RESOLVING NUTRITIONAL PROBLEMS
Most fibromyalgia sufferers are deficient in magnesium, malic acid, B-complex vitamins, and manganese. Several doctors I’ve encountered in my research recommend that the daily dosage ratio of calcium to magnesium be turned around. Usually, the suggested dose of calcium is double the dose of magnesium. With fibromyalgia sometimes it’s better to take more magnesium than calcium. Everyone has a tolerance level for magnesium – too much will give you diarrhea. Try to take up to 1000 mg a day, if you can tolerate it. Magnesium malate will give you a combination of magnesium and malic acid. The most absorbable calcium is called Calcium AEP. It’s a patented product, and highly desirable. Magnesium injections really help a lot of fibromyalgia sufferers.
Other nutritional imbalances need to be corrected to support healing. Find out what you are made up of. Hair analysis can show you what your pH is, which vitamins and minerals you are lacking, whether you have any heavy metals in your body. Then you can take the exact vitamins and minerals you need without wasting money on unneeded supplements. Blood tests can also reveal nutritional problems. If your test results show a zinc deficiency with or without an over-abundance of copper, you may have low progesterone or estrogen dominance. Zinc deficiency is a symptom.
You can take supplements that improve calcium metabolism and mitochondrial health, as well as supplements that support the endocrine system. The following are a few that fall into these categories:
- Omega 3s from fish oil or flax seed oil. If you are a vegetarian, Arbonne’s REsist™ Natural Fatty Acid Supplement even has a vegetable gel cap.
- B Complex Vitamins are needed by the body for energy production, synthesis of hormones and blood cells, healthy nervous system function, and numerous other metabolic processes. The forms of the B Vitamins found in foods and most supplements, however, are not readily utilized by the body. They require conversion into their active forms before they can perform their functions as cofactors in biochemical reactions. Co-Enzyme B-Complex contains B Vitamins already in their active or “Coenzyme” forms. This enables the body to use them more quickly and efficiently because, once absorbed, they are transported directly to their site of action, requiring no conversion. When a person ages, he or she may not absorb the B vitamins through the gut. In this case, B complex injections are a good way to go.
- Calcium AEP is 10% calcium bound to 90% Amino Ethanol Phosphate (AEP, also known as colamine phosphate). It is the AEP part that gives this product its unique characteristics. AEP is attracted to cell membranes, giving rise to its nickname “membrane integrity factor.” Cell membranes are made of these phospho-lipid substances. Thus, AEP is a natural component of the cell membrane and is involved in maintaining the proper electrical charges on the surface of cell membranes as well as supporting the cell’s structural integrity. Properly energized cell membranes help protect the cell from toxins or other foreign substances. At the same time, the transport systems of nutrition into the cell and waste products out of the cell are supported.
In a properly nourished state, cell membranes retain the electrical charges of calcium, magnesium, and potassium ions. Because Calcium AEP is highly attracted to the phosphor-lipid-rich structure of nerve membranes (like the myelin sheathing), this helps boost nerve cell integrity and support the energy needed for normal electrical nerve conduction. Calcium itself is also important for normal nerve transmission. Calcium AEP is a stellar nerve support nutrient. The advantages of calcium AEP for fibro sufferers is readily apparent. Since the ration of calcium to AEP is so low, patients must be certain to get calcium from their vitamin/mineral supplement.
- Magnesium is necessary to metabolize calcium, and a deficiency, or disruption, develops when thyroid is low. When estrogen is high, related to progesterone, the resulting thyroid resistance causes the same effect. Thus calcium metabolism is disrupted. Recent research, in France and several other European countries, gives a clue concerning the role of magnesium plays in the transmission of hormones (such as insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, etc.), neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, catecholamines, serotonin, GABA, etc.), and minerals and mineral electrolytes. This research concludes that it is magnesium status that controls cell membrane potential and through this means controls uptake and release of many hormones, nutrients and neurotransmitters. It is magnesium that controls the fate of potassium and calcium in the body. If magnesium is insufficient, potassium and calcium will be lost in the urine and calcium will be deposited in the soft tissues (kidneys, arteries, joints, brain, etc.). Magnesium protects the cell from aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium and nickel. Evidence is mounting that low levels of magnesium contribute to the heavy metal deposition in the brain that precedes Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. It is probable that low total body magnesium contributes to heavy metal toxicity in children and is a participant in the etiology of learning disorders. Most supplements provide magnesium at a 1:4 or 1:2 ratio with calcium. Magnesium should be raised almost level with calcium. For some people, this causes digestive distress or diarrhea. In that case, magnesium chelate is tolerated better. It’s better to take magnesium in small doses throughout the day for people who develop diarrhea. For these people, magnesium injections are very helpful, and fibro sufferers report almost instant improvement of symptoms when they receive magnesium injections. (See http://www.krispin.com/magnes.html )
- Manganese is necessary to metabolize magnesium, but it becomes toxic over 15 mg. Manganese deficiency causes obesity, glucose intolerance, blood clotting, skin problems, lowered cholesterol levels, skeletal disorders, birth defects, change in hair color, and neurological symptoms. Manganese levels are typically low in fibromyalgia/CMP patients.
- Malic Acid is also typically low in fibro patients. Patients with FM have low muscle-tissue oxygen pressure in affected muscles, and to a lesser degree the same was found in other tissues. Muscle biopsies from affected areas showed muscle tissue breakdown and mitochondrial damage. Additionally, low levels of the high energy phosphates ATP, ADP, and phosphocreatine were found. It has been hypothesized that in hypoxic muscle tissues glycolysis is inhibited, reducing ATP synthesis. This stimulates the process of gluconeogenesis, which results in the breakdown of muscle proteins to amino acids that can be utilized as substrates for ATP synthesis. This muscle tissue breakdown, which has been observed in muscle biopsies taken from FM patients, is hypothesized to result in the muscle pain characteristic of FM.Malic acid is both derived from food sources and synthesized in the body through the citric acid (Krebs) cycle. Its importance to the production of energy in the body during both aerobic and anaerobic conditions is well established. Under aerobic conditions, the oxidation of malate to oxaloacetate provides reducing equivalents to the mitochondria through the malate-aspartate redox shuttle. During anaerobic conditions, where a buildup of excess of reducing equivalents inhibits glycolysis, malic acids simultaneous reduction to succinate and oxidation to oxaloacetate is capable of removing the accumulating reducing equivalents. This allows malic acid to reverse hypoxias inhibition of glycolysis and energy production. This may allow malic acid to improve energy production in FM, reversing the negative effect of the relative hypoxia that has been found in these patients (http://intelegen.com/nutrients/malic_acid_energy__fibromyalgia.htm).
- Alpha lipoic acid has been described as the “universal,” “ideal,” and “metabolic” antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals in both the fatty and watery regions of cells, in contrast to vitamin C (which is water soluble) and vitamin E (which is fat soluble). It serves as a coenzyme in the Krebs cycle and in the production of cellular energy. In Germany, alpha-lipoic acid is an approved medical treatment for peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes. It speeds the removal of glucose from the bloodstream, at least partly by enhancing insulin function, and it reduces insulin resistance, an underpinning of many cases of coronary heart disease and obesity. The therapeutic dose for lipoic acid is 600 mg/day.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine shuttles acetyl groups and fatty acids into mitochondria for energy production. Without carnitine, fatty acids cannot easily enter into mitochondria. The acetyl group of acetyl l carnitine is used to form acetyl-CoA, the most important intermediary in the generation of energy from amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates. Therefore, acetyl l carnitine serves as an energy reservoir of acetyl groups and both acetylcarnitine and carnitine help improve energy production. The acetyl group of acetyl l carnitine is also used to make the important brain chemical acetylcholine. Some studies suggest that perhaps acetyl l carnitine can even act as a neurotransmitter itself. One important aspect is the loop necessary for metabolism, in that thyroid hormone actually responds to energy production in the cell, even as it is responsible for metabolism. No metabolism, no thyroid action—no thyroid action, no metabolism. L Carnitine increases ATP production.
- Co-enzyme Q10 is expensive, but it’s a valuable supplement. (There is CoQ10 in Arbonne’s Omega 3 supplement.) CoQ10 is produced by the human body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be low in patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels. In each human cell, food energy is converted into energy in the mitochondria with the aid of CoQ10. Ninety-five percent of all the human body’s energy requirements (ATP) are converted with the aid of CoQ10. CoQ is found in the membranes of endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, lysosomes, vesicles, and the inner membrane of the mitochondrion, where it is an important part of the electron transport chain. CoQ10 is also essential in the formation of the apoptosome, along with other adapter proteins. The loss of trophic factors activates pro-apoptotic enzymes, causing the breakdown of mitochondria (wikipedia.org/wiki/Coenzyme_Q10).
- Arabinogalactan is an important source of dietary fiber. Research has shown that AG increases the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s), principally butyrate and proprionate, which are essential for the health of the colon. AG also acts as a food supply for “friendly” bacteria, in that it helps to increase levels of “good” bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, while eliminating “bad” bacteria. AG has a beneficial effect upon the immune system as it increases the activity of natural killer cells and other immune system components, thus helping the body to fight infection. Arabinogalactan is efficient at moving toxins, also.
- Ribose increases levels and availability of ATP. Preliminary evidence also indicates that ribose may ease the pain and fatigue of patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar made in the body from glucose and is an essential component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the compound that stores and delivers energy in all cells. Ribose also occurs in RNA (ribonucleic acid), one of the main information-carriers of living organisms. Because ATP is rapidly used by muscles in high-intensity workouts and because RNA is important in protein synthesis, ribose supplements and energy drinks containing ribose are being promoted for energy enhancement and better exercise performance. The supplements are said to speed muscle tissue recovery after exercise, and limit post-exercise fatigue. (See http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400285/does-ribose-really-energize ).
- Vitamin D is actually a hormone and is necessary for the support of your hormone health. Get your levels tested. Take more in the winter or during times when you are inside most of the time. If there is sickness in the home, at work, or if you catch something, you might even need to increase your dosage to over 10,000 units.