The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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BCAAs made me crash baaaddd

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by andocobo, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. andocobo

    andocobo

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    Hi guys,
    Just wanting to share my experience of BCAAs and see if anyone else has experienced something similar. I know they've been very helpful for some people, but I hope sharing my less positive experience might help some people understand the potential downsides :)

    I started taking BCAA about a a week and a half ago (i took 3 x 1000mg capsules first day, 2 the second). I noticed immediately that they made me feel sleepy and a lot more foggy than usual, but I thought I'd persist with them for a few days at least. On the second day I felt like i had more muscle energy than usual (generally felt tired still, but had more strength in my muscles, this was really noticable) and my muscles felt better, less pains and cramping - but the BCAAs were still causing the increased fogginess. This made me think if I could get the dose right maybe they'd help me. I had noticed the fogginess and sleepiness increased as I increased the dose - the second capsule was worse than the first and third was worst than the second in terms of side effects.

    On the third day i cut back to 1 x 1000 mg capsule and kept it at that for like 2 or 3 days. I started to notice increased muscle pain and crampling and a big reduction in energy. I really started to crash, had trouble getting out of bed etc, headaches, blurred vision, very weak feeling, numbness in my arms and face (I often get this when crashing), generally just felt bad and couldn't really do much at all. Then I stopped taking the BCAAs completely about 3 days ago, the symptoms have continued pretty much the same since stopping. I went for a short walk yesterday and came very close to passing out, which is not common for me. The only other thing I've taken which has had a similar effect on me has been d-ribose, although this has been worse, d-ribose caused a lot of muscle pain not so much fogginess and sleepiness though.

    I don't really know why or how the BCAAs could've caused such a strong reaction in me. Hopefully it won't take too long to recover though :)

    Anyone ever had an experience like this on BCAAs?
     
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  2. renski

    renski

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    Don't BCAA's compete with other aminos into the brain.. which could cause you to feel ordinary?
     
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  3. andocobo

    andocobo

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    Yeh i know they compete with tryptophan and a few others, that might've caused the symptoms i've experienced - kinda seems almost like an immune response to me though, but of course it's hard to know
     
  4. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Random thought - are they contaminated?

    BCAAs seem to be one of those things used by the bodybuilding community, where I've found the supplements standards to be lower than those of the pharmaceutical grade brands of other supps I take.

    There was also a snarky comment on Dr Peter Attia's Eating Academy website about most BCAAs coning from bird feathers. Not sure if it matters.

    I take the same amount of BCAAs and haven't noticed much difference, though I tested low in them.
     
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  5. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @andocobo - I'm really sorry to hear that. I've had nothing but a good response to BCAAs , they cut my PEM recovery time in half.

    The first product I bought also contained glutamine, which is not a BCAA, and the glutamine caused a detox reaction for me (which I eventually got over and it no longer causes detoxing for me). Did your BCAAs have anything else in them besides leucine, isoleucine and valine?
     
  6. andocobo

    andocobo

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    Thanks for the reply @Learner1, I don't think contamination is an issue here, I bought a highly regarded brand of BCAAs, they don't seem to have any history of contamination from the research I did on them. Of course it's always something you have to consider with supplements though unfortunately.

    Thanks @Mary, yeh your posts were one of the things which convinced me to give the BCAAs a try .

    The BCAAs I got only contain leucine, isoleucine and valine, although I also started taking a protein powder around the same time which was very high in glutamic acid (so not quite glutamine exactly) - so that may be the culprit. I thought the BCAAs were possibly the more likely cause because I had a very noticeable reaction to them with maybe 20 minutes of taking them and I'd taken a similar protein powder before without any effect, although I think this powder was higher in glutamic acid than any I'd had before (it was pea protein).

    Do you know what the issue with glutamine is which causes a detox reaction? Also I've noticed my mood in this crash is significantly worse than normal, very irritable atm unfortunately.
     
  7. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @andocobo - glutamine is used in phase II liver detoxification. See http://www.diagnose-me.com/treatment/liver-detoxification-phase-II-support.php

    If you look under the heading "Phase II Detoxification" in the above article, you'll see it mentions glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol, among several other things which are necessary for phase II detox. I had had problems with detoxing for several years and was very sensitive to anything that was described as "cleansing" or that was used to chelate heavy metals (e.g., chlorella). I couldn't tolerate them, would have a very strong reaction.

    Around the same time I started the BCAAs, I took gelatin for sleep - it's very high in glycine. I didn't know about glycine being important for detoxing; all I knew was it hit me like a truck, reaIly hard. It made me very tired and spacey and from my symptoms, which were very familiar, I realized it had caused me to start detoxing (I'm guessing mercury but don't know for sure). It's a long story, but through taking glycine in very small amounts and eventually glutamine too and inositol, I eventually stopped the detox reaction - I think these amino acids got my detox pathways working properly.

    So from my experience, the detox reaction from glutamine (and other amino acids) is because they are used in detoxing and I guess get toxins mobilized in the body, if that makes sense. Of course they are supposed to facilitate detoxing but it can make you sick if it goes too fast. I hope this makes sense.

    I was first alerted to issues of detoxing maybe 13 or 14 years ago, it's a blur :confused: by my chiropractor who does muscle testing. I had been feeling sickish, digestion off, spacey etc. and he said I was toxic - it was the first I'd ever heard of this but eventually became very familiar with it. :thumbdown: but ever since I gradually started taking the amino acids I mentioned above, and very slowly increased the doses, I have stopped having detox reactions for the most part. I do credit my chiropractor and muscle testing with helping me work through all of this. Without it, I would not have known either what was going on or what to do about it.
     
  8. andocobo

    andocobo

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    @Mary thankyou! This is very interesting info.

    I see that glutamine is important especially for glucuronidation, impairment of which is the cause of Gilbert's Syndrome, which I have. I wonder, can glutamic acid play the same role as glutamine here? I believe it can be converted to glutamine right?

    I also have elevated levels of glycine, which I thought might be because of decreased synthesis of glutathione due to a lack of cysteine (I have very low homocysteine), but maybe the increased intake of glutamic acid also increased glutathione levels which led to detox...

    Your info is very valuable to me and has given me a lot to research and think about - thank you
     
    Mary likes this.
  9. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Yep - glutamic acid can be converted to glutamine: http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/amino-acids/glutamine-and-glutamic-acid.html It is possible you have been having a detox reaction, but of course it could be something else too.

    I'm afraid I don't know anything about elevated glycine though it's quite possible someone else on the board might - you could do a separate post about high glycine and see if you get some answers.

    I have low homocysteine too. I take n-acetyl-cysteine because my doctor told me to and I've read it's important but I can't give you the chemistry on it, but it is supposed to help with glutathione production and also help the liver.

    I don't know if the increased intake of glutamic acid increased glutathione which may have led to detoxing, or whether it's just glutamine's role in detoxing which may have caused your symptoms (or something else altogether :confused:) - You are right, there is a lot to research! :sluggish: Everything seems connected - good luck, I hope you get some answers! :nerd:
     
  10. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    If the protein powder you were taking is micro-filtered or un-denatured, it has a highly bio-available form of cystine (not cysteine) in it. Cystine dramatically raises glutathione and is considered one of the best ways to increase glutathione in the body.

    Cystine is made from two molecules of "cysteine", so one milligram of cystine equals two milligrams of cysteine. N-acetyl-cysteine has a very poor bio-availability, about 10%. Cystine is much more bio-available and is twice as strong per milligram than n-acetyl-cysteine. Making it many times stronger than n-acetyl-cyteine.

    UN-denatured protein powder also has immunoglobulins in it that boost the immune system and lactoferrin which kills off bacterial overgrowth in the gut. UN-denatured protein powder, even at very low doses, gives me significant detox/die-off symptoms.
     
    Mary likes this.
  11. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I've been experimenting with BCAAs too. And after reading about leucine yesterday in the thread on Dr. Ron Davis's Q & A, I took three doses of the NOW powder yesterday as I was doing a pilates class in the evening. Usually I get a mild crash the next day but today I am fine--one positive anecdotal story.

    It is such a catch 22--try to keep muscles somewhat functional and risk a crash, or don't and suffer another set of consequences. :confused:Anyway, I'll be taking BCAAs every day now to see what happens.
     
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  12. antherder

    antherder a.k.a. Princess Dauer, Nematode Nation

    Hi @andocobo , sorry to hear you've had a bad reaction, but just want to say thanks for posting your experience, as I was thinking about trying BCAAs myself.

    You might have seen this Gilbert's Syndrome site already, but in case you haven't, it's another really good explanation of the liver detox pathways;

    http://www.gilbertssyndrome.com/detoxification.php
     

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