Oak wood extract may boost energy levels, reduce tension: Pilot data


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Image courtesy of Horphag Research
Image courtesy of Horphag Research
Supplementation with an extract from French oak wood may improve energy, tiredness, and tension, says a new study.

Four weeks of supplementation with the branded Robuvit product was associated with a 9% improvement in energy, a 12% improvement in tiredness, and a 4% improvement in tension, report scientists from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), Horphag Research (Switzerland), and Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster (Germany).

“Our results demonstrate positive effect of Robuvit on mental and energy state and its possible efficiency as a dietary supplement in healthy human without any unwanted side-effects,”​ wrote the researchers in Phytotheraphy Research​.


The French oak wood extract was launched last year by Horphag Research, the company behind the Pycnogenol brand of French Maritime Pine bark extracts. The oak trees used to produce Robuvit belong to the Quercus Robur​ species and are grown sustainably in the forest of the Massif Central region in Central France.

According to the company, the actives are compounds called roburins and other flavonoids unique to oak wood.

As reported by NutraIngredients-USA​, the company released the ingredient globally but without any fanfare because it wouldn’t satisfy everyone’s demand, Victor Ferrari, CEO of Horphag, told us.

The ingredient is already the subject of six published papers listed on PubMed​, with six more papers coming soon, said Ferrari. (References: Belcaro G et al., 2014, J Neurosurg Sci​; Deáková Z et al., 2015 Gen Physiol Biophys​; Horvathova M et al., 2014, Oxid Med Cell Longev​; Belcaro G et al., 2014 Minerva Med​; Natella F et al., 2014, J Agric Food Chem​; Belcaro G et al., 2014, Panminerva Med​.)

The new study builds on earlier data from Belcaro et al​. that found an improvement in mood in chronic fatigue syndrome patients (Panminerva Med​, Vol. 56, pp. 63-72), with significant mood improvements now observed in people without fatigue syndrome.

Commenting on the new study, Ferrari told NutraIngredients-USA that this, "advances our exploration into the energy role of the extract’s health properties and clearly opens up the market as we build solid science on this unique ingredient, basically positioned for detox and energy.

"We are very encouraged by the new research - the eighth study published on Medline to date – that shows daily supplementation with Robuvit significantly improves general fatigue by 25% in healthy adults.

"The excitement and interest we have seen in the last 6 months on Robuvit has surpassed our expectations and we are committed to continuing our work with exclusive partners who launched the initial product with us. As of yesterday, Robuvit has been approved for the Australian market and we look forward in providing this innovative ingredient to the energy product market, which is certainly looking forward to caffeine–free product solutions.”

Study details

Twenty healthy people were recruited for the three phase study: After an initial two-week ‘run-in period’ the participants received daily supplements of 300 mg of Robuvit for four weeks. This was followed by a two-week ‘washout period’.

The psychological benefits were assessed using the Activation Deactivation Adjective Check List (AD ACL) questionnaire, which is reported to be a validated method used in a wide range of studies, including drug and exercise studies.

The results of the questionnaire indicated improvements in energy, tiredness, and tension, compared with baseline values. No effect was observed for calmness, however.

“The positive effects of Robuvit on fatigue can be expressed as a sum of changes of significant improvements compared with baseline as 25.11%,” ​wrote the researchers.

“Effects of [the] extract were observed mainly after stratification of total group of volunteers according to the level of feeling in the items at the pre-treatment questionnaire,” ​they wrote. “Using stratification, we have found visible improvement in total subscale score in volunteers who have started with lower (worse) total score.

“Improving effect of Robuvit was marginally significant in energy and tiredness subscales in volunteers with lower baseline of feelings scoring.”

Source: Phytotheraphy Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ptr.5368
“An Effect of Oak-Wood Extract (Robuvit) on Energy State of Healthy Adults—A Pilot Study”
Authors: Z. Orszaghova, I. Waczulikova, et al. 

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