Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements

The following supplements are important for CFS patients:

Beta carotene-100,000 I.U. daily

Vitamin C - 2,000 mg, three times daily

Vitamin E-400 to 800 I. U. daily

Vitamin B-complex-50 to 100 mg of all B vitamins daily (take in the evening)

High-potency multivitamin/mineral combination

Zinc picolinate-30 mg daily

Magnesium glycinate-1000 mg daily

Calcium citrate or lactate- 1000 mg daily with vitamin D, 400 units

Manganese-15 mg daily

Omega 3 EFAs (EPA/DHA)-300 mg/300 mg three times daily

Pantothenic acid-250 mg two times daily

Acetyl-L-carnitine-l,000 mg two times daily for three months, then 250 to 500 mg daily

Coenzyme Q-10-100 to 200 mg daily for three months (an oil/resin-bound form for maximum absorption)

L-Lysine-1,000 mg, three times daily for three months, then 1,000 mg daily

Malic acid-600 to 1,000 mg daily

Alpha lipoic acid-100 mg three to four times daily

L-glutathione-50 mg two times daily

Adrenal extract-one or two tablets three times daily

Thymus gland extract-one or two tablets three times daily

Vitamin B-l2 injections, 2,000 mcg with folic acid, 5 mg one or two times per week

Gamma globulin injections weekly for several months

Some naturopathic physicians treat CFS with an intravenous solution containing pantothenic acid, vitamin C, and hydrochloric acid (HCl). Many people report remarkable improvement with this treatment.


Magnesium deficiency may also be a problem for CFS patients. Magnesium and malic acid assist in initiating the Krebs cycle, a series of biochemical reactions that transform nutrients into energy. In a recent study, twenty people with CFS were compared with twenty healthy volunteers. The blood magnesium content of the CFS patients were found to be significantly lower. In another study, thirty-two patients with CFS were given intramuscular injections of magnesium. Eighty percent of those receiving the magnesium had reduced symptoms and improved energy while less than 20 percent of those on placebo injections reported improvement. Take a combination formula that supplies 100 milligrams of magnesium and 300 milligrams of malic acid three times daily, twenty minutes before each meal, for six to eight weeks.

Vitamin B-12

A New Zealand study found that injection of vitamin B 12 in CFS patients helped normalize imbalances in their red blood cells.

The B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid, B2 and B6, are depleted in stressful situations. They lend the nerves support and help build reserves. Fortified yeast supplements are excellent sources of B vitamins and provide the body with extra energy.

Evening primrose oil has proven helpful when taken over several months. The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in evening primrose oil is anti- inflammatory, reducing the aches and pains and other symptoms associated with the disease.

Vitamin C is excellent for the immune system and helps to fend off colds and flus, common to chronic fatigue sufferers.

Vitamin A is essential for the production of antibodies necessary to fight viral infections.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, ensuring that vitamin A is not destroyed by oxygen, and improving the supply of oxygen to the cells.

Chlorella is a replenishing supplement. It contains high amounts of chlorophyll, which detoxifies and helps destroy viruses. Blue-green algae, another green food, focuses on strengthening the immune system.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria are necessary for a healthy immune system and are often lacking in those with chronic fatigue, especially if antibiotics have been taken.

Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, and proteolytic enzymes help reduce inflammation. Take 500 milligrams of either of these enzymes twice a day, between meals.

Digestive Enzyme Supplement: The digestion and assimilation of nutrients is often compromised in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Take a full-spectrum digestive-enzyme supplement containing 5,000 international units of lipase, 2,500 international units of amylase, 300 international units of protease, plus 500 to 1,000 milligrams of pancreatin, with each meal.

Note: Long-term supplementation with pancreatin is not advised, as it can cause your pancreas to reduce its own production of this important enzyme. Overuse also has the potential to cause nausea or diarrhea. After two months on pancreatin, discontinue use and monitor your reaction. If you find that your problems recur, discuss pancreatin supplementation with your health-care provider.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is very useful if the fatigue is associated with anxiety. Take 500 milligrams in the morning and again at bedtime.

Note: If you are taking melatonin in the evening, eliminate the evening dose of GABA.

Glucosamine sulfate relieves joint pain by assisting in the production of cartilage. Take 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate three times daily (if you weigh over 200 pounds, take the same dose four times daily). It may take up to eight to twelve weeks to see results, so don't give up too soon.

Lipotropics are emulsifiers that help in the digestion of fats. They also assist in the transmission of signals from one nerve cell to another, which is an important consideration if you are experiencing body-wide weakness. Take 1,200 milligrams (or 1 tablespoon) of lecithin twice daily, with meals. Or take 300 to 500 milligrams of a lipotropic complex three times daily, with meals.

Thymus glandular extract enhances immune function, which is often impaired in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Take 750 milligrams of thymus extract at breakfast and again at lunch.

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