TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts | 21 November 2014

November 21, 2014

From the Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences, 14 November 2014.

QR (Quercus Robur Extract, Robuvit) supplementation in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and increased oxidative stress. A pilot registry.

Belcaro G(1), Cornelli U, Luzzi R, Ledda A, Cacchio M, Saggino A, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, Feragalli B, Hu S, Pellegrini L, Ippolito E.
1) Irvine3 Circulation/Vascular Labs, University Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy –


The aim of this registry was to evaluate the effects of supplementation with Robuvit (French Quercus robur extract) capsules in subjects with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) associated with an increased oxidative stress. Robuvit is a wood extract from Quercus robur (Horphag Research Ltd) used to improve liver dysfunction and chronic fatigue. After excluding any disease, subjects observed a defined management plan to improve CFS. Signs/symptoms had been present for more than 6 months in association with an increase in oxidative stress (measured as plasma free radicals). Blood tests were within normal values.


The registry included 38 CFS subjects and 42 comparable controls. There were no dropouts in the 4 weeks of follow up; the subjects were evaluated for a further period of 6 months. The management plan included: improved/increased sleep; reduction/abolition in smoking and alcohol or any other agent that may have affected them; control of diet, increase in dietary proteins; good hydration; rest (1/2-1 hr/day) and exercise (at least 30 min/day); planned relaxation time; increased time in open spaces. In the Robuvit supplementation group – 300 mg/day of Robuvit was used.


Symptoms improved in both groups with a significantly more important improvement in the supplement group (p<0.05). The single items in the MAF questionnaire were statistically better improved (p<0.05) in the supplement group. A parallel improvement in oxidative stress was observed in the supplemented subjects. In the post-registry follow up, at 6 months no organic disease was discovered or disease markers found.CONCLUSIONSThis preliminary registry indicates that supplementation with Robuvit improves CFS in otherwise healthy subjects with no presence of clinical disease or risk conditions. The effects of Robuvit in CFS may be partially mediated by an important action on plasma free radicals and oxidative stress.

From Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 31 August 2014 (full text available)

Research Article
Effect of the French Oak Wood Extract Robuvit on Markers of Oxidative Stress and Activity of Antioxidant Enzymes in Healthy Volunteers: A Pilot Study

Martina Horvathova(1), Zuzana Orszaghova (1), Lucia Laubertova (1,2), Magdalena Vavakova(1), Peter Sabaka (3), Peter Rohdewald (4), Zdenka Durackova (1) and Jana Muchova(1).
1)Institute of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Sasinkova 2, 811 08 Bratislava, Slovakia
2)Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Malá Hora 4, 036 01 Martin, Slovakia
3) 2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Mickiewiczova 13, 813 69 Bratislava, Slovakia
4) Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie, Twenteweg 15, 48161 Münster, Germany


We examined in vitro antioxidant capacity of polyphenolic extract obtained from the wood of oak Quercus robur (QR), Robuvit, using TEAC (Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity) method and the effect of its intake on markers of oxidative stress, activity of antioxidant enzymes, and total antioxidant capacity in plasma of 20 healthy volunteers.

Markers of oxidative damage to proteins, DNA, and lipids and activities of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were determined in the erythrocytes. We have found an in vitro antioxidant capacity of Robuvit of 6.37 micromole Trolox equivalent/mg of Robuvit.

One month intake of Robuvit in daily dose of 300 mg has significantly decreased the serum level of advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) and lipid peroxides (LP). Significantly increased activities of SOD and CAT as well as total antioxidant capacity of plasma after one month intake of Robuvit have been shown.

In conclusion, we have demonstrated for the first time that the intake of Robuvit is associated with decrease of markers of oxidative stress and increase of activity of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity of plasma in vivo.

From the Journal of Medicinal Food, 17 November 2014 2014 [Epub ahead of print]

The Gut Microbiome and the Brain.

Galland L.
Foundation for Integrated Medicine , New York, New York, USA .


The human gut microbiome impacts human brain health in numerous ways:

(1) Structural bacterial components such as lipopolysaccharides provide low-grade tonic stimulation of the innate immune system. Excessive stimulation due to bacterial dysbiosis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or increased intestinal permeability may produce systemic and/or central nervous system inflammation.

(2) Bacterial proteins may cross-react with human antigens to stimulate dysfunctional responses of the adaptive immune system.

(3) Bacterial enzymes may produce neurotoxic metabolites such as D-lactic acid and ammonia. Even beneficial metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids may exert neurotoxicity.

(4) Gut microbes can produce hormones and neurotransmitters that are identical to those produced by humans. Bacterial receptors for these hormones influence microbial growth and virulence.

(5) Gut bacteria directly stimulate afferent neurons of the enteric nervous system to send signals to the brain via the vagus nerve.

Through these varied mechanisms, gut microbes shape the architecture of sleep and stress reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. They influence memory, mood, and cognition and are clinically and therapeutically relevant to a range of disorders, including alcoholism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and restless legs syndrome.

Their role in multiple sclerosis and the neurologic manifestations of celiac disease is being
studied. Nutritional tools for altering the gut micro biome therapeutically include changes in diet, probiotics, and prebiotics.

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