Increased oxidative stress and coenzyme Q10 deficiency in juvenile fibromyalgia: amelioration of hypercholesterolemia and fatigue by ubiquinol-10 supplementation.Redox Rep 2013; 18(1):12-9RR
Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by generalized pain and chronic fatigue of unknown etiology. To evaluate the role of oxidative stress in this disorder, we measured plasma levels of ubiquinone-10, ubiquinol-10, free cholesterol (FC), cholesterol esters (CE), and free fatty acids (FFA) in patients with juvenile FM (n=10) and in healthy control subjects (n=67). Levels of FC and CE were significantly increased in juvenile FM as compared with controls, suggesting the presence of hypercholesterolemia in this disease. However, plasma level of ubiquinol-10 was significantly decreased and the ratio of ubiquinone-10 to total coenzyme Q10 (%CoQ10) was significantly increased in juvenile FM relative to healthy controls, suggesting that FM is associated with coenzyme Q10 deficiency and increased oxidative stress. Moreover, plasma level of FFA was significantly higher and the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in total FFA was significantly lower in FM than in controls, suggesting increased tissue oxidative damage in juvenile FM. Interestingly, the content of monoenoic acids, such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, was significantly increased in FM relative to controls, probably to compensate for the loss of PUFA. Next, we examined the effect of ubiquinol-10 supplementation (100 mg/day for 12 weeks) in FM patients. This resulted in an increase in coenzyme Q10 levels and a decrease in %CoQ10. No changes were observed in FFA levels or their composition. However, plasma levels of FC and CE significantly decreased and the ratio of FC to CE also significantly decreased, suggesting that ubiquinol-10 supplementation improved cholesterol metabolism. Ubiquinol-10 supplementation also improved chronic fatigue scores as measured by the Chalder Fatigue Scale.