Note #1: My latest blog on the use of taurine and other inhibitory nutrients is titled Repost: How I Slowed My Brain Down and Got Off Sleep Medication (9/29/2010) and can be found at https://nutrientscure.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/repost-how-i-slowed-my-brain-down-and-got-off-sleep-medication-9292010/
Note #2: Quite a few years ago I was asked in a Yahoo group whether I found the amino acid taurine useful. What follows is my response to this question of “Is taurine useful?” in regard to inhibition and/or sleep.
Yes, I have found taurine very useful, and so has my son Willy.
I believe that taurine is one of the most inhibitory amino acids, if not the most inhibitory, for most persons that take it.
I first began to take taurine in August of 1997, and it greatly helped me to resolve a Klonopin addiction and go to sleep. Three 500 mg. capsules of taurine enabled me to reduce my Klonopin dosage from 2 mg. to .5 mg within a matter of a few weeks. However, when I first took four capsules of taurine to try to get off Klonopin completely, I found that it was too much for me and I just got a big headache the next day.
Incidentally, as “my brain changed” over the years, I later found that I could readily take four capsules of taurine without getting any headache whatsoever, despite the fact that I definitely could not take such a dose when I first began using taurine in 1997. I also later found that when I did get a headache from taurine or anything else, that phosphatidyl choline greatly helped me in regard to headache resolution. (I consider phosphatidyl choline as being better than aspirin or Tylenol in this regard, and my son Willy feels the same way.)
In September of 1997, I had added tryptophan, GABA, and glycine to my nutrient mix for sleep, rather than just using taurine all by itself. It took me about a month to get completely off of Klonopin (which I had used on a daily basis for eighteen months prior, and was clearly addicted to). I also threw in some methionine in the fall of 1997 or the winter of 1998 as well. Methionine is neither inhibitory or excitatory in me, but I had determined by simple trial that it helped me a little, and thus I knew I needed it.
My common bedtime nutrient cocktail for years beginning in the fall of 1997 was 1.5 grams each of tryptophan, taurine, GABA, and methionine, as well as 2.5 grams of glycine (as glycine was such a weak inhibitor for me, I put a bit more of it in my night baggie). I also used a 50 mg. B complex vitamin, 2,000 or 3,000 mg. of vitamin C, and two or three capules of phosphatidyl choline in my night baggie as well. In addition to this, I also put in three capsules of cal/mag/vitamin D (representing about 50% RDA), to get some inhibitory minerals into the mix. Sometimes I put in a gram of inositol as well. Later I also put in 1.5 grams of histidine, as I had found that this amino acid slowed me down too.
I have taken at least 1,200 bedtime baggies of inhibitory nutrients over the years, all very similar to what is listed above. In every instance, this inhibitory nutrient regime helped me to go to sleep, to stay asleep, and it helped with the quality of my sleep as well.
In my opinion, combining inhibitory nutrients such as is detailed above simply “blows away” any medication used for sleep that is on the market, whether it is prescription or it is over-the-counter. Why take a toxic and often addictive medication for sleep vs. taking a combination of inhibitory nutrients? A severe deficiency of inhibitory nutrients of some sort is the real reason most persons have a serious problem with sleep in the first place… and no medication can correct such a complex nutrient deficiency, no matter what the doctors and the drug companies say.
Obviously, the bedtime inhibitory nutrient regime listed above is not for everyone. People do react differently to various amino acids, and they do react differently to other nutrients as well. Only the person taking individual amino acids can determine what helps them or not from the standpoint of inhibition, and only the person taking individual amino acids can best determine the proper dosage for themselves as well. (In regard to dosage, the general safety rule is dose up slowly one capsule at a time, while monitoring effect in yourself… and make whatever adjustments are needed accordingly.)
At one point or another in the late 1990’s, I did isolate on taking every single nutrient in my night baggie on an individual basis to see how it effected me one way or the other. My goal here was to find all of my inhibitory nutrients, and then combine them all together and take them all at once for greatest effect. I was doing this due to the fact that I had a severe problem with sleep for decades. Using a combination of inhibitory nutrients did resolve my longstanding problem with sleep. And getting a good night’s sleep did a great deal for me in regard to curing myself of over three decades of symptoms of manic depression.
It might be worthy to note here that for some persons using a B complex vitamin is excitatory, and therefore it should be left out of any bedtime supplement regime.
My son Willy used a gram of taurine for a few years at bedtime to go to sleep. I don’t know offhand if he is still using it, but I do know that he has used taurine often and for a rather long time, and he has found it quite helpful. (Tryptophan is excitatory for Willy; it acts in reverse of the norm, this is sometimes called a paradoxical reaction. I would have told him to combine at least taurine and tryptophan for sleep, but he could not use tryptophan, and taurine seemed to be enough for him to “do the job” that he intended, which was to go to sleep and sleep well.)
Willy’s baggie does contain one or two capsules of taurine. Although this baggie is not taken at bedtime, I thought that this was perhaps worthy of mention here as well.
Perhaps worthy to note here is that Margot Kidder identified and used tryptophan, taurine, and GABA for sleep on her own years ago… and we had apparently reached these same conclusions independently of each other. She uses 1,000 mg. amounts of each, and I use 1,500 mg. amounts. (Margot Kidder’s suggestions on amino acids can be found on http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/aminobipolar.htm I should mention that this material is quite old; Margot may have learned “better” since then.)
Also perhaps worthy to note here is that on a completely unsolicited basis I sent an almost thirty page email to Julia Ross in the winter of 1998, detailing all I knew about the use of tryptophan, taurine, GABA, and glycine for sleep, as well as all I knew about carnitine and phoshatidyl choline slowing down the brain, all I knew about the use of tyrosine, phenylalanine, etc. I never got any response whatsoever from Julia Ross to this email.
Although the use of inhibitory nutrients as discussed in this blog, and in a prior blog titled “An egroup post on using lithium vs. raising acetylcholine” can be very useful when dealing with problematic sleep issues and/or hypomania, the use of only a handful of specific nutrients such as this is not the right approach to dealing with illnesses such as depression or bipolar disorder. Broad based supplementation, such as is in “Willy’s baggie” is a far more correct healing approach…. especially when it is coupled with dealing with one’s common malabsorptive causes (such as hidden food allergies, candida, etc., etc.) at the same time.
Three other blogs on inhibitory nutrients and/or sleep that are related to this one can be found at:
1. Two egroup posts on inhibitory nutrients written in 2003
2. An egroup post on using lithium vs. raising acetylcholine
3. An egroup post I wrote in 2005 on sleep