Amino acid supplement improves “sub-health”, fatigue

Development of a complex amino acid supplement, Fatigue Reviva™, for oral ingestion: initial evaluations of product concept and impact on symptoms of sub-health in a group of males

Background
A new dietary supplement, Fatigue Reviva™, has been recently developed to address issues related to amino acid depletion following illness or in conditions of sub-health where altered amino acid homeostasis has been associated with fatigue. Complex formulations of amino acids present significant challenges due to solubility and taste constraints. This initial study sets out to provide an initial appraisal of product palatability and to gather pilot evidence for efficacy.

Methods
Males reporting symptoms of sub-health were recruited on the basis of being free from any significant medical or psychological condition. Each participant took an amino acid based dietary supplement (Fatigue Reviva™) daily for 30 days. Comparisons were then made between pre- and post-supplement general health symptoms and urinary amino acid profiles.

Results
Seventeen men took part in the study. Following amino acid supplementation the total Chalder fatigue score improved significantly (mean ± SEM, 12.5 ± 0.9 versus 10.0 ± 1.0, P<0.03). When asked whether they thought that the supplement had improved their health, 65% of participants responded positively. A subgroup of participants reported gastrointestinal symptoms which were attributed to the supplement and which were believed to result from the component fructooligosaccharide. Analysis of urinary amino acids revealed significant alterations in the relative abundances of a number of amino acids after supplementation including an increase in valine, isoleucine and glutamic acid and reduced levels of glutamine and ornithine. Discriminant function analysis of the urinary amino acid data revealed significant differences between the pre- and post-supplement urine excretion profiles.

Conclusions
The results indicated that Fatigue Reviva™ was palatable and that 65% of the study group reported that they felt the product had improved their health. The product could provide an effective tool for the management of unexplained fatigue and symptoms of sub-health. Further product development may yield additional options for those patients susceptible to fructooligosaccharide.

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3 comments
Steve Parker, M.D. says November 14, 2013

I feel kinda stupid. Been practicing medicine for three decades and never heard of “sub-health.”

-Steve

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Anonymous says November 14, 2013

What does this have that cheese and gelatin don’t?

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Mangan says November 15, 2013

“Sub-health” seems to be their word for chronic fatigue. As someone who has suffered from unexplained fatigue, I can say that it’s real and that doctors often have no idea as to its cause, nor are they generally interested in looking too hard.

Tim Roberts, one of the co-authors here, has done a fair amount of research on chronic fatigue, and he believes that the fundamental cause of it is a chronic catabolic state. From experience and reading, I believe he’s correct. This explains why amino acid supplementation helps it.

As for what this has that cheese etc don’t, amino acids don’t require digestion and can be used as is by the body. Roberts contends that chronic fatigue sufferers have impaired digestion due to their catabolic state. My own experience (and reading) leads me to believe that for most people, whey protein will work just as well.

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