Natural Dietary Supplements (video)

Could supplements help treat symptoms of fibromyalgia? 

Research organizations list supplements as a complimentary treatment providing benefits to patients with fibromyalgia, but there is no conclusive research to support the benefits:  Three supplements might help manage the pain: Sam-E, 5-HTP, and capsaicin.  There are no FDA regulations for supplements and there may be limited information about the ingredients, side effects and dosage.

5-HTP or 5 Hydroxy Tryptophan – A supplement made from the seed of an African plant that is said to help raise available levels Serotonin.  The University of Maryland Medical Center has said that 5-HTP can improve fibromyalgia-related pain, anxiety, stiffness and fatigue.  They do note that more studies are needed.

Sam-E – Research has found Sam-E relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis and depression.  It’s still not clear how it benefits fibromyalgia.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests benefits could be tied to the anti-depressant effects of Sam-E.  Studies show people using an injectable form of Sam-E experienced reduced pain, fatigue, stiffness and a depressed mood, but only some people taking it orally benefitted from Sam-E.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin is a chemical providing fire to hot peppers used in topical creams and in high potency 8% patches to block pain messages.  One study found that a single 60 minute application in patients with neuropathic pain provided pain relief for up to 12 weeks.  Talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter creams or the patch.

It is extremely important to make an appointment to speak with your doctor to discuss any supplements you want to try and be sure they work with other medications you are taking.


This video was created by and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.