Extract from article: New option for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, by Michael Franco
Frustrated by a lack of treatment options, an international team of researchers has focused their attention on a group of unique molecules called roburins, which are derived from oak wood.
Roburin-rich oak wood extract has shown tremendous promise in managing a cluster of the symptoms that define chronic fatigue syndrome.
Evidence suggests that roburins are responsible for improving the functioning of our cellular ribosomes. Located in nearly every cell in the body, ribosomes are the sites of protein production and are intimately involved in the function of every tissue, organ, and system.
The science of “ribosomal biogenesis” is now capturing the interest of scientists as a potential method for improving energy and biological function in the aging body.
Hope From The Oak
Determined scientists at several research centers have discovered unique compounds in oak wood that are proving to be an effective therapy in treating chronic fatigue.
Humans have been exposed to oak wood extracts for as long as they have been storing alcoholic beverages in aged oak barrels. This practice was originally adopted because of the preservative effects of fresh oak on new wines and spirits, but it has continued because of the unique flavor and character the oak provides to the aging liquor.
As the roburin molecules have been isolated and analyzed in modern laboratories, they have become available for use in animal and human studies aimed at transferring some of the oak’s resilience and stress resistance to humans.
Roburins In The Human Body
Two major human studies demonstrate the potential of roburins for mitigating chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
In the first study, researchers were interested in understanding how roburin molecules were distributed and absorbed, as well as their compatibility in the human body. Following five days of oral supplementation with roburin-rich oak wood extract-three capsules of a proprietary, patented extract called Robuvit®-the scientists found a 100% increase in plasma total phenols (a general measure of absorption of molecules in this class), as well as the presence of roburin breakdown products (metabolites) in urine of healthy volunteers.
Since roburins are found only in oak wood,4 the data demonstrated vigorous absorption and conversion of roburins into substances including urolithins and ellagic acid, which are known to have potent biological activities.
This study also revealed that the oak wood roburins trigger a complex set of biological events in the body. Using a sophisticated technology that measures changes in gene expression, the researchers were able to show that blood serum from supplemented people in the study may beneficially alter the expression of several genes in human cells in culture.
Among the most consistent changes in gene expression induced by the serum from oak wood extract in supplemented patients had to do with the activities of ribosomes, the ultramicroscopic cellular organelles that are responsible for the “translation” of genes in DNA into specific proteins. Long regarded as simply tiny protein-manufacturing plants, ribosomes are now emerging as essential in the maintenance of normal cellular functions, and as key players in the science of “systemic aging” and disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
What You Need to Know: Treating Chronic Fatigue With Oak Wood Extract
Chronic fatigue syndrome affects as many as 4 million Americans, but no clear-cut cause has yet been identified, and no effective treatment is available.
A novel extract of the French oak tree, Quercus robur, contains compounds called roburins that, under the influence of human intestinal organisms, are converted into bioactive molecules called urolithins.
This oak wood extract provides support for ribosomes, the tiny cellular factories responsible for accurately producing structural and functional proteins everywhere in the body.
Ribosomal dysfunction has been implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome, so the ribosomal support properties of oak wood extract are of great interest to scientists.
Research has shown that oak wood extract rich in roburins (Robuvit®) significantly improves symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome in human patients after three months of supplementation. Oak wood extract demonstrates a unique, systems-level approach to fighting this previously untreatable condition.
Roburins And Chronic Fatigue
The clinical impact of roburin-rich oak wood extract was made evident by a second important human study, this one conducted among patients with known chronic fatigue syndrome. In the study, adults with at least five primary chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms were treated with 200 mg/day of Robuvit® oak wood extract for a minimum of six months. A control group that did not use the supplement was also established among patients with the same chronic fatigue symptoms. The scientists found that oak wood extract was productive in alleviating many of the most troubling symptoms of chronic fatigue.
Among those who used the oak wood extract, there were significant reductions for a multitude of key symptoms of chronic fatigue, including:
18% reduction in weakness and exhaustion,
44% reduction in unrefreshing sleep,
29% reduction in short-term memory impairment,
63% reduction in muscle pain,
51% reduction in joint pain,
33% reduction in headaches, and
47% reduction in tender lymph nodes in the armpit and neck.
Additionally, impressive reductions from baseline were also found in most secondary symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, including:
51% reduction in sensitivity to noise, foods, medications, and chemicals,
38% reduction in dizziness,
58% reduction in depression,
49% reduction in mood swings,
40% reduction in weight fluctuation,
24% reduction in alcohol intolerance,
39% reduction in allergies, and
29% reduction in visual disturbances.
There were no significant changes from baseline in all of these parameters for the patient group not taking the oak wood extract. These weren’t all of the changes, though. On a standardized mood scale, supplemented subjects had significant increases in their scores on positive items including feeling active, happy, peppy, caring, calm, and loving, along with significant reductions in negative items such as feeling gloomy, fed-up, grouchy, sad, or tired. In fact, the overall mood evaluation score in supplemented subjects rose from an average of -6.93 at baseline to +4.32 at six months. For controls, the average score at baseline was -6.5 and rose only to -3.4 at six months.
In those with chronic fatigue syndrome, scientists have found that oxidative stress levels are usually elevated. At the start of this study, 65% of supplemented and 70% of control patients showed elevated oxidative stress on blood tests. Following the supplementation period, control patients showed no decrease in oxidative stress, but supplemented subjects had 8 and 10% reductions at three and six months, respectively.
A third study demonstrated the impact of oak wood extract on the response to histamine in normal subjects. Histamine is a substance released in the face of allergic or inflammatory stimuli, and there is some evidence suggesting that chronic fatigue syndrome may be related to excessive release of, or sensitivity to, histamine in skin, intestines, or brain tissue.
In this study, female participants were randomly assigned to control or supplement groups (300 mg Robuvit®/day) for three days, followed by an injection of pure histamine into the skin. A normal response to this injection produces a so-called “wheal and flare” response: a raised, itchy skin wheal associated with a red flare on the skin surface and with increased microcirculation in the immediate area. Compared with control subjects, those who had supplemented with Robuvit® had a significantly smaller wheal area (28%), smaller area of redness (13%), and lower levels of circulation increase in the immediate area (49%). These results suggest an additional mechanism, blockade of histamine effects, for this novel roburin-rich oak wood extract’s effects on chronic fatigue syndrome.
No side effects of the oak wood extract supplementation were reported in any of the participants in these studies.