Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic fatigue syndrome affects millions of people around the world and yet, this is one of the most misunderstood concerns with many myths surrounding it. The most common myth is that it is often viewed as a mental disorder or “yuppie flu”. However, most experts now agree that chronic fatigue syndrome is a distinct disease with very specific symptoms.

What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterised by persistent medically unexplained fatigue not relieved by rest. Other symptoms of chronic fatigue include muscle pain, muscle weakness, joint pain, bowel problems, unexplained headaches, poor sleep quality, inability to concentrate and feelings of hot and cold due to poor temperature control.

Scientists have several theories proposed to trigger CFS which include viral infections including Epstein-Barr virus, heavy metals intake from food and environment, overwork, stress, poor working of the immune system and even hormonal imbalances. Regardless, we still do not fully understand this illness.

Whilst scientists remain puzzled as to the causes of CFS, doctors remain baffled as to the treatment options. Antidepressants and sleeping pills remain the mainstay treatments and yet they do not resolve the problem.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is hard to diagnose and many people live with this fatigue for years without realising that they have it. There are no laboratory tests to confirm CFS and diagnosis is arrived at only after everything else has been ruled out including side effects of any drugs being taken. A patient has to have a minimum of four out of eight symptoms and these must have persisted for at least six months. The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Inability to concentrate & impairment of short term memory
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Multiple areas of joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Fatigue for more than 24 hours after exertion

Even after a diagnosis of CFS, what next because there are no treatment options with the exception of antidepressants and sleeping pills.

Does oak wood help chronic fatigue syndrome?

Scientists have discovered a unique set of compounds, called roburins, which are found in oak wood. Two major human studies demonstrated the potential of roburins to mitigate the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. A patented form of roburins, Robuvit, under the influence of the bacteria in the gut is converted into bioactive compounds called urolithins.

Ribosomes are tiny particles found suspended with the fluid part of the cells. They are the manufacturers of proteins from amino acids Urolithins from oak wood extract have been found to provide support to the ribosomes. Since one of the theories of CFS is ribosomal dysfunction, oak wood extract has received great attention by scientists with an improvement in the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome after three months supplementation.

In one of the studies on people using oak wood extract, there were significant reductions in some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome when compared to the control group who showed no changes, and these include:

  • 18 percent reduction in weakness and fatigue
  • 44 percent reduction in unrefreshing sleep
  • 29 percent reduction in short term memory impairment
  • 63 percent reduction in muscle pain
  • 51 percent reduction in joint pain
  • 33 percent reduction in headaches

There were additional positive changes in some of the secondary symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome including reductions in those suffering from depression, mood swings, dizziness and sensitivity to noise and food.


Fatigue whether chronic or generalised fatigue can be very debilitating both physically and emotionally especially because of the secondary symptoms such as lack of sleep and weakness. Determining the causal factors of fatigue can also be very difficult and in many cases almost impossible. So whether you suffer from generalised fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, it may be prudent to restore your energy levels using Life Extension Energy Renew.  This supplement not only helps enhance energy levels but promises improvements in the secondary symptoms of fatigue.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Energy, Shabir Daya | , , , , , , , , ,
  • Anne Shackley

    Whilst desperate to try absolutely anything when suffering from CFS, what happens if after paying £30 for a supplement one finds oneself allergic to it?

  • Victoria Health

    Dear Anne, should you find that you are allergic to oakwood extract, then in line with company policy please return the supplement for a full refund. Shabir

  • Anne Shackley

    Thank you for your reply. I was unaware that this policy was in existence.

  • Jacklyn

    Some of your previous features on CFS have advocated supplements such as CoQ10, D-ribose, magnesium and carnitine. My daughter has CFS and is taking the supplements noted above, as well as a number of additional ones such as a range of multivitimans and minerals, B-complex, Vit C and more. Could you please comment on whether it would be beneficial and safe to add in the oak wood extract? Thank you

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Jacklyn, indeed I have always been an advocate of using CoQ10, ribose, carnitine and magnesium since the nutrients function in a variety of ways to ease many of the symptoms of CFS. However current research on oak wood extract shows great promise and hence i would consider including it into any regimen. Perhaps the multivitamins, B complex and Vitamin C could be substituted with a good multivitamin only so as not to overload the system. Shabir

  • Kishlette

    Thanks for posting this and for raising awareness about CFS. It’s important on many levels to keep this kind of illness in the foreground – and I hope it can ultimately result in support for greater research, among other things.

    I was diagnosed with CFS 14 years ago. I’m in a different country, and maybe there’s differences in how it is treated elsewhere, but I’m not sure I’d characterise ‘antidepressants and sleeping pills’ as the ‘mainstay’ treatment options or indeed that there are ‘no treatment options with the exception of antidepressants and sleeping pills’. It’s probably an overly bleak picture to paint and may deter patients from approaching all the doctors and specialists they may need to in seek of treatments – e.g. neurologists, sleep specialists, etc.

    I do agree that antidepressants and sleeping pills are prevalent but there are many others commonly used (some, I’d say, much more commonly used), which bear noting. For example, some patients have found the following helpful to address some symptoms (none are wholly curative) – cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), graded exercise therapy (GET), several pain medications, including (but not limited to) gabapentins, drugs that promote wakefulness (modafinil, armodafinil, amphetamines), light therapy to regulate sleeping patterns, treatment options for migraine, both medications and other therapies such as TENS devices, B12 injections (even when a patient’s level is tested as normal) and several herbal medications… Plus, natural therapies are often recommended even by traditional doctors – some people swear by chinese medicine, for example.

    It’s worth noting that I do not believe in all of these treatments (GET, for example, I don’t think has good foundations – but that’s a personal view and many say it’s useful) and many can have significant side effects, particularly given we are often hypersensitive to medications.

    What works for one person, won’t necessarily work for the next. The variability in whether they will work probably reflects not only individual variances, but also the fact that we don’t all have exactly the same thing – it is, after all, a diagnosis arrived at by exclusion so it stands to reason that it’s not necessarily the exactly the same illness/pathology at work in all of us. That’s worth a mention.

    I don’t mean to criticise at all and I totally agree that more treatment option, including natural approaches are needed. I’ve actually just started the Life Extension Ribogen French Oak Wood Extract myself!

    Again, thanks for writing the article.

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Kishlette, thank you for sharing and keep us informed as to how you get along with Ribogen. Shabir

  • Kishlette

    Will do! Fingers crossed!

  • Victoria Health

    There is sufficient research so hope so. Shabir

  • Barbara Fell

    I have recently been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so it has been refreshing to find your site and read the newsletters. Really surprised to find this one. I had to stay in bed til mid afternoon, then I was able to go out and jump on the bus and go only two stops. Normally if i was ok I would walk it.

    My destination was a local coffee shop where I wanted to read a magazine and break some of the isolation I was feeling.

    In the magazine I read about The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum. I was instantly hooked, did a bit of research, came across your website , ordered the serum and I am now one happy bunny.

    I am finding VH website very different and refreshing.

    I did eventually make it back home (on the bus again) and am now feeling pretty pleased with myself.

    Love reading your newsletters even though I only found your site today. x

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Barbara, thank you so much for your kind words and I am sure you will love using The Ordinary Hyaluronic acid serum. Best wishes Shabir

  • Lyudmyla

    Thanks Shabir for a such great post. I have a question though. i am already taking Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, Bamboo Extract, Omega 3, and Vitamin C. If i add Oak Wood extract, wouldn’t it be too much for the system..and could you recommend some collagen capsules? Thanks again.

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Lyudmila, adding Oak wood extract is deemed perfectly safe and will not put a burden on the digestive system. As far as collagen capsules are concerned, hydrolysed collagen is the most utilised source and the best supplement include Fountain The Photo-Collagen Molecule and Collagen Plus Powder. Shabir

  • Lyudmyla

    Thank for your swift response. You are always very helpful.

  • Victoria Health

    You are welcome and please keep us posted. Shabir

  • Lyudmyla

    Shabir, sorry to disturb you again, but since i really like your website, I would like to order Omega 3 and Vitamin C as mine are almost over. I am currently taking Pure Radiance C 100% Natural Vitamin C from Wildcrafted Berries from Pure Synergy. Can you recommend similar Vitamin C without synthetic ingredients and ascobic acid in it and also some good Omega 3…thanks a bunch again

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Lyudmila, as far as vitamin C is concerned, there are two supplements that I tend to recommend. Life Extension’s Fast C contains ascorbic acid together with other nutrients and has been shown to absorb faster and retained longer in the body which means it can target free radicals for longer periods of time. The other vitamin C that is unique is Liposomal C. In capsule form, IdealOmega 3 is a strong omega 3 supplement which is also free from PCB’s and toxins that plague so many fish oil supplements. In liquid form, Viridian Nutrition’s Rainbow Trout oil is brilliant offering omega 3 derived from the body of the fish and also from clean waters. Shabir

  • Lyudmyla

    thanks…i ll definitely look into those.

  • Victoria Health

    You are welcome.

  • Sammy Amir

    Hi Dr Shabir
    Thanks so much for posting this, I found it extremely interesting. I myself suffer from CFS and have done so for about 4 years. I would be very grateful if you could tell me the best brands or types to buy of for the following supplements:
    CoQ10, D-ribose, magnesium and carnitine….as I read from some of your other articles that these supplements are or can be good for CFS. It is very good that doctors like yourself are making people aware of CFS. When I first fell ill with this and even now I feel very alone as people tend not to believe you as they can’t see anything physically wrong with you and they think your just a lazy selfish person. I so want to feel better again. Thanks for taking the time to read my message.
    Sammy xx

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Sammy, just to clarify I am not a doctor but a pharmacist specialising in natural health. For Coq10, consider Life Extension’s Ubiquinol; for D-Ribose it could also be Life Extension; for Magnesium consider a good magnesium supplement such as Neuro-Mag or magnesium citrate supplements and for carnitine, I like Solar. Best wishes Shabir

  • Sammy Amir

    Thank you so much, very much appreciated Shabir

    Sammy x

  • Victoria Health

    You are welcome Sammy.

  • Anika

    Dear Shabir, who would tell me, if I have CFS? For years now or since I can remember, I have this tiredness and tender lymph nodes, recently also headaches. Muscle pain was always a reason of exercise, but who knows. I’m regular running to the doctor telling something is wrong, explaining my symptoms, suspecting my thyroid. When the blood results come back, everything seems fine. There is never any great feedback from the doctors. When I do the research myself I always stumble over either Lyme disease or CFS. I recently stocked up on all the immune booster you recommended, even though the blood results are fine. Could it be CFS? Who can tell me?

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Anika, there is no specific test for CFS however there are clear set of guidelines which a GP can use to diagnose this concern and this does include constant headaches, muscle pain, flu-like symptoms etc. It truly is only your GP who can go through these, the duration you have experienced these symptoms etc.
    Best wishes,