OBJECTIVES: It is unclear whether insulin-like growth factor (IGF) function is involved in the pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Unpublished data and reports in patient organization newsletters suggest that Acclydine, a food supplement, could be effective in the treatment of CFS by increasing biologically active IGF1 levels. Here we aimed to measure the IGF1 and IGF binding protein (IGFBP) 3 status of CFS patients compared to age- and gender-matched neighborhood controls, and to assess the effect of Acclydine on fatigue severity, functional impairment, and biologically active IGF1 level (IGFBP3/IGF1 ratio). DESIGN: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. SETTING: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-seven adult patients who fulfilled the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for CFS. IGF status of 22 CFS patients was compared to that of 22 healthy age- and gender-matched neighborhood control individuals. INTERVENTION: Acclydine or placebo for 14 wk. OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcomes were fatigue severity (Checklist Individual Strength, subscale fatigue severity [CIS-fatigue]), functional impairment (Sickness Impact Profile-8 [SIP-8]), and biologically active IGF1 serum concentrations. Analyses were on an intention-to-treat basis. RESULTS: There was no difference in IGF status in 22 CFS patients compared to healthy age- and gender-matched control individuals. Treatment with Acclydine did not result in significant differences compared with the placebo group on any of the outcome measures: CIS-fatigue +1.1 (95% CI -4.4 to +6.5, p = 0.70), SIP-8 +59.1 (95% CI -201.7 to +319.8, p = 0.65), and IGFBP3/IGF1 ratio -0.5 (95% CI -2.8 to +1.7, p = 0.63). CONCLUSION: We found no differences in IGF1 status in CFS patients compared to healthy matched neighborhood controls. In addition, the results of this clinical trial do not demonstrate any benefit of Acclydine over placebo in the treatment of CFS.