What follows are two egroup posts that I wrote on inhibitory nutrients in 2003. This material might be of use to anyone with a serious sleep problem, as well as anyone who has been diagnosed as bipolar.
Title: Some advice on inhibitory nutrients
Try adding taurine to the GABA. Taurine is generally more inhibitory than GABA for most. If and/or when this combination of amino acids helps you, then try adding tryptophan to it. Tryptophan can swing both ways… for some persons it is excitatory, and for some it is inhibitory. Only you can determine this yourself (via trial and error). Glycine is also a known inhibitor as well.
Glycine is a rather weak inhibitor for me, but I have used it in combination with tryptophan, taurine, and GABA for sleep for years with great success.
Margot Kidder, the actress that overcame bipolar disorder in herself via natural means, once stated that 1000 mg. each of tryptophan, taurine, and GABA helped her before bedtime with sleep. I commonly use 1500 mg. to 2000 mg. of each of these aminos before bedtime, as 1000 mg. is often not enough of each of these inhibitory nutrients for me. Dosage is an individual issue, but this is the general ballgame (1000 mg. to 2000 mg.) that works for many.
I do suggest that you read Julia Ross’s book “The Mood Cure” as well. Ms. Ross also suggests tryptophan, taurine, GABA, and glycine for inhibition as well.
The three amino acids of tryptophan, taurine, and GABA helped me to resolve an 18 month addiction to Klonopin for sleep in the fall of 1997. I got off Klonopin in less than a month quite easily, and was getting the best sleep of my entire adult life way back in September of 1997. This has continued since. I have easily taken 1200 or more doses of these three amino acids since 1997, along with some other nutrient inhibitors…. however these three amino acids represent the heart of what I am doing.
I have also played quite a bit with the amino acid histidine as an inhibitor in the past few years, and it clearly helps me, but for some persons it may not help them, if not may actually hurt them (some persons are already too high in histamine, and histidine is a key nutrient precursor to histamine, an allergic mediator).
I also commonly take methionine with my bedtime nutrient regime as well. Methionine is neutral in regard to inhibition/excitation for me, but I take it for other reasons.
The calming minerals of calcium and magnesium are often helpful in combination with inhibitory amino acids before bedtime as well. Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption. Of these two minerals, magnesium may clearly be the more important in regard to calming and inhibition.
In addition to these inhibitory amino acids and minerals, I have found that 3 to 5 capsules (I use Solgar caps, they are fairly cheap) of phosphatidyl choline really help me to slow down as well.
For some reason that I still don’t understand, I need to take 500 mg. of L-carnitine in the morning for this phos chol supplementation to work for me. This carnitine and phos chol combination acts just like lithium for me… it has a really profound effect in (1) slowing down “my brain speed”, (2) lowering the volume of my speech, and (3) slowing down my speech rate as well.
The source http://www.jomarlabs.com really cuts down on the cost of taurine, GABA, glycine, and carnitine vs. what you would pay in a health food store. I highly recommend this source for all amino acids except glutamine, which can be purchased much cheaper elsewhere (a whole lb. can be bought elsewhere for under $35.), and tryptophan, which they do not carry.
I sincerely hope that this helps.
Title: Detailed advice on how to apply inhibitory nutrients to oneself
Posted to various egroups on October 23, 2003
I have had a few requests from persons for more information in regard to my recent post on inhibitory nutrients. The following information might be of help in this regard.
I think that Julia Ross, the author of “The Mood Cure”, and I are pretty much in concurrence on how to apply amino acids safely to oneself. The general rules in the proper application of amino acids to oneself are as follows:
1. Isolate on each amino acid first, seeing how you feel on each individual amino acid that you take. I suggest doing this in the following order in regard to the generally inhibitory amino acids that I brought up in my recent post; (1) taurine, (2) GABA, (3) tryptophan with some B complex and vitamin C, and (4) glycine. If you don’t achieve enough success with these four amino acids, I would strongly consider adding a cautious trial of the amino acid histidine as well.
2. Dose up slowly on each of the above one capsule at a time. If any adverse affects are felt, obviously stop. I’d cautiously try one, two, three, and perhaps four capsules of each, assuming no adverse affects.
Putting points one and two together, I’d try 1,2,3,4 500 mg. capsules of taurine, 1,2,3,4 capsules of GABA, 1,2,3,4 capsules of tryptophan, and 1,2,3,4 capsules of glycine, stopping any trial immediately if you feel any negative affect whatsoever, and also stopping at the point “you feel you’ve had enough”. If I feel I’ve taken a bit too much of a single amino acid, but it was helping me before, I just back down to the prior lower dosage that seemed to work well and helped me to do what I intended.
3. Take amino acids on an empty stomach with room temperature spring or distilled water whenever possible. The less these nutrients compete for absorption with other nutrients, the better.
However, in a pinch, I take amino acids at any time, full stomach, partly full, or empty. Under all such circumstances, these nutrients have helped me, but perhaps somewhat less so and somewhat more slowly when I have food in my stomach.
4. I have found that it helps to be engaged in some quiet activity such as reading or watching TV, in order to pick up the sometimes subtle changes in how one feels when trying amino acids for the first time. Normally the effect of these nutrients is felt in a timeframe that is remarkably short, perhaps 15 minutes or so to within an hour.
5. Once one identifies one’s inhibitory nutrients, the best approach is not simply to take one or two of one’s inhibitory nutrients, but to simply combine them all. This inhibitory combination should include at least three nutrient inhibitors, if not four, five, or six.
6. The use of a B complex vitamin is excitatory for some persons. If so, leave it out. I believe that vitamin B6 and C are necessary for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Other nutrients may be involved as well. Robert Erdmann’s book “The Amino Revolution” lists some of the common cofactors to achieve results. This book, despite its flaws, is a very worth read.
7. Please remember that the amino acid tryptophan can act as excitatory in some persons, in what is called a paradoxical reaction. Only you can determine this by trial and error.
Any and all amino acids can and do effect persons differently, not doing what they are supposed to do, or not helping (if not hurting) one person, but clearly helping another. Trial and error is the
ONLY valid way to find this out.
In my experience, I don’t feel the inhibition of the amino acid glycine much, but I add it anyway, due to the fact it is a known inhibitory amino acid. For me, I take anything that I either feel inhibition from, or anything that is more or less neutral in it’s effect (from what I can tell), but “the books say” is supposed to be inhibitory.
Incidentally, I definitely can feel the inhibition of taurine. This is the inhibitory nutrient that clearly affects me the most, and it does not need any cofactors in which to work to do so. In the beginning, if I took too much taurine, I would get a bit of a headache, but less than too much clearly helped “my brain to shut down” without any adverse effect whatsoever…. and I could take it day after day without any problems. Taurine is used up in the production of bile, amongst other things. All nutrients are eventually used up by the body, sooner or later, and some much
sooner than others.
I still have the opinion that raising the acetylcholine level in the brain is a crucial, if not huge, brain inhibitor for many. I am also convinced that the best way to do this is to take 500 mg. or so of L-carnitine in the morning, and then take 3 to 5 capsules of phosphatidyl choline throughout the day. This nutrient combination may not work for some persons, but it was a profound “brain speed inhibitor” for me.
Lastly, although I am posting on amino acids quite a bit, this does not mean that I ignore the other essential nutrients in my wellness regime. Vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids are clearly essential to human health as well, and I take them all. In addition to this, a proper diet which avoids allergic foods, dealing with dysbiosis issues, dealing with a possible lack of digestive enzymes or HCL, correcting acidosis, etc. are all often crucial issues for one to recover from lack of physical or mental health as well. I don’t want it to seem that amino acids are the entire answer here, because they are not. However, amino acids are often invaluable therapeutic nutrient tools for many persons that suffer from any mental difficulty whatsoever, especially depression and manic depression, the illnesses with which I am most familiar.
I sincerely hope the above post helps.