audio segment, Dr. Mike discusses the study published in The Journal of Neural Computation, as well as if CoQ10 has the ability to treat GWI.

Alonso is a long-time health and wellness advocate who loves to write about it. His writing spans the scope of blogs, educational magazines, and books, both on and offline.