Metabolic features of chronic fatigue syndrome. Naviaux RK, Naviaux JC, Li K, Bright AT, Alaynick WA, Wang L, Baxter A, Nathan N, Anderson W, Gordon E. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Aug 29.
Here we report a metabolomics study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in 45 CFS patients and 39 controls. Our data show that despite the heterogeneity of factors leading to CFS, the cellular metabolic response in patients was homogeneous, statistically robust, and chemically similar to the evolutionarily conserved persistence response to environmental stress known as dauer.
Some people still argue that CFS is not a real illness but all in the mind. Does your discovery of a chemical signature help shatter this myth?
Yes. The chemical signature that we discovered is evidence that CFS is an objective metabolic disorder that affects mitochondrial energy metabolism, immune function, GI function, the microbiome, the autonomic nervous system, neuroendocrine, and other brain functions. These 7 systems are all connected in a network that is in constant communication. While it is true that you cannot change one of these 7 systems without producing compensatory changes in the others, it is the language of chemistry and metabolism that interconnects them all.