Short Read Summary

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a legitimate condition that many people have without realizing it
  • Symptoms include fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, sleep problems, headaches, illness, muscle pain, and memory problems
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is sometimes overlooked, or people are misdiagnosed with other conditions because the symptoms are so common
  • The root causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome appear to be related to inflammation and immune function, and it is not just related to sleep or lack of energy
  • Addressing the inflammation and immune components may help improve symptoms

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Exhaustion, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, “brain fog,” and flu-like symptoms that amount of sleep ever seems to help - sound familiar? What if these ongoing symptoms weren’t related to sleep, but instead were caused by a deeper issue – one related to your immune system and inflammation?  New research indicates that this may very well be the case for many people with unexplained chronic fatigue.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Signs and Symptoms

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

For decades, there have been millions of people presenting to their doctors with these symptoms, and leaving frustrated with few answers as it has been difficult to pinpoint a specific cause or diagnosis.

More people are now being told they have “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” (also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS) but despite having a name for the condition, there has been relatively little known about causes or treatments to this condition. In fact, some people do not accept this is a legitimate medical condition at all and instead attribute the symptoms to other conditions such as depression or mood disorders.  However, new research conducted at Stanford University have indicated otherwise.

Immune and Inflammatory Involvement

The Stanford researchers discovered that people presenting with symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were more likely to have elevated blood levels of specific immune and inflammation signaling molecules, called cytokines, that correlated with the severity of their symptoms.1 

This is the first time that scientists have been able to pinpoint specific compounds in the blood that point to a diagnosis and possible treatment strategy for ME/CFS. It will likely be many years before pharmaceutical treatment options are approved, but in the meantime, we can look towards established methods of targeting these immune and inflammatory cytokines for possible solutions. 

Dietary Support for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There are countless studies highlighting the ability of safe naturally occurring dietary compounds to improve immune function and reduce inflammation through regulation of the very cytokines that are associated with ME/CFS.

Some of these compounds include antioxidants like hydroxytyrosol from olives, resveratrol from grapes, EGCG from green tea, sulforaphane from broccoli, and curcumin from turmeric.2–9 Other nutrients like N-acetyl-l-cysteine, melatonin, coenzyme Q10, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) have been shown to have beneficial effects in these systems as well.10–13 Even the makeup of your intestinal microbiome (i.e. probiotics) has been shown to influence these immune and inflammation pathways.14

Targeting Inflammation and Immune Support

The entire Pinnaclife Supplement line is full of these types of safe and natural nutrients that have been demonstrated to boost immune function and reduce inflammation by regulating the same cytokine pathways implicated in ME/CFS.

  • ImmuneBoost™ contains a potent dose of our patented Olivamine 10® Max that has been tested against the human genome with results showing positive effects in cellular antioxidant pathways and immune function.15,16  Olivamine 10 Max is combined with extracts from green tea, grapevine, and broccoli which have all been shown to provide additional antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.

  • Brain Health  provides countless beneficial nutrients including Olivamine 10 Max, green tea, grapevine, curcumin, sulforaphane, magnesium, and the stress-adaptogen Rhodiola rosea. These ingredients support healthy brain cells and have been shown to help support focus, cognition, memory, and concentration – all of which can suffer in people with ME/CFS.

  • Prebiotic Fiber  helps to support the natural beneficial bacteria that are known to improve digestion, immune function, and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

  • Energy Support  can help you combat the daytime fatigue that you may be experiencing if you have symptoms of ME/CFS.  Unlike common energy-boosting products, Energy Support does not rely on sugar and unsafe mega-doses of caffeine, but instead provides jitter-free energy using ingredients also shown to impact the inflammatory and immune regulating cytokine systems associated with ME/CFS.

  • Sleep Support  provides melatonin and curcumin which both exhibit anti-inflammatory effects while promoting relaxation and restful sleep. Daytime fatigue can sometimes be caused by or result in problems sleeping at night, so using sleep promoting ingredients that also address underlying inflammatory and immune responses may offer some benefit.

  • Mood Support offers similar benefits as sleep support, only without the sleep-inducing melatonin.

  • Joint Health can help to address the inflammatory joint and muscle pain commonly experienced by people with ME/CFS through potent doses of curcumin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and Olivamine 10 Max.

  • Omega-3's like EPA and DHA play a central role in your body’s cytokine system, serving as molecular precursors and biochemical signals. Omega-3’s are known to help address inflammatory processes by promoting anti-inflammatory cytokine production.

If you have ever been diagnosed with ME/CFS or exhibit the symptoms associated with it, including ongoing fatigue, exhaustion, muscle pain, or general lack of energy, you may benefit from incorporating some of the nutritional approaches listed above into your daily routine. As always, be sure to discuss your symptoms, concerns, priorities, and self-care decisions with a trusted healthcare provider, especially if you are currently taking medications or have other chronic health conditions.

    1. Montoya JG, Holmes TH, Anderson JN, et al. Cytokine signature associated with disease severity in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. 
    2. Gupta SC, Prasad S, Kim JH, et al. Multitargeting by curcumin as revealed by molecular interaction studies. Nat Prod Rep. 2011;28(12):1937-1955. 
    3. Aggarwal, Bharat; Surh, Young-Joon Surh; Shishodia S. The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease. Vol 595. (Aggarwal BB, Surh Y-J, Shishodia S, eds.). Boston, MA: Springer US; 2007. 
    4. Davis JM, Murphy EA, Carmichael MD, et al. Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007;292(6):R2168-73. 
    5. Santangelo C, Varì R, Scazzocchio B, Di Benedetto R, Filesi C, Masella R. Polyphenols, intracellular signalling and inflammation. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2007;43(4):394-405. 
    6. Costa G, Francisco V, Lopes MC, Cruz MT, Batista MT. Intracellular signaling pathways modulated by phenolic compounds: application for new anti-inflammatory drugs discovery. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19(18):2876-2900. 
    7. Zhang X, Cao J, Zhong L. Hydroxytyrosol inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, iNOS, and COX-2 expression in human monocytic cells. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2009;379(6):581-586. 
    8. Pan M-H, Lai C-S, Dushenkov S, Ho C-T. Modulation of inflammatory genes by natural dietary bioactive compounds. J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57(11):4467-4477. 
    9. Choi YJ, Lee W-S, Lee E-G, Sung M-S, Yoo W-H. Sulforaphane Inhibits IL-1β-Induced Proliferation of Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts and the Production of MMPs, COX-2, and PGE2. Inflammation. 2014;37(5):1496-1503. 
    10. Kim YH, Kim DH, Lim H, Baek D-Y, Shin H-K, Kim J-K. The anti-inflammatory effects of methylsulfonylmethane on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in murine macrophages. Biol Pharm Bull. 2009;32(4):651-656. 
    11. Mayo JC, Sainz RM, Tan D-X, et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of melatonin and its metabolites, N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK) and N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK), in macrophages. J Neuroimmunol. 2005;165(1-2):139-149. 
    12. Stanislaus R, Gilg AG, Singh AK, Singh I. N-acetyl-L-cysteine ameliorates the inflammatory disease process in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in Lewis rats. J Autoimmune Dis. 2005;2(1):4. 
    13. Nava M, Quiroz Y, Vaziri N, Rodriguez-Iturbe B. Melatonin reduces renal interstitial inflammation and improves hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2003;284(3):F447-54. 
    14. Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Regulation of the stress response by the gut microbiota: implications for psychoneuroendocrinology. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012;37(9):1369-1378. 
    15. Sarsour EH, Kumar MG, Kalen AL, Goswami M, Buettner GR, Goswami PC. MnSOD activity regulates hydroxytyrosol-induced extension of chronological lifespan. Age (Omaha). 2012;34:95-109. 
    16. McCord DE, Karagiannis T. Hydroxytyrosol and Oleuropein compositions for induction of DNA damage, cell death and inhibition of LSD1. 2015:95. 
  • Kyle Hilsabeck, PharmD., is the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Affairs at McCord Holdings and licensed by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy.  He completed bachelors degrees in biology and biochemistry at Wartburg College before earning his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he completed a community pharmacy practice residency through the University of Iowa where he focused primarily on nutritional aspects of care including the use of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements.  He has taught courses for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy on vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements and given many presentations on the subject as well.  He has a passion for improving patient care specifically with regards to the safety and quality of the nutritional supplements and health information people use. 

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