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Chronic fatigue syndrome has been around for years and we still don't know what causes it. In 1904, a German physiologist, Wilhelm Weichardt, announced that he had discovered a vaccine against fatigue. He thought that tiredness was caused by a toxin in the bloodstream and that he could inject that toxin into animals to produce an antitoxin that would get rid of the toxin.

He forced rats to exercise until they were exhausted and then withdrew their blood. Next, he injected the rats' blood into horses which, he thought, produced an antitoxin. Then, he withdrew blood from the horses and injected small amounts of this supposed antitoxin into humans and reported that the subjects regained their vigor. Over the next ten years, he reported that he could abolish fatigue by spraying the antitoxin into children's classrooms, pumping it as a gas into worker's offices and injecting it into soldiers. The tragedy then was that nobody else could reproduce his results.

Today the chronic fatigue syndrome is still around and most doctors offer treatments no more effective than the horse serum prescribed by Wilhelm Weichardt. Previously healthy people suddenly become so tired that they can't function effectively. Some cases are probably caused by a virus that scientists cannot find, while others may be caused by depression. Scientists still do not have an effective treatment. The tragedy today is that many of these people spend their last dollars for treatments that have not been shown to be on any benefit. There is no evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome can be cured by avoiding sugar and certain foods, taking antibiotics to kill yeast, receiving allergy injections or by ingesting large doses of vitamins and minerals.See report #G115

The New York Times Book Review December 16, 1990

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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