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Dietary Supplement Helps Veterans With Gulf War Illness

About one-third of the 700,000 U.S. troops who fought in the first Persian Gulf War have developed a set of chronic health issues. The symptoms of Gulf War illness include fatigue, muscle pain and breathing problems.

The UC San Diego study, published in the latest issue of Neural Computation, tested whether the supplement coenzyme Q10 could offer some relief.

Forty-six veterans, each of whom were diagnosed with Gulf War illness, were given either a placebo or 100 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 a day. UCSD's Dr. Beatrice Golomb, principal investigator of the study, said after three-and-a-half months, the results were surprising.


Out of 20 symptoms present in at least half of these affected veterans, 19 of them improved when veterans took Q10 instead of a placebo, Dr. Golomb explained.

Veterans who took the supplement reported fewer headaches, less fatigue and decreased muscle pain.

Dr. Golomb said the next step is to see whether a combination of coenzyme Q10 and additional nutrients that reduce cell damage could produce better results.