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Research: Garum Armoricum Extract Shows Benefits for Fatigue and Stress

  [ 64 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • February 7, 2004

Garum armoricum is a deep sea fish, called the Great Bluefish, that is native to Brittany in France.

A study was conducted on 20 patients who had been ill with various forms of chronic fatigue for 1-3 months. Patients were registered and information was collected in accordance with the protocol of the European Fatigue Study Group, which includes scales to measure anxiety, depression, muscle fatigue, mental fatigue, sleep disorders, and headache. Four placebo capsules were given to these patients daily during the first 2 weeks of the study.

Then 4 capsules of garum extract were given daily for the next 2 weeks of the study. After 2 weeks on placebo, fatigue symptoms were reduced by an average of 14%, and overall symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia were reduced by 4%. On the other hand, after 2 weeks of taking garum extract, fatigue symptoms were reduced by 51%, and overall symptoms were reduced by 65%. In 2 weeks after discontinuing garum extract therapy, fatigue symptoms increased 15%, and overall symptoms increased 7%.

These results demonstrate the broad-spectrum benefits of garum extract for people with chronic stress and fatigue. It is interesting to note that the beneficial effects of garum extract persisted even after the treatment was stopped (Elbaz 1988).

Other studies involved 40 patients who had also been experiencing various forms of chronic fatigue for 1-3 months. Four capsules of garum extract were prescribed daily for 2 weeks. The results, based on the Fatigue Study Group criteria, showed an average benefit of 50% for the 10 functions that most accurately measure fatigue and depression (Crocq et al. 1978; Bugard 1984).

Recognizing the challenge of managing the anxiety and depression, which often appear together and require more than one drug for effective treatment (Sussman 1993a), and also the concerns about typical drug therapy and habituation (Gabe et al. 1991; Sussman 1993b), Dorman et al. (1995) conducted a study to examine the efficacy of Garum armoricum in what was termed "free-floating" anxiety. The study subjects were otherwise healthy college students who experienced significant stress and anxiety from final examinations. The study was controlled and vigilance was maintained to watch for possible side effects. Administration of Garum armoricum resulted in a statistically significant difference in mean anxiety test scores, with the subjects taking Garum armoricum demonstrating lowered anxiety test scores during the second and third weeks.

Interestingly, Dorman et al. (1995) also reported that Garum armoricum had a lingering anxiolytic (tranquilizing) effect following its use (beyond a week) in subjects who were experiencing anxiety.

In a study based on the positive results of an earlier study of Garum armoricum in the areas of weakness and fatigue-related depression and anxiety, Le Poncin et al. (2000) conducted a double-blind versus placebo study to examine the effects of Garum armoricum on memory and cognitive disorders. Their results demonstrated statistically significant positive effects, especially in the group of subjects who were 40-50 years of age. Significant improvement was noted in refreshing sleep, motivation, concentration, and memorization skills.

Le Poncin et al. (2000) reported that the favorable effects on weakness and fatigue-related depression appeared to be factors in improved memory and cognitive function. Le Poncin et al. (2000) concluded that Garum armoricum had no harmful side effects, was not addictive, and had proven efficacy in their studies. Any reactions were mild, without the necessity of interrupting the treatment. Therefore, it appears that garum extract is extremely well-tolerated and is without contraindications.

A Japanese researcher reported that when garum extract reduces anxiety, it results in improved learning, including enhanced EEG (electroencephalogram) brain wave activity (Haruyama undated report).

Even though studies demonstrate that Garum armoricum extract relieves depressive symptoms and anxiety that are often associated with chronic stress and fatigue, it may not be effective or appropriate for more complex conditions, such as clinical depression or bipolar manic depression. Use of Adapton for these more complex conditions should be only under the supervision of a physician.

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