The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Insomnia, brewer's yeast and MSG

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Mary, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    So I thought I was doing something helpful switching from my B complex to brewer's yeast a couple of months ago. It coincided with an attempt to take B1, which, although it initially boosted my energy, I never was able to take without negative effects. Around the same time my BP went up 15 - 20 points, just like that, which I connected with the B1, though I never was able to figure out why it would do that. @Gondwanaland posited that it might have boosted my thyroid, but I never was able to establish that connection. And my higher BP for the last 2 months remained a mystery to me.

    And also, though I never made the connection until this week, I developed an extreme sensitivity to anything with MSG or its metabolites. e.g., before I could tolerate a can of chili for dinner and suddenly it gave me severe insomnia, as though I'd had a full meal at an Asian food restaurant.

    And then 2 days ago I stumbled across an article about brewer's yeast and MSG, which stated there was no MSG in brewer's yeast, that the glutamic acid in brewer's yeast is "bound" and so was safe and could not affect one like MSG did. But I'd never even heard of any connection between brewer's yeast and MSG before, so did more reading, and found more denials of any MSG problem with brewer's yeast, but did find a youtube video of someone who said it (brewer's yeast) caused heart palpitations and I realized I had to just stop the brewer's yeast and see what happened.

    And within 2 days my BP went back to my normal 125/75, after being in the 140's for 2 months. And last night I accidentally ate something that had some MSG but instead of being completely unmanageable and awake for half the night, it only affected me for an hour or two and I was able to sleep with lots of l-theanine and niacin.

    So, despite all the protestations to the contrary, it's evident to me that brewer's yeast does have free glutamic acid which is an excitotoxin and damaging to the brain and can cause insomnia and all sorts of other problems.

    Dang! and I thought I was eating one of the safest and most nutritious things in the world ..... :sluggish:
     
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  2. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    @Mary IMHO your exeperience just confirms my hypothesis that an overstimulated thyroid by B vits can supress estrogen and cause hypersensitivity to histamines/glutamate. I have been working on naturally raising my estrogen since November (with high Manganese foods), and since December I haven't had insomina or sweatbouts anymore.

    http://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/thiamine-and-thyroid-fatigue
    I can't scientifically explain the balance of B1 thyroid / Mn estrogen, but I have observed in myself that I need them to be in balance, there is a sweet spot. I noticed on my husband that if he gets high BP signs (neck and shoulder blade pain), B2 is the way to go
     
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  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Hi @Gondwanaland - well, you could be right.

    But I am almost positive the B1 didn't cause my BP to go up - it was the brewer's yeast due to its glutamic acid content. My BP did go right back to normal after I stopped the brewer's yeast. From what I read msg or free glutamic acid is bad for anyone, and it seems the extra glutamic acid in the brewer's yeast put me over the top.

    I am currently trying a low dose of B1 which I am tolerating (it's been about 3 days) so I think I will stick with that and not try to increase it.

    Some day we will figure all this out and write books and help millions! (that's my fantasy :rolleyes:)
     
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  4. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    Thanks you two for interesting leads re blood pressure, estrogen, glutamates and histamine problems... All issues with me too. Think I'll try some high manganese foods plus benfo.

    Anything I should know about manganese or manganese rich foods
    @Gondwanaland?
     
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  5. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Most of them are high oxalate (soy for instance - at some point I tried tofu, but it didn't work for me - caused leaky gut).

    The foods highest in Mn can cause migraines (e.g. hazelnuts), then you need B2 / Milk Thistle to counter that estrogen spike.

    I found Spirulina wonderful, it lowered histamines very quickly, but unfortunately it is too high in arginine and caused me horrible pain from my corneal herpes. Red clover sprouts were the best, plus fresh herbs to season my salads like oregano, tarragon, thyme. Right now I'm on sweet potatoes. All this juggling because I could not tolerate the regular estrogenic herbs like Hops, Black Cohosh, Wild Yam (I might have been too low in iron for too long to tolerate a high estrogenic stimulus).
     
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  6. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

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    It's possible that there was something else in the Brewer's Yeast which causes problems for you.

    But there's also a ton of misinformation abounding regarding how MSG is nice and safe for absolutely everyone. I looked into a couple of the studies used to support those claims, and they were excluding everyone who had ever had a symptom associated with MSG intolerance, serving the MSG with vitamin fortified foods/drinks, and only looking for an immediate and very specific reaction which excludes a lot of the reported reactions and time-frames.

    I get migraines very consistently 23 hours after consuming MSG. Folic acid prevents or stops them for me. But my general outlook is to play it safe, and avoid MSG and anything else which has elevated levels of free glutamic acid. And since yeast is commonly a source of free glutamic acid when processed a certain way, I just completely avoid yeast-based products other than raw yeast or foods (breads) where there's a legitimate use for yeast.
     
  7. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    This is interesting. Many years ago I took Brewers Yeast during my pregnancy because I didn't tolerate the pre-natal B Complex, and unlike most pregnant women, I had regular insomnia. I wonder...
     
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  8. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

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    For what it's worth, I found this article: http://thehomeschoolingdoctor.com/2...e-perfect-brewers-yeast-or-nutritional-yeast/ From article:

    4. Supplemental yeasts contain glutamic acid (glutamate): All the supplemental yeasts (both brewer’s and nutritional yeast) have glutamic acid, an amino acid, in them because it is a part of the yeast cell’s proteins. Upon processing, the glutamic acid may become “free glutamic acid,” similar to MSG (monosodium glutamate). Free glutamic acid can act to stimulate neurons in the brain, and some people are either very sensitive to them and/or they don’t break the glutamic acid down well in their GI tracts. (We actually have enzymes to deal with glutamic acid in our GI tracts, and we can break down a certain amount. Some people, however, do not have either enough or good enough function of these enzymes.) The glutamic acid then can lead to uncomfortable reactions like headaches, irritability, fatigue, and other reactions.
    Some yeast products are heated to high temperatures during processing, and these temperatures can further increase free glutamic acid. Some companies state that their products are not exposed to such high heat (low heat processed), but I could not find a supplemental yeast that was not heated to at least pasteurize it. (This does not seem like a raw food to me.) Whether or not the free glutamic acid content is significant in supplemental yeasts seems to be up for debate. Some people say that the glutamic acid in supplemental yeast is not free glutamic acid and therefore not problematic. Others say it is free glutamic acid. I couldn’t find a definitive source. Of interest, many processed foods contain “autolyzed yeast” and “yeast extract” for flavor enhancement. These often take the leftovers from true brewer’s yeast made on hops, break down the cell walls of the yeasts with enzyme, and use the peptides and cell wall constituents (including the now free glutamic acid) for flavoring. These are basically equivalent to MSG.
     
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  9. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Here is a list of food additives which are essentially code for "msg" - (including "natural flavors" -!)

    http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html
    http://www.rense.com/general92/hidename.html

    I try to eat really well, fresh foods when possible, but very often don't have the energy to cook. and just discovered last night that the refried beans I like have "natural flavors" or something like that. I am beginning to think that every processed food has msg in one form or another.
     
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  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

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    I use a slow cooker, so I can start it a few hours before dinner, and add things every 30-60 minutes. Then I'm never standing around too long. And we get pre-chopped vegetable mixes so I don't have to chop :p
     
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  11. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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  12. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    This is very smart. I spent an hour or so making salad this morning (lasts for 2 days with my husband and son) and this evening I need to start the hot meal. My back is already hurting...
     
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  13. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    And not that I'd ever touch them now, but some years ago I ate a handful of Doritos my son had bought and found myself awake aaaalllllll night looooonnnngggg. I knew I'd find MSG on the list of ingredients and sure enough...
     
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  14. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    @Mary, I need to thank you for your mention of taking Brewer's Yeast (in another thread) because you thought it would have a natural balance of b-vitamins. That statement made me curious so I've been taking a couple of teaspoons per day of Twinlab Brewer's Yeast. I've discovered that it helps to reduce my hyper-sensitivity to certain types of light and sound, and helps to noticeably reduce my brain-fog. I haven't noticed any effect on sleep.
     
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  15. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @PatJ - Now I'm wondering if perhaps the Twin Labs brand is processed differently than Swanson's, I read that processing with heat can increase glutamic acid, or perhaps I'm just more sensitive to it - anyways, I'm very glad to hear it's helping you! :nerd:
     
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I tried a product called Epicor a few years ago, which is Brewer's yeast / baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). This product is an immune booster, but I found it rapidly caused very significant depression symptoms when I tried it, so could not take it at all.

    I also read accounts of other people having problems with Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


    My ill effects from Saccharomyces cerevisiae are nothing to do with glutamate, because I can take 2 or 3 heaped teaspoons of glutamate powder with no problems at all, and often do.

    I can also eat pure monosodium glutamate powder without noticing any effects (I bought some monosodium glutamate just to confirm or deny the Internet hearsay about MSG being problematic — in my test, MSG did not affect me).

    It's worth pointing out that this review concluded:
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  17. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Hi @Hip - well, we are all different. I took Epicor some years ago trying to boost my immune system. It didn't make me depressed, but it did nothing for my immune system either - dang! More money down the drain.

    Anyways, you're right, not everyone reacts badly to msg. But there are tons of accounts of people who do, despite lack of "consistent clinical data" showing this. I don't think serious research money is going to go into this anyways (sound familiar?), as msg and its relatives are huge business - I think it's in just about all processed foods (see the links above for all its various iterations). Follow the money, or, rather, lack thereof for research.

    You know how you reacted to Epicor - you didn't need clinical findings or published literature to tell you. Actually, I reacted to Tagamet with a very dark mood. My doctor had suggested I try it because it was supposed to boost my immune system, I forget how it works but there is data on this. Anyways, I could not handle the very dark mood and stopped it. And then read that this was a possible effect of it.

    Maybe 5 or 6 years ago I noticed I had extreme insomnia (could not get to sleep until close to 3:00 a.m., very unusual for me - I was initially tired when I went to bed, but then felt like I was revving up, wide awake and could not sleep for hours) after eating at a Thai restaurant. I think it had happened before but I never made the correlation. Then I began to pay attention to when this severe insomnia would hit, and I'd inevitably find msg involved. (this was unrelated to my regular middle of the night insomnia which I've had for years and years, although it's better than it used to be)
     
  18. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I wonder how many people who think they react to MSG have actually gone out and bought some pure MSG powder (which is very cheap and easy to find), and taken pure MSG to see if it really does cause the symptoms they think it causes.

    That would be the scientific approach. I am not denying that some people may be sensitive to MSG, but before anyone claims they are MSG-sensitive, they should really test this.


    There are some ideas that spread all over the Internet as a hearsay phenomenon, and MSG is one of them. The ill health effects appear to be wildly exaggerated, so that people develop a fear of them.

    For example, Dr Mercola calls MSG: a "Silent Killer Lurking in Your Kitchen Cabinet".

    That is an extraordinary level of exaggeration to call a kitchen condiment a "killer".
     
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Did Epicor also cause an increase in your blood pressure, in the same way as the current brewer's yeast product your were up until recently taking?
     
  20. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    No, Epicor didn't raise my blood pressure. Here are a couple of possibilities of why it didn't. I'm sure I was taking more brewer's yeast than was contained in Epicor. I was taking a pretty large dose. Also, I read that the processing of the yeast has an effect on production of free glutamic acid, and the more heat involved, the more free glutamic acid. The Epicor website talks about a "gentle" drying process (low heat?) One last thing - I don't remember exactly when I started reacting to msg, but it may have predated the Epicor.

    FWIW, I never paid any attention to msg for years and years. And I don't think I had any reaction to it either for most of my life. This only started maybe 6 years ago? or 7, am not sure. But since that time I have consistently reacted with very severe insomnia when I eat a meal at an Asian restaurant, which I no longer do at night. And at home if I inadvertently eat something with msg, it does affect my ability to fall sleep, I will get that revved up feeling. It doesn't happen otherwise. So I don't have any desire to "prove" this is real by ingesting pure msg powder. Just as you knew the Epicor was causing depression, you didn't need to read clinical findings to verify it. My BP went up close to 20 points when I started the brewer's yeast and went down when I stopped it. I don't want to see what would happen were I to ingest pure msg.
     
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