Chronic Fatigue Responds to Antioxidants

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many researchers have investigated effective treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), but Martin Pall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, and author of Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses”, is the first to suggest a plausible underlying cause and therapeutic method of treatment. Pall, who came down with a severe case of CFS in 1997 and fully recovered in 18 months, has dedicated the rest of his career to understanding and treating these illnesses.

Pall has discovered that abnormal levels of nitric oxide (NO), high levels of peroxynitrite (ONOO-) and superoxide activate the disabling and widely varying symptoms that characterise this entire group of unexplained illness. The fundamental approach: reducing NO-related free radical activity.

According to Pall’s theory, a known stressor initiates high levels of NO and ONOO-, most often a pathogen like a virus or bacteria, physical trauma, exposure to pesticides (including organophosphates and carbomates), solvents, or severe psychological stress. Other stressors can include exposure to biocides and organochlorine, parasitic infections like toxoplasmosis, poisoning from ciguatoxin, carbon monoxide or thimerosal. After the acute stressor, the body is unable to recover and continues to exist in a chronic state of elevated free-radicals.

Evaluation of Quality of Life in Persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Before and After Administration of Food Supplements Designed to Reduce Free Radical Activity.

By Ingrid Franzon, MSc, Bo Jonsson M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Wilhelmsson, N.D.

This study evaluated nine patients with treatment-resistant CFS over a period of eight weeks. The Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 (SF-36) was used. This is a well-validated psychometric instrument, and is one of the tools recommended in the measurement of the entire syndrome of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) as it addresses physical and social activity, vitality, bodily pain, physical and mental states, and perception of general health. The multi-item scales are weighted, summed up, standardised and transformed to allow score indices: the Physical Component Score (PCS) and the Mental Component Score (MCS).

Four supplements containing multiple nutritional ingredients that have individually been shown to affect NO/ONOO- and superoxide activity were administered to a group of nine patients with CFS/ME for 8 weeks. The SF-36 was administered at the outset, after a month of supplementation and at the end of the supplementation period. When presented with the raw data on both physical and mental fatigue, Dr. Martin Pall did an inferential statistical analysis for significance, using a paired t-test where each patient’s results were analyzed at zero, four and eight weeks. The smaller a study, the more you want marked significance. Here, the results for physical symptoms were highly significant: the p value for the time period of 0-4 weeks was .006, nearly ten times stronger than p=.05, which is the minimum required for statistical significance. For 0-8 weeks the p value was .0149, and 0.482 for 4-8 weeks. Although these are also significant, the greatest improvement occurred in the first four weeks of the program, and though improvement continued to be statistically significant, it was not as dramatic.

There were no significant results on mental symptom tests; perhaps the tests used for mental symptoms were not particularly revealing.  These strong findings on this small study present compelling evidence that Dr. Pall’s hypothesis and suggested nutrients designed to reduce NO/ONOO- and superoxide activity are very useful in CFS/ME.

Previous Post
Adrenal Fatigue Makes News
Next Post
Soft Drink Intake Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk

9 Comments. Leave new

  • Ruth Taylor
    March 1, 2010 4:53 pm

    Could you tell us which 4 supplements were used in this trial. Thanks.

    • Michael Ash
      March 1, 2010 5:20 pm

      The supplements used were:

      1. CoQ-Gamma E with Tocotrienols & Carotenoids # 75930
      2. MVM-A # 75940
      3. FlaviNOx™ # 75780
      4. Super EPA Fish oil concentrate # 71250

      These can be purchased through Nutri-Link on 08450 760 402

  • Ruth Taylor
    March 1, 2010 7:12 pm

    Thank you very much. What dose was used of each per day please?

    • Michael Ash
      March 2, 2010 9:27 am

      Dear Ruth
      The following doses are recommendations to provide a starting point. Some patients may need slightly more or less. The suggested protocol must be taken in context with the age, duration and overall health of the patient.

      1. CoQ-Gamma E with Tocotrienols & Carotenoids # 75930 – 1softgel in the morning, some may increase to 1 x 2 daily, morning and midday.
      2. MVM-A # 75940 – 2 capsules three times daily with or following meals
      3. FlaviNOx™ # 75780 – 1 capsule 3 x daily. if wake at night take one then also as blood levels remain raised for approx 4 hours only.
      4. Super EPA Fish oil concentrate # 71250 – 1 softgel 1-2 x daily take with product 1

      Initially, depending on the sensitivity of the individual, it may be desirable to introduce these supplements individually and 1 at a time, so that if a detrimental effect is noted, that component of the programme may be removed or temporarily discontinued. It may be that despite repeated slow introduction that it proves to be incompatible with the individual concerned.

      Typically a three day cycle of introduction as suggested below would be undertaken, and then a more consistent programme of varying doses may be used to meet unique and individual requirements.

      Start by taking 1 CoQ-Gamma E with Tocotrienols & Carotenoids, one time daily in the morning for three days.
      Add 1 MVM-A, three times daily, for three days, incr. daily to a total of six daily.
      Add 1 FlaviNOx™, three times daily, for three days.
      Add 1 NAC Enhanced Antioxidant Formula, three times daily, for three days.
      Add 1 Super EPA Fish Oil Concentrate, one three times daily, in the morning.

  • Ruth Taylor
    March 2, 2010 5:32 pm

    Dear Michael
    Thank you for this detailed reply.

  • Annie SIlver
    March 6, 2010 9:37 am

    Dear Michael,

    Do you think that Wholly Immune could offer a synergistic effect in reducing NO/ONOO cycle as it contains many of the nutrients mentioned in the various protocols.

    Many thanks

    • Michael Ash
      March 7, 2010 6:01 pm

      Hi Annie
      The answer is yes, it is possible to combine the two. However Wholly Immune has a different compounding mix as Dr Douwes MD the oncologist who formulated this mix with Dr Levine PhD, designed it to support patients undergoing treatment for cancer in which the dominant phase 1 and 2 enzymes have to work harder. Therefore it, in effect aids the release of metabolised compounds, one of which may be superoxide – a partially transformed metabolite that acts as a promoter of nitric oxide via the common bile duct to the GIT. Therefore used in conjunction with Dr Palls protocol, as opposed to hoping to achieve the same effect is the correct interpretation for the clinical application of Wholly Immune.

    February 14, 2011 4:53 pm

    Hi Michael

    The report mentions 4 supplements, but 5 are named above. I know that all of them are included in Martin Pall’s protocol. Could you confirm which of the 5 wasn’t used in the study please.

    Plus, it looks as though some words are missing from your reply to Annie as I don’t understand the last sentence?

    Thanks and regards

    • Hi Stephanie – NAC – I have suggested this for increased glutathione synthesis. The additional question related to wholly immune and the answer was supposed to state that it may be used in conjunction with, as opposed to a replacement for Prof Palls suggested protocol.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed