Relief of the array of symptoms typical in fibromyalgia can be a challenge. Medications may help, but rarely control all the symptoms.

See Medications to Ease Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Dietary supplements may fill this treatment gap for people dealing with pain, sleep difficulties, fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, and other issues.


Symptoms Relieved

Everyone experiences fibromyalgia differently, but turmeric, vitamin C, and coenzyme Q10 are supplements that have shown benefits in easing fibromyalgia symptoms:

See What You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia

  • Turmeric. Used since ancient times, turmeric—with its active ingredient curcumin—has long been known for anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a shrub that produces an orange-colored spice used in curry powder.

    See Turmeric and Curcumin for Arthritis

    In one research study of 62 people with fibromyalgia, participants took four 42 mg tablets of a purified curcumin extract called Flexofytol for six weeks. Symptoms of widespread pain, dizziness, cramps, and paresthesia (a burning, tingling, or prickly feeling) in the extremities were significantly reduced.

    There was also improvement in levels of fatigue. The supplement was not significantly helpful for headache and tender point symptoms, however. 1 T. Appelboom and C. MsciBiost. Flexofytol, a Purified Curcumin Extract, in Fibromyalgia and Gout: A Retrospective Study, Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 104-107. doi: 10.4236/ojra.2013.32015.

    See Do Curcumin Supplements Have Drawbacks?

    To make sure curcumin supplements are well absorbed, the supplements should be taken with a meal that includes fats or oils.

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  • Vitamin D. A blood test can determine whether a person's level of vitamin D is low. Vitamin D supplements are often used to improve muscle strength and reduce inflammation for people with various health conditions.

    Often called the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is crucial in forming strong bones and teeth. Sun exposure can help, and fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk are good food sources of Vitamin D.

    See How to Create a Fibromyalgia-Friendly Diet

    One study found that a group of 30 people given vitamin D supplements for 20 weeks experienced significant pain relief and improved daily functioning, compared with the control group. The dosage varied with the individual's condition. The participants were all diagnosed with fibromyalgia. 2 Wepner F, Scheuer R, Schuetz-wieser B, et al. Effects of vitamin D on patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pain. 2014;155(2):261-8.

    In some cases, the doctor may recommend a multivitamin that includes antioxidant vitamins A, C, D, E, and the B vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc to ease symptoms.

  • Coenzyme Q10. This antioxidant, used to convert food into energy, has shown some promise in treating fibromyalgia symptoms.

    See Multi-Specialty Fibromyalgia Treatment

    One small study of people who took 300 mg daily of coenzyme Q10—also called CoQ10—for 40 days showed a marked easing of fatigue, morning tiredness, and pain. 3 Cordero MD, Alcocer-gómez E, De miguel M, et al. Can coenzyme q10 improve clinical and molecular parameters in fibromyalgia?. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013;19(12):1356-61.

    See Getting the Sleep You Need With Fibromyalgia

    Another research study also found an improvement in headache symptoms for women who took 300 mg of coenzyme Q10 each day. 4 Cordero MD, Cano-garcía FJ, Alcocer-gómez E, De miguel M, Sánchez-alcázar JA. Oxidative stress correlates with headache symptoms in fibromyalgia: coenzyme Q₁₀ effect on clinical improvement. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(4):e35677.

    Meat, fish, poultry, soybean oil, and canola oil are especially good sources of coenzyme Q10.

    See Food and Fibromyalgia: What to Know


Other Supplements to Consider

This is not a complete list of supplements. Some supplements that have been helpful in treating other conditions have not been widely studied in people with fibromyalgia, such as:

  • Signs of a serious vitamin B12 deficiency are similar to fibromyalgia symptoms: muscle weakness, fatigue, sleep problems, paresthesia, anxiety, and depression.
  • Cellfood is a blend of minerals, enzymes, electrolytes, dissolved oxygen, and amino acids.
  • Ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory, has been used to relieve muscle and joint pain in other conditions.
  • Boswellia, also known as frankincense, is an anti-inflammatory that has been used to improve function and reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. 5 Vishal AA, Mishra A, Raychaudhuri SP. A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Clinical Study Evaluates the Early Efficacy of Aflapin® in Subjects with Osteoarthritis of Knee. Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(7):615-622. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.615.

Given the number of coexisting medical conditions typical for people with fibromyalgia, symptoms and treatments can vary considerably.

See Fibromyalgia or Not? 6 Conditions to Know

Supplements can make a major difference in a person's quality of life, but should not be taken without talking with the doctor first. The doctor can alert the patient to potential side effects or interactions that could limit the effectiveness of medications being taken.

Dr. Vijay Vad is a sports medicine specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, where he specializes in back pain, knee arthritis, frozen shoulder, and general sports medicine. He previously served as a physician for the professional men’s tennis circuit and on the Westchester Classic of the PGA Tour.