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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Also indexed as:CFS, Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Fatigue (Chronic)
You can defeat chronic fatigue syndrome. With no single known cause, this syndrome largely remains a mystery. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Iron
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, supplementing with iron significantly improved fatigue in women who were iron-deficient but not anemic.
L-Carnitine
1 gram three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
L-carnitine is an important nutrient for energy production. Supplementation can make up for a possible deficiency.
Magnesium
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Some researchers have reported that magnesium deficiency is common in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Supplementing can help make up for a deficiency.
NADH
10 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with NADH may help your body produce more energy.
Potassium-Magnesium Aspartate
1 gram of aspartates is taken twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
Potassium-magnesium aspartate has shown benefits for chronically fatigued people in some trials.
Vitamin B12
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause fatigue, but B12 injections have been reported benefits even without deficiency. A doctor should evaluate deficiency and whether B12 injections may help.
Asian Ginseng
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Adaptogenic herbs such as Asian ginseng have an immunomodulating effect and help support the normal function of the body's hormonal stress system.
DHEA
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
DHEA is a hormone that has been found to be low in some people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Eleuthero
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
"Adaptogenic" herbs such as eleuthero have an immunomodulating effect and help support the normal function of the body's hormonal stress system.
Fish Oil
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one study, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome reported an improvement in their symptoms after taking a supplement containing the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Licorice
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A case report described a man with CFS whose symptoms improved after taking 2.5 grams of licorice root daily.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.