- WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A nutritional supplement based on an energy-giving
natural enzyme can help in some cases of chronic fatigue syndrome, researchers
- A team at Georgetown University in Washington
tested the supplement, Enada, and found it helped as many as 72 percent
of patients with the baffling condition.
- More than 500,000 Americans have been
diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and an estimated 2 million people
believe they have it.
- In the Georgetown study, approved by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Joseph Bellanti and colleagues
said they tested 26 patients in the equivalent of a Phase II safety and
- For four weeks half the patients got
Enada and half got placebos. For the next month both groups got nothing,
then the groups were switched -- and the volunteers who got Enada the first
time got a placebo for the next four weeks, while the second group got
- Neither group knew which they were getting
at the time, placebo or supplement.
- Writing in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma
and Immunology, Bellanti's team said 31 percent of the patients said their
symptoms got better while they took Enada, as opposed to 8 percent of those
- Then the researchers opened the trial,
allowing all the volunteers to knowingly take Enada. After a year, 72 percent
- Natural energy high Enada is the brand
name of the company's version of a natural substance known as nicotinamide
adenine dinucleotide, plue high-energy hydrogen (NADH).
- It is a co-enzyme -- the active part
of the chemical reaction that enzymes produce in the body.
- According to Menuco, the more NADH a
cell has, the more energy it has. The company hopes that can translate
up to the level of a whole human being.
- Unlike many supplement companies, Menuco
went through some of the FDA protocols for testing. They were not required
- In December, Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.
applied for European Union approval of the first drug to treat chronic
- The drug, Ampligen, is also being tested
for FDA approval. It consists of hydrocortisone, a synthetic version of
one of the corticosteroid hormones produced by the adrenal gland.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is hard to define,
marked mainly by an unexplained lack of energy. Sometimes called myalgic
encephalomyelitis, some doctors attribute it to psychological rather than
- Others say a virus, perhaps Epstein-Barr
virus, may cause it, or perhaps an autoimmune disorder in which the body's
immune system mistakenly turns against itself.