Natural Energy Boosters

August 3, 2012 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

One of the top five questions I’m asked has to do with natural, non-stimulating ways to increase energy. Most people are looking for fatigue fighters that do not contain caffeine (coffee) or related stimulants such as theobromine (cocoa). My first response is to establish whether there was a recent medical exam to rule out potential causes of low energy. Some serious health conditions such as heart, kidney and liver disease can result in fatigue. In addition, disorders involving red blood cells (anemia) and hyper or hypothyroidism may also be contributing factors.

Supplements used as natural energy boosters can be classified into two categories. The first is nutritional supplements. These products improve fatigue by providing essential nutrients which are necessary for optimal physiological function and health. The second group of supplements are not essential for wellness, but may support the body via alternate pathways which promote more energy all the same.

Maintaining adequate iron status is an important consideration for all women dealing with fatigue. Even in the absence of anemia, iron supplementation in such females has been shown to enhance energy. The authors of a current study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggest that, “iron supplementation should be considered for women with unexplained fatigue who have ferritin levels below 50 µg/L”. Another evidence-based option, this time for both men and women, is to supplement with a high potency multivitamin/mineral. However, in order to derive all of the benefits noted in the scientific literature, I recommend looking for a supplement that provides dosages of B-Vitamins that are significantly higher than the RDA, magnesium (a minimum of 100 mg/serving) and Vitamin C (500 mg or more daily). Supplements matching this general description have been documented as counteracting both mental and physical fatigue and, possibly, even supporting healthier cognitive functioning and mood.

Three recent trials also lend credibility to two nonnutritive supplements: Rhodiola rosea and spirulina. The former is an herbal extract which has been traditionally used as an adaptogen – a substance that safely assists the body in adapting to environmental, physical and psychological stressors. Two trials published in 2012 report that Rhodiola “decreases heart rate response to sub-maximal exercise, appears to improve endurance exercise performance by decreasing the perception of effort” and reduces disability and functional impairment induced by stress. Spirulina, an edible microalgae, has likewise been found to reduce “time to fatigue” in exercisers when taken at a dosage of 5 grams/day. Spirulina has an added benefit of increasing fat burning or oxidation and antioxidant activity in those who regularly supplement with it. Both supplements are stimulant-free and are generally considered safe when used as directed.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Effect of Iron Supplementation on Fatigue in Nonanemic Menstruating (link)

Study 2 – Intravenous Iron for the Treatment of Fatigue in Nonanemic(link)

Study 3 – A Pilot Iron Substitution Programme in Female Blood Donors with Iron (link)

Study 4 – Effects of a Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Supplement on Cognitive Function (link)

Study 5 – Effects of High-Dose B Vitamin Complex with Vitamin C and Minerals(link)

Study 6 – Efficacy of Oral Magnesium Administration on Decreased Exercise (link)

Study 7 – Vitamin C Status and Perception of Effort During Exercise in Obese (link)

Study 8 – Therapeutic Effects and Safety of Rhodiola Rosea Extract WS® 1375 (link)

Study 9 – The Effects of an Acute Dose of Rhodiola Rosea on Endurance Exercise (link)

Study 10 – Ergogenic and Antioxidant Effects of Spirulina Supplementation in (link)

Improving Iron Status Reduces Fatigue in Some Nonanemic Women

Source: Blood. 2011 Sep 22;118(12):3222-7. (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements, Women's Health

18 Comments & Updates to “Natural Energy Boosters”

  1. Becky Says:

    Thank you so much for the article. Could you please recommend a natural way to increase iron intake other than supplements? I tend to not tolerate well iron supplements or any multivitamins. Maybe there are certain herbs or foods that could taste good and at the same time target the iron deficiency problem? Look forward to your ideas.

  2. JP Says:

    Hi Becky,

    Below, I’ve included a link to a list of foods rich in iron. I’ll also post a list of Vitamin C rich foods – as taking iron with Vitamin C assists iron absorption:

    You might also consider some of the gentler forms of iron that are now available in a supplemental form such as iron bisglycinate and “food based” iron formulations. I suggest always taking them with food, preferably in the middle or end of a meal.

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    Update 04/17/15:

    Integr Cancer Ther April 14, 2015

    High-Dose Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) for Cancer-Related Fatigue
    A Preliminary Report

    Introduction and Objective. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is the most common and severe symptom in patients with cancer. The number and efficacy of available treatments for CRF are limited. The objective of this preliminary study was to assess the safety of high-dose Panax ginseng (PG) for CRF. Methods. In this prospective, open-label study, 30 patients with CRF (≥4/10) received high-dose PG at 800 mg orally daily for 29 days. Frequency and type of side effects were determined by the National Cancer Institute’s Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. Scores on the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue (FACIT-F) scale, Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were assessed at baseline, day 15, and day 29. Global Symptom Evaluation (GSE) was assessed at day 29. Results. Of the 30 patients enrolled, 24 (80%) were evaluable. The median age was 58 years; 50% were females, and 84% were white. No severe (≥grade 3) adverse events related to the study drug were reported. Of the 24 evaluable patients, 21 (87%) had an improved (by ≥3 points) FACIT-F score by day 15. The mean ESAS score (standard deviation) for well-being improved from 4.67 (2.04) to 3.50 (2.34) (P = .01374), and mean score for appetite improved from 4.29 (2.79) to 2.96 (2.46) (P = .0097). GSE score of PG for fatigue was ≥3 in 15/24 patients (63%) with median improvement of 5. Conclusion. PG is safe and improves CRF fatigue as well as overall quality of life, appetite, and sleep at night. Randomized controlled trials of PG for CRF are justified.

    Be well!


  4. JP Says:

    Update 07/02/15:

    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Jun 18;12:28.

    21 days of mammalian omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improves aspects of neuromuscular function and performance in male athletes compared to olive oil placebo.

    BACKGROUND: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (N-3) are essential nutrients for human health and integral components of neural tissues. There is evidence that N-3 supplementation may benefit exercise performance, however, no study has investigated the ergogenic potential of N-3 supplementation. Our objective was to determine the effect of short-term N-3 supplementation on neuromuscular-function and physical-performance in well-trained athletes.

    METHODS: Male athletes (n = 30), 25 years (SD 4.6), training 17 h(.)wk(-1) (SD 5) completed this randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-design study. At baseline a blood sample was collected, maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVC) with electromyography (EMG) recordings were measured, and participants underwent various performance tests including a Wingate test and 250 kJ time trial (TT) followed by repeated MVC and EMG measurement. Participants were then randomly assigned to receive N-3 (5 ml seal oil, 375 mg EPA, 230 mg DPA, 510 mg DHA) or placebo (5 ml olive oil) for 21-days after which baseline testing was repeated. The magnitude-based inference approach was used to estimate the probability that N-3 had a beneficial effect on neuromuscular-function and performance of at least ±1 %. Data are shown as mean ± 90 % confidence-interval.

    RESULTS: Plasma EPA was higher on N-3 than placebo (p = 0.004) but the increases in DPA and DHA were not significant (p = 0.087, p = 0.058). N-3 supplementation had an unclear effect on MVC force (4.1 ± 6.6 %) but increased vastus lateralis EMG by 20 ± 18 % vs placebo (very likely beneficial). N-3 supplementation reduced Wingate percent power drop by 4.76 ± 3.4 % vs placebo (very likely beneficial), but the difference in TT performance was unclear (-1.9 ± 4.8 %).

    CONCLUSION: Our data indicates N-3 PUFA supplementation improved peripheral neuromuscular function and aspects of fatigue with an unclear effect on central neuromuscular function.

    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Update 07/02/15:

    J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jul;21(7):422-429.

    The Effect of Oriental Medicine Music Therapy on Idiopathic Chronic Fatigue.

    OBJECTIVE: Idiopathic chronic fatigue (ICF), defined as medically unexplained chronic fatigue, is common these days. To date, there is no definite cure for ICF, and alternative therapies are being investigated. Oriental medicine music therapy (OMMT), a novel music therapy that occurs through an active behavioral process, has been applied to various chronic diseases, including ICF. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of OMMT on ICF.

    DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial of OMMT compared with the waitlist control (6 sessions each) during a 2-week period.

    PARTICIPANTS: Thirty participants who had had ICF for at least 6 months before the experiments were recruited.

    OUTCOME MEASURES: We evaluated fatigue severity scale (FSS), visual analog scale (VAS) for overall fatigue, revised Chalder fatigue scale (RCFS), World Health Organization quality of life scale abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF), Buzhongyiqi-Tang questionnaire (BZTQ), and salivary cortisol level at baseline (week 0) and at the end of the study (week 2) in the two groups.

    RESULTS: FSS, VAS, and RCFS scores were significantly lower, and WHOQOL-BREF scores were significantly higher in the OMMT group than in the waitlist group (p=0.006, p=0.004, p=0.002, and p=0.002, respectively). In contrast, salivary cortisol level and BZTQ scores were not significantly different between the OMMT group and the waitlist group.

    CONCLUSIONS: The present study suggests that OMMT may be an alternative treatment for ICF. Based on this result, further studies including possible mechanisms are needed.

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:

    Updated 07/30/15:

    Glob J Health Sci. 2015 Mar 25;7(6):43263.

    Sesame Lignans and Vitamin E Supplementation Improve Subjective Statuses and Anti-Oxidative Capacity in Healthy Humans With Feelings of Daily Fatigue.

    Sesamin has anti-oxidative functions in vivo. Fatigue is caused in part by oxidative stress. We evaluated whether sesame lignans (sesamin/episesamin = 1/1, 10 mg) with vitamin E (55 mg of alpha-tocopherol) (SVE) could improve subjective statuses and anti-oxidative capacity in humans using questionnaires on fatigue, sleep and physical appearance, as well as low-density lipoprotein oxidation lag time. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group study was conducted with subjects experiencing daily fatigue. After a run-in period, subjects were administered oral SVE or a placebo (P) for 8 weeks. A questionnaire regarding fatigue, sleep and physical appearance was conducted at 0, 4, and 8 weeks. Plasma low-density lipoprotein oxidation lag time was measured as an indicator of anti-oxidative capacity. The per-protocol analysis revealed significant improvements in fatigue status at 4 and 8 weeks compared to 0 weeks in both groups (p < 0.01), and sleep and physical appearance at 8 weeks compared to 0 weeks only in the SVE group (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences observed between the groups. According to the 72-subject subgroup analysis (aged 40 and over), the sleep and physical appearance significantly improved compared to the P group (p < 0.05), and fatigue status showed a tendency for improvement compared to the P group. Anti-oxidative capacity in the SVE group significantly increased compared to the P group (p < 0.01). No adverse events relating to SVE supplementation were confirmed. These results suggest SVE supplementation could safely alleviate daily fatigue and oxidative stress. Be well! JP

  7. JP Says:

    Updated 07/30/15:

    J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 May 28:jap.00192.2014.

    L-citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans.

    The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of L-citrulline (CIT) and L-arginine (ARG) supplementation on nitric oxide (NO) biomarkers, pulmonary O2 uptake (VO2) kinetics and exercise performance. In a randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, ten healthy adult males completed moderate- and severe-intensity cycling exercise on days 6 and 7 of a 7 day supplementation period with placebo (PLA), 6 g•day-1 of ARG and 6 g•day-1 of CIT. Compared to PLA, plasma [ARG] was increased by a similar magnitude with ARG and CIT supplementation, but plasma [CIT] was only increased (P<0.001) with CIT supplementation. Plasma nitrite concentration ([NO2 -]) was increased with ARG (P<0.05), and tended to increase with CIT (P=0.08), compared to PLA (PLA: 83 ± 25, ARG: 106 ± 41, CIT: 100 ± 38 nM); however, mean arterial blood pressure was only lower (P<0.05) after CIT supplementation. The steady state VO2 amplitude during moderate-intensity cycle exercise was not significantly different between supplements, but CIT speeded overall VO2 kinetics (PLA: 59 ± 8, CIT: 53 ± 5 s; P<0.05) during severe-intensity exercise, improved tolerance to severe-intensity exercise (PLA: 589 ± 101, CIT: 661 ± 107 s) and increased the total amount of work completed in the exercise performance test (PLA: 123 ± 18, CIT: 125 ± 19 kJ; P<0.05). These variables were not altered by ARG supplementation (P>0.05). In conclusion, these results suggest that short-term CIT, but not ARG, supplementation can improve blood pressure, VO2 kinetics and exercise performance in healthy adults.

    Be well!


  8. JP Says:

    Updated 07/30/15:

    Phytother Res. 2015 May 18.

    An Effect of Oak-Wood Extract (Robuvit®) on Energy State of Healthy Adults-A Pilot Study.

    The purpose of our study was to examine the psychological benefits of the treatment with Robuvit® (Horphag Research Ltd.) – polyphenolic extract obtained from the wood of oak Quercus robur – on the healthy elderly individuals using energy subscale scores of the Activation – Deactivation Adjective Check List. Analysis was focused on the comparison of pre-post treatment effect of Robuvit on symptoms of fatigue. In the total group of volunteers, significant increase of average question scores was found in three of four subscales of feelings (energy, tiredness, and tension) after 4 weeks of Robuvit administration. Effects of extract were observed mainly after stratification of total group of volunteers according to the level of feeling at the pre-treatment questionnaire. Our results demonstrate positive effect of Robuvit on mental and energy level in healthy human without any unwanted side effects.

    Be well!


  9. JP Says:

    Updated 04/23/16:

    Biopsychosoc Med. 2016 Apr 21;10:11.

    Aromatic effects of a Japanese citrus fruit-yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka)-on psychoemotional states and autonomic nervous system activity during the menstrual cycle: a single-blind randomized controlled crossover study.

    BACKGROUND: Yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka), a yellow-golden colored citrus fruit, has traditionally been used to promote psychosomatic health in Japan. While the yuzu produces a distinctive, pleasing aroma of citrus and floral, the efficacy of its fragrance remains unknown. The present study investigated the soothing effects of the fragrance of yuzu essential oil from the perspective of autonomic nervous system activity, which plays a crucial role in the integrity of the mind-body connection.

    METHODS: Twenty one women in their 20s participated in a single-blind randomized controlled crossover study. Subjects were examined twice each in the follicular and late-luteal phases. Two kinds of aromatic stimulation (yuzu and water as a control) were used. This experiment measured heart rate variability (HRV) reflecting autonomic nervous system activity and used the Profile of Mood States (POMS) as a psychological index before and after the aromatic stimulation.

    RESULTS: Only a 10-min inhalation of the yuzu scent significantly decreased heart rate and increased high frequency power of HRV reflecting parasympathetic nervous system activity, regardless of menstrual phase. This significant physiological effect continued for at least 25 min. In addition, the POMS tests revealed that inhalation of the aromatic yuzu oil significantly decreased total mood disturbance, a global measure of affective state, together with two POMS subscales-tension-anxiety and fatigue, as long as 35 min after the aroma stimulation, both in the symptomatic late-luteal and non-symptomatic follicular phases.

    CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides the novel information that yuzu’s aromatic effects could serve to alleviate negative emotional stress, which, at least in part, would contribute to the improvement of parasympathetic nervous system activity.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Updated 06/03/16:

    Nutrients. 2015 Mar 13;7(3):1965-77.

    Could a change in diet revitalize children who suffer from unresolved fatigue?

    Many children deal with fatigue for which no proper treatment can be given. A possible explanation for their fatigue is a micro deficiency of minerals and vitamins. In this non-randomized controlled trial, we clinically evaluated symptoms of fatigue in children for whom a nutrient-rich diet was advised. A group of 98 children (2-18 years old) with unexplained symptoms of fatigue was examined. The dietary modifications consisted of green vegetables, beef, whole milk and full-fat butter. Children in the intervention group were asked to follow the diet for three months, whereas the control-group followed their normal diet. The primary outcome was symptoms of fatigue, as determined by a PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, and secondary outcomes were compliance with the diet and BMI. Children, who followed the diet showed a significant decrease in the need to sleep (CI 0.83; 14.86, p = 0.03). They slept better through the night and took fewer naps. When analyzing components of the advised diet separately, a significant larger decrease in cognitive fatigue symptoms was seen for eating green vegetables according to the diet guidelines (CI 2.27; 30.63, p = 0.024). Furthermore, a lower need to sleep was seen when whole milk was consumed almost daily (CI 0.02; 14.62, p = 0.049). Our study showed that nutritional advice is an elegant, and effective method for decreasing some symptoms of medically unresolved fatigue in children.

    Be well!


  11. JP Says:

    Updated 06/17/16:

    Panminerva Med. 2016 Jun 16.

    Effect of magnesium, probiotic, and vitamin food supplementation in healthy subjects with psychological stress and evaluation of a persistent effect after discontinuing intake.

    BACKGROUND: To describe the changes in subjects’ psychological stress intensity under the effect of dietary supplements of magnesium, probiotics, and vitamins after one month of intake.

    METHODS: Observational cohort study of subject complaining of psychological stress defined by a Perceived Stress Scale (PSS 10) score of more than 21.

    RESULTS: The study covered 242 healthy volunteers, 38.6 ± 13.6 years old, among whom 79.8% were women. Under the effect of the supplementation of magnesium, probiotics, and vitamins, the psychological stress of the subjects decreased significantly from 34.1 ± 4.5 to 26.2 ± 6.1 (p<0.0001), which corresponds to an average reduction of 22.7 ± 16.0%. Fatigue decreased even more significantly from 16.8 ± 6.4 to 8.7 ± 6.2 (p<0.0001), which corresponds to an average reduction of 45.0% ± 38.1%. Analysis showed that the psychological stress level was strictly similar one month after the treatment was discontinued and therefore clearly demonstrated that the psychological benefit was maintained over time.

    CONCLUSIONS: Stress and fatigue are significantly reduced by the intake of a food supplement with probiotics, magnesium, vitamins, and minerals and this effect is fully maintained one month after discontinuing the food supplement intake.

    Be well!


  12. JP Says:

    Updated 07/13/16:

    Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun 27.

    High-dose vitamin D3 reduces circulating hepcidin concentrations: A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy adults.

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: In vitro studies suggest that vitamin D may reduce hepcidin expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine release from monocytes. However, data assessing the vitamin D-mediated effects on iron recycling in healthy individuals are lacking. We aimed to examine the effect of high-dose vitamin D3 on plasma hepcidin, inflammatory cytokine, and ferritin concentrations in healthy adults.

    METHODS: This was a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy adults (N = 28) randomized to receive a one-time oral dose of 250,000 IU of vitamin D3 or placebo. Between- and within-group differences in plasma hepcidin, pro-inflammatory cytokine [interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)], and ferritin concentrations at baseline and 1 week were determined using two-sample and paired t-tests, respectively.

    RESULTS: At baseline, plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], hepcidin, pro-inflammatory cytokine, and ferritin concentrations did not differ between the two groups, and greater than 70% of subjects in both groups were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL). After 1 week, plasma hepcidin concentrations decreased by 73% from baseline in those who received vitamin D3 (geometric mean ratio [GMR] = 0.27 (95% CI: 0.11-0.62); P = 0.005); there was no significant change in the placebo group (GMR = 0.73 (95% CI: 0.49-1.09); P = 0.11). Plasma cytokine and ferritin concentrations did not change significantly in either group. CONCLUSIONS: High-dose vitamin D3 significantly reduced plasma hepcidin concentrations in healthy adults 1 week post-dosing, without a change in plasma pro-inflammatory cytokine or ferritin concentrations. These data suggest that vitamin D may have a role in regulating iron recycling by acting independently of changes in pro-inflammatory markers. Be well! JP

  13. JP Says:

    Updated 08/13/16:

    Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016;67(2):203-6.

    A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of spirulina supplementation on indices of mental and physical fatigue in men.

    Spirulina may increase people’s ability to resist mental and physical fatigue. This study tested that hypothesis in a randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled study in men. After 1 week, a 3 g/day dose of spirulina produced a small, but statistically significant increase in exercise output (Kcals consumed in 30 min exercise on a cross trainer machine). A mathematical based mental fatigue test showed improved performance 4 h after the first time of supplementation as well as 8 weeks later. Similarly, a subjective survey for a sense of physical and mental fatigue showed improvement within 4 h of the first supplementation as well as 8 weeks later. These results show that spirulina intake can affect fatigue in men.

    Be well!


  14. JP Says:

    Updated 03/07/17:

    Complement Med Res. 2017;24(1):46-52.

    Rhodiola rosea in Subjects with Prolonged or Chronic Fatigue Symptoms: Results of an Open-Label Clinical Trial.

    BACKGROUND: Rhodiola rosea roots and rhizomes are a herbal medicine for temporary relief of stress symptoms such as fatigue and sensed weakness. A daily dosage of 400 mg is recommended.

    METHODS: A dry ethanolic extract of R. rosea (WS® 1375) was studied in 100 subjects with prolonged or chronic fatigue symptoms. In an uncontrolled, open-label multicenter clinical trial, the subjects were administered 2 × 200 mg WS® 1375 over 8 weeks. Outcome measures were scales and tests related to fatigue. They were evaluated in an exploratory data analysis to generate hypotheses regarding efficacy. The pilot character of the trial is marked by its broad focus on subjects suffering from fatigue in general and by its comparatively long duration.

    RESULTS: The greatest change was observed after 1 week of treatment. The fatigue symptoms continued to decline further, with statistically significant improvement at week 8. The safety assessments of WS® 1375 during the trial proved to be favorable, with most adverse events being of mild intensity and not related to the study drug.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that 2 × 200 mg WS® 1375 may be an effective treatment in subjects suffering from prolonged or chronic fatigue. The safety and tolerability of WS® 1375 also presented a favorable profile.

    Be well!


  15. JP Says:

    Updated 03/25/17:

    Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Dec;95(52):e5353.

    Effect of vitamin D3 on self-perceived fatigue: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial.

    BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency is frequent and has been associated with fatigue in uncontrolled trials.

    METHODS: This is the first double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of per os vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in treating fatigue among otherwise healthy persons with low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels. We enrolled 120 individuals (mean age 29 ± 6 years, 53% women) presenting with fatigue and vitamin D deficiency (serum 25(OH)D < 20 μg/L). Participants were randomized to a single oral dose of 100,000 units of vitamin D or placebo. The primary endpoint was intra-individual change in the fatigue assessment scale (FAS) at 4 weeks after treatment. RESULT: The mean age of the participants was 29 ± 6 years, 53% were women. Mean FAS decreased significantly more in the vitamin D group (-3.3 ± 5.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] for change -14.1 to 4.1) compared with placebo (-0.8 ± 5.3; 95% CI for change -9.0 to 8.7); (P = 0.01). Amelioration of fatigue was reported more frequently in vitamin D than in placebo group (42 [72%] vs. 31 [50%]; P = 0.01; odds ratio [OR] 2.63, 95% CI for OR 1.23-5.62). Among all participants, improvement in fatigue score correlated with the rise in 25(OH)D level (R = -0.22, P = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Vitamin D treatment significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency. Be well! JP

  16. JP Says:

    Updated 05/27/17:

    Pharmacogn Mag. 2017 Apr-Jun;13(50):326-331.

    Anti-Fatigue Effect of Green Tea Polyphenols (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG).

    BACKGROUND: (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant of the green tea polyphenols that exhibit a variety of bioactivities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the anti-fatigue effect of EGCG by forced swimming exercise.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mice were divided into one control group and three EGCG-treated groups. The control group was administered with distilled water and EGCG-treated groups were administered with different dose of EGCG (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) by oral gavage for 28 days. On the last day of experiment, the forced swimming exercise was performed and corresponding biochemical parameters were measured.

    RESULTS: The data showed that EGCG prolonged exhaustive swimming time, decreasing the levels of blood lactic acid, serum urea nitrogen, serum creatine kinase and malondialdehyde, which were accompanied by corresponding increase in liver and muscle glycogen contents, and superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that EGCG had an anti-fatigue effect.

    SUMMARY: EGCG significantly prolonged exhaustive swimming time and decreased the levels of BLA, SUN, SCK and MDA, which were accompanied by corresponding increases in liver and muscle glycogen contents, and SOD, CAT, and GPx activities.EGCG can be used to design nutraceutical supplements aimed to facilitate recovery from fatigue and attenuate exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative damage.

    Be well!


  17. JP Says:

    Updated 05/14/18:

    J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 May;58(5):678-683.

    Robuvit®: improvement of fatigue in medical convalescence.

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this registry study was the evaluation of symptoms of fatigue following supplementation with an oak wood extract (Robuvit®) after disappearance of acute symptoms. Robuvit®, with established antioxidant-antifatigue activity, has been successfully used in hepatic failure and in chronic fatigue syndrome: these conditions are characterized by weakness and fatigue and are broadly comparable to convalescence that is associated to increased oxidative stress.

    METHODS: The registry study lasted 3 weeks. After a period (7-10 days) of flu, during the post-disease period (3 days without disease) subjects were included into the study. One group of subjects was supplemented with Robuvit® (300 mg/day) in addition to a standard management (SM) plan, another group of patients was treated with the standard management only.

    RESULTS: The SM and the supplement group were comparable in all convalescence parameters at inclusion. Weakness and heart rate were significantly reduced with Robuvit® in comparison with the controls (P<0.05) at 10 days and at 3 weeks; Attention and sleep patterns improved significantly at 3 weeks with Robuvit® (P<0.05) in comparison to controls. Recovery after efforts was normalized at 10 days in the supplement group, significantly better versus controls (P<0.05). O2 saturation increased significantly with Robuvit® at 10 days in comparison to controls (P<0.05). The alterations in working/concentration capacity were better improved with the supplement (P<0.05). Oxidative stress was significantly decreased (P<0.05) in comparison to controls. The improvement of health according to the Karrnofsky Scale was significantly more pronounced in the Robuvit® group (P<0.05). The supplement was well tolerated.

    CONCLUSIONS: The causative relations between Robuvit® supplementation, oxidative stress, vigor and fatigue in convalescence need more specific evaluations in a larger number of subjects. This preliminary study may indicate a possible supplementation in convalescence.

    Be well!


  18. JP Says:

    Updated 08/14/18:

    J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2018 Jul;22(3):817-828.

    A randomised crossover trial comparing Thai and Swedish massage for fatigue and depleted energy.

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and social constructions of Thai massage (TM) and Swedish massage (SM) for patients experiencing fatigue or depleted energy.

    METHOD: Twenty participants were randomised to receive three once-weekly TM treatments and three once-weekly SM treatments, with crossover after three massages. Symptom checklists were administered at three time points and included Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List and VAS Scale. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews and participants’ diary entries.

    RESULTS: Both massage types enhanced physical, emotional and mental wellbeing through improved sleep, relaxation, relief of stress and relief of muscular tension. TM alone showed specific energising and psychological stimulation results, along with carry-over effect and longer lasting benefits. Ninety-five percent of participants found relief from their initial reason presenting symptoms.

    CONCLUSION: TM or SM can relieve symptoms of fatigue or low energy by releasing stress, promoting relaxation, relieving muscular aches and pains and improving energy. SM results in a larger effect in relaxation and improved sleep whereas TM results in a larger effect in energising, rejuvenating and mentally stimulating effects.

    Be well!


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