Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin with many functions, including involvement in metabolism. For more on vitamin B12, check out our vitamin B12 blog here.
Previous studies reported benefits of coenzyme Q10 supplementation in:
- general fatigue
But what about CFS?
The key question is:
Is vitamin B12 effective for the nutritional treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
To date, there are 2 studies which have studied the effects of vitamin B12 supplementation in people with CFS.
A 1989 study from researchers at the University of California at Irvine used the gold standard study design to assess the effects of a vitamin B12 rich liver extract and noted improvement in several measures of functional status.
A more recent 2019 study from The Netherlands assessed the effects of a novel vitamin B12 preparation. Average vitamin B12 levels increased from 328 to 973 after vitamin B12 treatment.
77% of people with CFS reported improvement with vitamin B12 treatment and they reported:
- an increase in vitamin B12 levels
- an increase in daily walking
- an increase in overall physical activity
- a decrease in fatigue
In the 23% who did not improve, vitamin B12 levels also did NOT improve suggesting that absorption of vitamin B12 may have been an issue.
In addition to vitamin B12, other supplements which are scientifically demonstrated to improve CFS include:
- Cocoa, specific polyphenol-flavonoid rich cocoa
- Co-enzyme Q10
- Rhodiola rosea
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
Although, there is no scientific data for the following nutrients from research studies among individuals with CFS, there is strong rationale that these dietary components could be beneficial:
Some supplements which have been tested in CFS but failed to provide any benefit include: