Editor's Comment: Robuvit is an antioxidant product recently trademarked by Horphag Research Management, the French company that owns Pycnogenol. Robuvit has been recently tested for antihistamine properties, as well as liver protection. The criteria for choosing the CFS patient cohort was not explained in this abstract.
Improved management of primary chronic fatigue syndrome with the supplement French oak wood extract (Robuvit®): a pilot, registry evaluation
Aim: The aim of this supplement study was to evaluate French oak wood extract (Robuvit®, Horphag Research Ltd) used as a supplement in association with a defined management plan for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in healthy subjects with CFS, a condition that has, so far, no specific treatment or management standards.
Methods: Robuvit® is a new proprietary and exclusive extract of oak wood with important antoxidant actions. The dosage of the supplementation was 200 mg/day for at least 6 months. The CFS questionnaire and the Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) questionnaire were used to evaluate mood variations associated with CFS patients. The CFS form includes an analogue scale to record the variations of single symptoms with a score range of 0-10. At inclusion into the registry study, at least 5 symptoms were present. All subjects (age range 35-44; BMI range 24-26) with CFS were tested for oxidative stress: 61 out of 91 subjects had an increased value of oxidative stress. The BMIS scale evaluating mood changes in time was also used. The evaluation was repeated at 3 and 6 months.
Results: Out of 91 eligible subjects with CFS, 48 subjects (31 with increased oxidative stress) were accepted as part of the supplement registry study using Robuvit; 43 (30 with increased oxidative stress) were accepted as controls using only the management plan. In the Robuvit® group there were 3 drop outs; also 3 controls were lost. Oxidative stress was increased in 64.58% of subjects that used Robuvit and in 69.7% of controls. The average values of oxidative stress were expressed for the whole group. The average follow up was 199.3;9.2 days in the Robuvit group and 202.2;5.5 in the control group with a minimum of 6 months.
Considering variations in oxidative stress, there was no significant average change in controls, but a significant decrease from the initial values was observed in Robuvit subjects after 3 and 6 months. The CFS questionnaire variations in score indicated that there was a significant improvement for most symptoms after 3 and 6 months in the Robuvit group. Positive variations were also present in controls, indicating the positive effect of an increased attention to CFS. The improvement in signs/symptoms was significantly more valuable in subjects using the oak wood extract considering the main 8 symptoms and the accessory symptoms.
Considering the BMIS variations, the totals for positive and negative items were significantly more favourable for Robuvit subjects. Overall mood evaluation in the oak wood extract group improved from an inclusion average of -6.93;2.1 to +4.32;2.6 at 6 months; in contrast it changed from -6.5;2.5 to -3.4;1.5 in controls. No side effects were observed during the supplementation with Robuvit. The compliance was optimal with 93% of the capsules correctly used.
Conclusion: This promising pilot supplement registry study indicates a new opportunity of management for these difficult and often neglected patients. Correlation between oxidative stress and CFS have to be better explored.
Source: Belcaro G, Cornelli U, Luzzi R, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, Feragalli B, Hu S, Pellegrini L, Ippolito E. Improved management of primary chronic fatigue syndrome with the supplement French oak wood extract (Robuvit®): a pilot, registry evaluation. Panminerva Med. 2013 Nov 14. [Epub ahead of print].