Enada? Reduces Chronic Fatigue Symptoms
It’s a disorder of the affluent, and strikes middle-aged white women more than any other demographic group. Although no one knows for sure what triggers chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or how to treat it, a study published in the February Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology [1999;82(2):185-911 suggests a dietary supplement may help manage a few of the disease’s more debilitating symptoms.
Linda M. Forsyth, M.D., and colleagues at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., studied the effects of Enada, a stabilized, orally absorbable form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) on 26 people with CFS. NADH is a coenzyme known to trigger energy production by replenishing cellularstores of ATP—the body’s energy source. Researchers theorized it might therefore reduce the physical and mental fatigue associated with CFS. Birkmayer Pharmaceuticals of Vienna, which manufactures Enada, collaborated on and funded the study.
Participants in the randomized, double- blind, placebo-controlled crossover study experienced at least four recognized symptoms of chronic fatigue such as unexplained tiredness, difficulty thinking, sleep distur- bances, headaches or sore throats. They rated the severity of their symptoms before, during and after treatment with NADH. Those who demonstrated at least a 10 percent change for the better according to a 50-item questionnaire were considered "improved."
Subjects took 10 mg of either Enada or placebo once daily for four weeks. After a four-week break, subjects were given the alternate regimen for another four weeks. Of the 26 subjects, eight (32 percent) demonstrated improvement while taking Enada in contrast to the two (8 percent) who felt better when taking placebo. Symptom improvement was characterized by less fatigue, fewer symptoms and an improved quality of life. Neither muscle strength nor lab measurements of immunity increased after taking NADH, but urinary concentrations of serotonin metabolites did. People with CFS often have serotonin metabolism problems.
Researchers noted that NADH dosages more tailored to patients’ individual needs and a longer treatment period might produce better results. A longer-term, continuing study appears to confirm these initial findings, yet it remains to be seen if NADH can improve muscle energy metabolism and immune response.