A systematic review of nutraceutical interventions for mitochondrial dysfunctions in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, by in Journal of Translational Medicine vol 19, no.: 81 (2021)
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating illness, characterised by persistent fatigue that is unrelieved by rest, in combination with a range of other disabling symptoms. There is no diagnostic test nor targeted treatment available for this illness. The pathomechanism also remains unclear. Mitochondrial dysfunctions have been considered a possible underlying pathology based on reported differences including structural and functional changes in ME/CFS patients compared to healthy controls. Due to the potential role that mitochondria may play in ME/CFS, mitochondrial-targeting nutraceutical interventions have been used to potentially assist in improving patient outcomes such as fatigue. The aim of this systematic review is to appraise literature assessing these nutraceuticals as a possible intervention for treating ME/CFS.
A systematic search of Pubmed, Embase, Medline (EBSCO host) and Web of Science (via Clarivate Analytics) for journal articles published between January 1995 and 10th November 2020 was conducted. Articles assessing nutraceutical interventions and ME/CFS patient outcomes were retrieved. Using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, the list of articles was further refined. Quality was measured using the Rosendal scale.
Nine intervention studies were included in this review. The studies investigated patient symptom severity changes such as altered fatigue levels in response to mitochondrial-targeting nutraceuticals. Improvements in fatigue levels were observed in six of the nine studies. Secondary outcomes assessed include biochemical, psychological, and quality of life parameters.
There is insufficient evidence on the effectiveness of mitochondria- targeting nutraceuticals in ME/CFS patients. Future well-designed studies are required to elucidate both the involvement of mitochondria in the pathomechanism of ME/CFS and the effect of mitochondrial-modifying agents on illness severity.