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By Cort Johnson, Health Rising, 26 March 2023

Exercise clinical trials now permeate Fibromyalgia research, and they indicate that moderate exercise is, by and large, helpful. The other side of the coin is that muscle and mitochondrial studies have also noted an impressive list of problems regarding ME / CFS / Long-COVID.

The latest study made a very simple assertion. If mitochondria problems are indeed present in FM, then problems with oxygen delivery should show up as well. The mitochondria (The energy centres of the cells) rely on oxygen to produce energy. If they aren’t working well, then oxygen delivery should drop.

Spanish researchers examined the oxygen and haemoglobin levels in FM patients and healthy controls as they exercised their quadriceps muscle. As their mitochondria used up more oxygen, their muscle oxygen levels should drop, and the number of haemoglobin molecules (Which carry oxygen to the muscles) should rise, as they pump more and more oxygen into the muscles.

In a clear sign that their mitochondria weren’t working as well and weren’t taking in as much oxygen as the healthy controls, the FM patients’ levels of muscle tissue oxygen weren’t as depleted, nor did they have as many oxygen-depleted haemoglobin cells as the healthy controls.

Even more interesting, even though their muscles had undergone a considerable amount of stress, their oxygen levels, etc. simply didn’t change that much.

A similar finding regarding the autonomic nervous system showed up in a Fibromyalgia exercise study – It simply didn’t respond much. Plus, despite finding that exercise induced massive changes in metabolites in healthy controls, the metabolites in ME / CFS hardly responded at all. It’s as if the proper response to exercise has been shut off.

Several studies have found that energy-enhancing supplements such as CoQ10 and acetyl-carnitine may be as helpful as Lyrica and Cymbalta.

Interestingly, fatty acid problems – Which play a key role in energy production, have recently shown up in FM, ME / CFS and Long-COVID.

Still, exercise studies have generally been helpful in FM. How to parse those findings, and these, will be the subject of a further article by Health Rising.

To read Cort Johnson’s full article, click here to visit Health Rising.


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