Exploring Robuvit’s mechanisms of action: part I

Published: 20-Jun-2024

Whether used to build shelters, craft boats or produce barrels, oak trees have long been cherished for their wood. Recently, scientists have discovered that these majestic trees also contain valuable molecules that benefit human health, reports Franziska Weichmann, Manager of Scientific Communications and Product Development at Horphag Research

Robuvit® French oak wood extract has demonstrated impressive efficacy in human clinical studies in four key areas.

First, it boosts energy levels, providing a natural way to enhance vitality. Second, it supports detoxification and liver function, aiding the body’s natural cleansing processes.

Third, Robuvit significantly helps with recovery, reduces fatigue and alleviates stress, making it an excellent supplement for overall well-being.

Lastly, it promotes muscle mass and improves sports performance, helping athletes to achieve better results and maintain their physical fitness. These benefits make Robuvit a valuable addition to health and wellness regimens.

The underlying mechanisms of action for Robuvit have been widely studied in both in vitro and in vivo trials, as well as gene expression studies. Clinical results  highlight Robuvit’s powerful antioxidant properties, which protect cells from oxidative stress and contribute to overall health.

Additionally, Robuvit’s effects on mitochondrial rejuvenation and the associated respiratory chain optimise ATP generation (the cellular source of energy). Increased ribosome genesis, induced by Robuvit intake, is tightly connected to enhanced protein production and leads to improved cellular functionality.

Urolithins, the gut metabolites of ellagitannins found in Robuvit, show beneficial effects on muscle tissue synthesis, energy levels and liver function. Further clinical and mechanistic studies are under way to continuously expand the knowledge surrounding Robuvit.

Increased energy and reduced fatigue and stress

Robuvit polyphenols, specifically ellagitannins, undergo metabolism by gut microbiota when ingested, resulting in the generation of urolithins A, B, and C, and subsequent absorption into the bloodstream.1,2

These metabolites have demonstrated impressive effects on different body functions and their levels in the blood have been shown to increase after the oral intake of Robuvit.1,2

One of these metabolites, urolithin A, has been observed to promote enhanced energy production through a process called mitophagy.3 Mitophagy is a biological mechanism in which inefficient mitochondria are degraded and replaced with new and more efficient ones.4

Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells and are responsible for producing cellular energy in the form of ATP molecules. The process of mitophagy thus ensures optimal energy generation from consumed food and healthy functioning cells.4

In addition, Robuvit supplementation has been shown to increase the expression of mitochondrial protein NADH-dehydrogenase, which plays a direct role in the cellular respiratory chain to further enhance ATP generation and energy production.1

As the intake of Robuvit leads to improved energy output, several clinical studies have been performed to investigate its effects on people with different energy deficiency issues.

These studies have shown that Robuvit can reduce fatigue and enhance sleep quality in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia or after chemotherapy.5–9

In addition, Robuvit led to faster recovery from conditions such as liver damage, kidney dysfunction, mononucleosis, mild heart failure or PTSD and post-surgery recovery.2,10–18

Moreover, clinical studies showed that Robuvit alleviates symptoms related to burnout/work-related stress and boosts overall energy levels in healthy subjects.19–23

The earliest study attributing energising properties to Robuvit supplementation was done with 20 healthy volunteers aged 45–65 years.21

Fatigue and energy were assessed with the Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (AD ACL). The questionnaire assessed each participant’s energy level based on four categories: energy, calmness, tiredness and tension.

Four weeks of supplementation with Robuvit significantly improved the energy and calm state of subjects and significantly reduced the fatigue and stress score of the study participants.21

A double-blind placebo-controlled study investigated the effects of Robuvit on patients, recovering from hysterectomy.18 The participating women started the supplementation 3 days after surgery.

After 4 weeks, general and mental health were significantly better in the Robuvit group compared with the placebo controls by 18 and 12%, respectively.

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The energy levels in the Robuvit group increased by 3%, whereas the placebo group experienced a 10% decrease. The investigators suggested that Robuvit can be used to relieve both general and mental post-operative symptoms.

A 6-week study investigated the effects of Robuvit on post-chemotherapy recovery after colon cancer.7 Robuvit supplementation significantly improved each patient’s quality of life, mood, hand grip strength and treadmill fitness test score compared with controls.

In addition, their fatigue score after 6 weeks was significantly reduced by 70% with Robuvit (compared with controls). 

In another study, Robuvit was given to people suffering from burnout syndrome owing to particularly stressful circumstances.19 The study comprised surgeons in training as well as senior professionals and managers.

Their burnout symptoms were assessed by a questionnaire, including satisfaction at work, level of intolerance, emotional drainage and fatigue. After 4 weeks of daily Robuvit intake, the burnout symptoms were significantly relieved compared with the control participants (Figure 1). 

Exploring Robuvit’s mechanisms of action: part I

Figure 1: Robuvit improves burnout symptoms in senior professionals in 4 weeks

Muscle mass and enhanced sports performance

Urolithin B, another metabolite found in blood following Robuvit intake, has been shown to have stimulating effects on skeletal muscle mass.24

It acts as a regulator by inducing muscle growth and increasing protein synthesis. An increase in muscle mass contributes to enhanced metabolism and increased energy expenditure.

Research studies have shown that urolithin B promotes growth and differentiation of muscle cells by increasing muscle protein synthesis and repressing protein degradation.24

In vivo experiments confirmed the ability of urolithin B to induce muscle growth and reduce muscle tissue decrease after sciatic nerve section.24


  1. F. Natella, et al., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62(2), 443–453 (2014).
  2. L. Volpp, et al., Front. Pharmacol. 11, 74 (2020).
  3. D. Ryu, et al., Nat. Med. 22(8), 879–888 (2016).
  4. Y. Lu, et al., Theranostics 13(2), 736–766 (2023).
  5. G. Belcaro, et al., Panminerva Med. 56(1), 63–72 (2014).
  6. G. Belcaro, et al., J. Neurosurg. Sci. 59(2),105–117 (2015).
  7. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Surg. 78(4), 378–384 (2023).
  8. G. Belcaro, et al., J. Neurosurg. Sci. 62(4), 423–427 (2018).
  9. S. Hu, et al., Minerva Cardioangiol. 68(3), 203–208 (2020).
  10. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Med. 105(1), 41–50 (2014).
  11. L. Pellegrini, et al., Minerva Gastroenterol. Dietol. 62(3), 245–252 (2016).
  12. A. Ledda, et al., Panminerva Med. 60(2), 60–64 (2018).
  13. S. Hu, et al., Minerva Pediatr. 70(5), 425–429 (2018).
  14. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Cardioangiol. 68(3), 216–223 (2020).
  15. E. Ippolito, et al., J. Sports Med. Phys. Fitness 58(5), 678–683 (2018).
  16. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Med. 109(5), 363–368 (2018).
  17. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Gastroenterol. (Torino) 68(4), 434–441 (2022).
  18. V. Ferianec, et al., Nutrients 12(4), 913 (2020).
  19. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Med. 109(3), 211–217 (2018).
  20. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Med. 113(3), 518–525 (2022).
  21. Z. Országhová, et al., Phytother. Res. 29(8), 1219–1224 (2015).
  22. G. Belcaro, et al., Minerva Med. 115(1), 83–84 (2024).
  23. A. Ledda, et al., Panminerva Med. 62(3), 131–134 (2020).
  24. J. Rodriguez, et al., J. Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 8(4), 583–597 (2017).

In Part II, Dr Weichmann will take a deeper dive into the active nutrition benefits of Robuvit, looking at ribosomal biogenesis and its antioxidant properties, as well as exploring the topics of liver function and detoxification. 

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