Myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), can cause sustained, extreme, and often debilitating fatigue that does not improve with rest. Currently, no approved therapies exist for those with ME/CFS. However, a promising new study highlights a potential therapy on the horizon: orally-administered Anhydrous Enol-Oxaloacetate (“oxaloacetate”).
A news release from life sciences company Terra Biological shares the results of a study evaluating oxaloacetate for ME/CFS, as well as for long COVID, that showed immense potential benefits. During this study, those with long COVID received either 500 or 1000mg oxaloacetate twice daily; those with ME/CFS received either 500 or 1000mg twice daily, or 1000mg thrice daily over a 6-week period. Findings show that:
- In those with ME/CFS, oxaloacetate treatment reduced fatigue by 21.7-33%.
- Alternately, it reduced fatigue by 46.8% in those with long COVID.
Although oxaloacetate is currently available as an over-the-counter supplement, the dosages examined in this study would require prescription and supervision by a doctor. The results of one study are never meant to be taken as medical advice and decisions regarding health and supplements should always be discussed with a doctor.
To learn about this study and its findings, take a look at the Journal of Translational Medicine.
Oxaloacetate: A Primer
SelfDecode describes oxaloacetate as:
an organic molecule [that] is part of the body’s energy production and waste management systems. It is absolutely essential in infant development; a genetic deficiency in the enzymes that make oxaloacetate can cause serious neurological problems and developmental delays.
Oxaloacetate has been explored due to its seeming neuroprotective properties. It is also being evaluated for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and for cognitive changes in patients with breast cancer.
Why did researchers choose to explore oxaloacetate for ME/CFS? Those with that condition tend to have lower levels of this energy metabolite and researchers theorized that supplementing with oxaloacetate could be potentially beneficial.
What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?
Myalgic encephalomyelitis, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), is a chronic and complex disorder characterized by extreme, seemingly unexplainable fatigue which worsens after activity but fails to improve with rest. Doctors are not entirely sure what causes ME/CFS. However, various hypotheses on ME/CFS implicate metabolic, immune, central nervous system, genetic, and even viral factors. While ME/CFS can affect those of all ages, it is most common in those between ages 30-50. Additionally, this disorder is 2-4 times more common in females than males. Symptoms vary, but can include:
- Intense and debilitating fatigue
- Low stamina
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (“brain fog”)
- Muscle and joint pain
- Light, sound, and odor sensitivity
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes, often in the neck or armpits
- Inability to perform activities that were once not an issue
- Blurry vision