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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, emotional numbness, and recurrent nightmares.
Robuvit, a proprietary French oak wood extract, may help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder with their symptoms, according to a new study. There are nearly eight million adults suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.1 PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, emotional numbness, and recurrent nightmares.
The new study2 on Robuvit published in Minerva Medica was conducted in individuals who were diagnosed with PTSD but who were otherwise considered healthy. The subjects were survivors of major earthquakes that had occurred in Central Italy. The subjects were separated into two groups. One group (18 subjects) received only standard management comprising exposure therapy and psychotherapy for four weeks. The other group (16 subjects) received standard management in addition to supplementing with 300 mg/day of Robuvit, the French oak wood antioxidant extract, for four weeks.
Subjects reported on changes in recurrent memories and dreams, transient walking-dissociative states and reaction flashbacks/hallucinations, alarm reactions and intense emotion distress, emotional numbness, and social disinterest and detachment. In Robuvit subjects, all of these issues saw improvement. In addition, supplemented subjects experienced reduced sleeping problems, irritability, and fatigue.
Subjects’ plasma free radicals were also measured, because PTSD sufferers often experience high levels of oxidative stress. Researchers found that oxidative stress levels decreased significantly in the Robuvit group, leading them to conclude, “The results of our study indicate a significant effect of Robuvit on PTSD symptoms and oxidative stress levels over a relatively limited period of observation. The improvement with Robuvit is faster and larger than that seen with standard management only.”
Robuvit is a proprietary ingredient from supplier Horphag Research (Hoboken, NJ). In past studies, Robuvit has been shown to boost energy, reduce fatigue, improve physical performance and mood, and help with chronic fatigue. It also provides detoxification benefits.
In a company press release, natural health physician Dr. Fred Pescatore commented on this study: “PTSD is often treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This new research shows results from a natural antioxidant that reduced oxidative stress in the body, reduced PTSD symptoms and boosted energy-without side effects.”
He continued: “This research shows interesting findings relating PTSD to oxidative stress to PTSD symptoms. We know that stress has a physical effect on the body. High levels of oxidative stress lead to higher levels of free radicals, which can cause large chemical chain reactions in the body. Further exploration into reduction of oxidative stress may represent an important option in PTSD treatment,” Pescatore said.
At April’s SupplySide East trade show where the study was announced, Sebastian Bornet, vice president of global sales and marketing for Horphag Research, said that this study in PTSD sufferers also confirms some endpoints that the company had already seen with Robuvit in previous studies, including its ability to assist with healthy sleep.