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Taurine & Beta-Alanine

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by AimingHigh, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. AimingHigh

    AimingHigh

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    I had a NutraEval done late last year. The biggest findings for me were the following:

    - Very Low Riboflavin (B2)
    - Low Niacin
    - Extremely high (urinary) Taurine. 3x higher than the top of range
    - High Beta-Alanine
    - Very high Tartaric Acid (indicative of intestinal dysbiosis)

    Since the Amino Acid levels tested the urine, I also wanted to compare to blood plasma levels. From that my Taurine level was high-normal and my Beta-Alanine tested closer to the low end of the range. This doesn't line up with the idea of "Taurine wasting" due to gut infection, since blood Taurine is high-normal.

    I'm really lost with this. I posted my Yasko results and symptom history here: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/diagnosis-unclear-after-15-yrs.31132/

    I've been at this for years, and I have spent more time researching this crap than I care to admit. Anyway, I would love to get some feedback on this. Any point in looking to supplement with Carnosine or Beta-Alanine here? I have read that Carnosine can be helpful with Asperger's symptoms.

    Thanks!
    Ryan
     
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  2. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Hi Ryan,

    Nothing helpful to report over here, just that I am also quite interested in taurine right now. It seems like you have an issue getting taurine into / keeping taurine in your cells. Any updates?
     
  3. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I'm not sure that I have anything helpful to add either but am responding b/c I tried Taurine for the first time ever today. I took one pill (1000 mg) this morning and another this evening.

    I wasn't sure what to expect but both times it gave me a very calm, relaxed feeling of well-being and after the first dose, it made me very sedated and I slept for several hours. I am very sensitive to meds and supplements but Taurine (so far!) has been great and is helping me feel very calm as I am preparing to go into the hospital for tests.

    The bottle says it is for ocular/vision support (???) but I am taking it for cardio issues.
     
  4. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    I also took it for the first time today! And also got the peaceful sleepy feeling. And the fuzzy brain adrenaline feeling that I assume was from the sulfites, because it went away when I took molybdenum.

    Taurine seems to help with so many things that we have issues with (getting lactic acid out of cells, for instance, which has been found to be a problem for people with ME) that it seems like many of us would be deficient in it. So my suspicion is that Ryan is not alone in having high urinary, high serum and (I am guessing) low cellular taurine. I read one source that postulated that gamma-l-glutamyltaurine was the storage form. The enzyme that does this is gamma glutamyl transferase, and it uses glutathione (GSH). Assuming I am right about low cellular taurine, maybe this is why we can't get taurine to stay in our cells?

    As a side-note, I have been eating raw beef daily for some years now in order to sleep--if I go for a few days without it, I cannot sleep, and have a sort of burning sensation around my heart. Since taurine seems to be lacking in cooked meat, I am pretty excited that this might be the reason why raw beef helped me.

    Anyhow, I'd love to hear how things progress with taurine for you @Gingergrrl.

    Best of luck to all of us!

    Aaron C
     
  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @aaron_c Last night with the 1000 mg of Taurine, I slept for over eight hours straight without waking up one time which is unheard of for me. Usually I get to go to the bathroom or b/c my thoughts are going in circles, and I go onto the computer, etc. Taurine is the best supplement of everything I have found so far and is amazing!!!

    Do you think taking Taurine every day will allow it to stay in my cells (assuming I am lacking in cellular Taurine? I am guessing in my case and have not been tested.)

    I know this is off topic, but isn't eating raw beef quite dangerous? Hoping you can switch to the Taurine instead and get the same effect. I literally felt a sense of calm and well-being from Taurine that I cannot explain and was not expecting. I take so many supplements (glutathione, d-ribose, coq10, Vit C & D, Acai Berry, Maitake Mushrooms, Epicor, etc, etc, and feel nothing from them- but just hope they help in the long-run.) Taurine is the first one where I immediately felt something different.
     
  6. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @Gingergrrl

    Wow, I am glad to hear you are sleeping so much better. Very cool!

    As I probably implied before, my understanding of taurine is pretty tentative. But I did find a few interesting bits last night:

    For someone who has taken organic chemistry, this was probably implied by the above, but: The way that GSH interacts with taurine via GGT is that it donates a glutamine, forming gamma-l-glutamyltaurine, and leaving cysteine and glycine...whose name when they are connected I do not remember, but I believe they get separated almost immediately.

    Theoretically, I think this means that in order to prevent large amounts of taurine from depleting us of GSH (and causing more cysteine from becoming cystine), we will need to take more glutamine.

    Earlier today, I began to feel tired and slightly nauseous after taking the taurine. The fatigue was more...well more like the "chronic fatigue" fatigue, which is to say muscular, and also brain but only mildly a "lets go to sleep" kind. I took a gram of glutamine, and it improved entirely. So that would seem to bear out my theory, although we'll have to see how I sleep tonight--glutamine has caused insomnia in the past, but I am hopeful that this was only because I was taurine deficient, which prevented me from using (or was it producing?) GAD. Tonight I will also take B6, to help turn glutamate back into GABA via GAD.

    Having said this much, I do want to muddy the waters a bit more: As of yet, I only think that GGT probably transports taurine into cells. And it was one author's guess that the glutamyl moiety kept it in the cell. And I believe there is at least one other kind of taurine transport, in any case. So I am not saying that no glutamine means no intracellular taurine. And I am also not saying that taurine without the glutamyl moiety is ineffective. There was a lot that was not known by the authors I read snippets from. And obviously I probably know even less.

    Also of interest: Our bodies make more GGT when under oxidative stress, which would make sense if we had a good store of glutamine, but might be counterproductive if we are deficient. Assuming that taurine's main purpose is antioxidant.

    As to whether large amounts of taurine (or liposomal taurine) would be beneficial long term...I really don't know. Like I said, theoretically taurine without glutamine might deplete your GSH and eventually bump up your ammonia and sulfite from cystine. But I would just go by the symptoms for now, and for now it is really helping.

    As for the raw beef: I think the relative dangers can be debated, but I eat good quality beef that has been frozen for at least two weeks to kill parasites. So the main danger is bacterial, and in the couple of years that I have eaten raw beef daily, I have never experienced an acute (bacterial or otherwise) gut infection. So my two cents are that if done right, it can be quite safe. Still, it does make travel difficult, so I will be glad if I can diversify my lunch menu.

    I hope things continue to turn out well for you.
    Wishing you the best

    Aaron C
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
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  7. AimingHigh

    AimingHigh

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    How are you guys feeling Taurine? I'm not sure about the low cellular Taurine theory, but it's possible. I have supplemented with Taurine in the 1000 - 1500 mg day range for a couple of years with no noticeable difference.

    Since I posted this, Ive gotten a new doc. He's gotten me off of all sulfur supps (incl Taurine) and I'm on a low thiol diet. In addition I'm on DMSA/ALA/Zeolite x2 per day along with infrared saunas x3 a week for Merc and lead detox. I've been at it for two months now, and I haven't had a huge breakthrough yet. Skin breakouts, so maybe detoxing, but nothing earth shattering yet. Now I'm trying to figure out if I have high or low Cysteine for mercury detox purposes per Andy Cutler findings, etc. What a journey. :)

    Aaron - I just noticed that your transulferation profile is even more significant than mine. I am +/- for CBS C699T and +/+ for BHMT 1 and 8. Based on Yasko and friends, you should avoid Taurine like the plague, right?
     
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  8. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    For me, taurine causes terrible insomnia, even in tiny amounts first thing in the morning. One of my doctors told me he's affected the same way.

    He and I must be in a really small minority because taurine is in so many sleep and relaxation supplements.
     
  9. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @perchance dreamer How weird about the Taurine and when I take it during the day, I can barely stay awake b/c it is so sedating! I wonder why we are all so different?
     
  10. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Very interesting. Could you say more about what kind of insomnia? It is not accompanied by palpitations or a burning sensation in the chest, right?

    @AimingHigh

    Ya, according to yasko I should avoid taurine like the plague. But I still think that she has it wrong: That high urinary taurine is a result of not much staying in my cells, not a result of me making too much. In any case, taking a gram or two of taurine is like having a gram or two of any protein, at least in terms of the impact on ammonia. Which is to say...it's not too terrible. Also, I have started to wonder about yasko's take on cbs. Here is a link to a refutation by someone at MIT--although the upgregulation may have something to do with our particular biochemistry. And I do recall Rich's small study supporting her claims. So I'm not sure what to think about that.

    But in terms of ammonia, I don't understand why she thinks cbs would play a larger role than the catabolism of amino acids to make ATP, which I suspect we do more than most people even on a low-protein diet because of where the krebs cycle gets blocked. I believe we do tend towards muscle wasting (I know I do).

    In any case, I am not actually taking taurine any longer. It seemed like the more I supplemented, the more my body kicked out through my kidneys (I read that this is how the body controls blood taurine levels, which it seems that it puts some effort into.) so the net effect of supplementing was to have more taurine sometimes and less other times, plus it depleted me of glutamine. I slept fine, but during the day I would get heart palpitations and a burning in my chest, and would be unable to nap. Which is exactly what happened when I tried to go off raw beef. After I stopped taurine, it took a few days for my body to get used to me not supplementing any, during which I had some insomnia (with palpitations and a burning in my chest). I think all of this supports my idea that the problem for me, at least, is with getting taurine to stay/function in the cells.

    I still think that glutamine might be the key as far as taurine goes, but glutamine would need to be balanced with other amino acids, or maybe taken in a way that is not "free-form," so that it doesn't cause excitotoxicity--I haven't experimented enough to know. I ate some cottage cheese for two days and that felt wonderful (cottage cheese is very high in glutamine) until the ammonia kicked in. As a side note, raw beef is one of the foods highest in both glutamine and taurine, both of which are broken down by cooking. Perhaps the glutamine being with the taurine, along with the slow-releasing nature of, you know, food, is why that form works so well for me. In any case, now I am trying to fix the ammonia before I go for the glutamine again.

    On another note, I detoxed mercury for three and a half years. Granted, if I had known about how molybdenum could help me with sulfites, I might have done it twice as fast--it made me quite sick, so I went at maybe half speed. Also, I had a remarkably high mercury load. For what it is worth, I didn't have any fireworks go off when I finished but I do think it was an essential step.

    Wow, you are really in it, Ryan. I hope things continue to move forward for you.

    Aaron C
     
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  11. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    When I've had taurine in the past, I've had a very difficult time getting to sleep, and I've woken up repeatedly through the night. I didn't have palpitations or any symptoms other than sleeplessness with it.

    I just have odd reactions sometimes. Another supplement that gives me insomnia is quercetin, and as I remember, I couldn't find any mention of that when I googled its side effects. Quercetin is in a lot of natural allergy supplements.
     
  12. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    I know that taurine is used to make bile acids and for Everyone with CFS this is a huge problem bcos they cannot make bile fast enuf and get it out of the body fast enuf where it carries away all the fat-soluble toxins. This is a very big deal as besides from bile there is really no other way for the body to remove fat toxins apart from sweat.

    Asking someone with CFS when was the last time she sweat is like asking when was the time she ran a few miles.

    Try fixing ammonia with ammonia scavengers they worked very well for me.
     
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  13. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Thanks undcvr. Bile acids are actually how I got into this whole thing! I was taking large amounts of turmeric, and found that it was making me angry and (after searching phoenixrising) found that I wasn't the only one it does this to. Knowing a bit of Chinese Medicine, I thought this might have to do with turmeric being a cholagogue, and the anger was what happened when it used up all my bile--I believe gallbladder dysfunction in Chinese Medicine can cause anger.

    What ammonia scavengers have you used? I use yucca and sodium butyrate, with limited success. Liposomal malic acid has done a fair bit, but is still limited.

    Sweating used to make me tired and mentally fuzzy for some hours afterwards. I used to avoid long hot showers for that reason. I still haven't figured out why...

    @perchance dreamer

    I also had that issue with quercetin at some point. Apparently it is an MAO inhibitor. I'm not sure I can help with the taurine issue, though. As I said above, it gives me insomnia as well, but only after some number of hours.
     
  14. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    Well after u make the bile u need to bind it and make sure it does not go back into circulation cos if it does the toxins in it will just get reabsorbed and then u get aggressive and cranky ;-P
    Try to avoid Quercetinn.
    Then maybe your issue isn't Taurine and u need to just make more bile from stuff like Pectin and Artichoke. I have nvr heard of any of the ammonia scavengers that you talk about and in fact I don't think they even work.
    The known ones are AKG - alpha ketoglutarate and OKG - Ornithine Keto Glutarate. These are what body builders and strength trainers actually use to minimise catabolism in their muscle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
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  15. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I'm guessing -- after a lot of experimentation over the last year and a half -- and having high-ish urinary taurine on my NutrEval test in late 2010 -- that perhaps there's a reason some of us are excreting it at higher levels?

    I found this explanation online -- not sure if it's legit, but here ya go:

    http://www.aminomics.com/aminoacids/taurine.htm

    "Excessive losses of taurine through the urine can be caused by many metabolic disorders. Cardiac arrhythmias, disorders of platelet formation, intestinal problems, an overgrowth of candida, physical or emotional stress, a zinc deficiency, and excessive consumption of alcohol are all associated with high urinary losses of taurine. Excessive alcohol consumption also causes the body to lose its ability to utilize taurine properly."

    After a lot of trial and error I've found that I have a strong, negative reaction to taurine and/or magnesium taurate. It may be the combination, but it produces cramping and twitching in my legs -- severely. In April of this year I thought I was developing MS it was so bad, but looking back, I started taking both magnesium taurate and taurine within a few days before that severe reaction.

    But again, it may be the combination of magnesium and taurine…and in my case, not getting enough calcium in my diet.
     
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  16. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Excellent catch, @dannybex.

    It seems like a lot of what that web site claims cause high taurine loss could be related to B2 deficiency.

    1. Cardiac Arrhythmias: OK, not sure about this one. I think this might be caused by low taurine in the heart, so...assuming that is the cause, whatever helps taurine into cells would theoretically help this.
    2. Disorders of Platelet Formation: They aren't specific, so it is hard to know, but B2 deficiency can cause some of those. (This from dog_person/Christine in the "B2 I love you" thread. It would seem she didn't get everything right, but perhaps she did get this right?)
    3. Intestinal problems: B2 is necessary to produce mucus to line our digestive tract. I can testify that my digestion got better after upping B2. Here is a web site suggesting a link between B2 deficiency and Celiac Disease.
    4. Overgrowth of Candida: B2 deficiency might be associated with fungal overgrowth. This is the link I found...not the best source, but that is what they say. Also, angular chelitis seems to be caused by B2 deficiency and/or fungal overgrowth. Perhaps it often is both? Also, the Celiac Disease-B2 link above mentions vaginitis as related to B2 deficiency, and one (the main one?) proximal cause of non-communicable vaginitis is yeast overgrowth.
    5. Physical or Emotional Stress: Lots of physical stress can deplete B2. Emotional stress I am less sure of, although MAO, which inactivates neurotransmitters, uses B2. Also I think this link would imply that it is involved in catecholamine synthesis. Also, stress would use B6, which needs B2 to reactivate it. Of course, I really don't know if all of the B2 use caused by "emotional stress" would be enough to cause a deficiency. Here is a web site claiming that "Stress and excessive exercise can also deplete stores of [B2]." From this study: "The present study suggests that riboflavin status further deteriorates during a short period of increased physical activity in individuals whose riboflavin status is marginal."
    6. Zinc Deficiency: I am confused by this.
    7. Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Is known to deplete B2.
    What I am driving at is that perhaps B2 is needed to transport taurine into cells or attach it to glutamine so it stays (?). So given all this... @Gingergrrl, @perchance dreamer, Danny, and anyone else who wants to chime in, do yall remember what (if anything) yall were doing with B2 and B6 at the time you tried taurine?
     
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  17. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi @aaron_c

    Yeah, I wouldn't pin it down on any one single nutrient. I'm not 100% certain that my reaction noted above was a result of just taurine and/or magnesium taurate -- as they are beneficial nutrients. It probably has something to do with adrenal function -- maybe a lack of aldosterone -- etc., as well as other possibilities like poor kidney function?

    I haven't been able to tolerate much b6, but was taking some b2 until about a week ago, (and have also found that b2 helps me tolerate b6 better) but also wonder if b2 has made my night blindness/sensitivity to light a lot worse. It's gotten a lot worse in the last six months or so. This study suggests that that could be a possibility:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0042698980900553

    "Various kinds of blue-light mediated damage as observed in the monkey may involve the “blue” cone pigment, a photosensitizer such as riboflavin within retinal cells or other sensitizers in pigment epithelium and choriod."

    For now, I'm staying away from b2 (except from food), and will try increasing my zinc, which was tested as low. I haven't really supplemented very much with it as much as I should. One needs zinc to work with vitamin a, etc., to turn retinol into retinal -- for eye health.


    Stress of any kind will also deplete the other b vitamins, especially b12 and folate (according to Dr. Ben Lynch).
     
  18. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @aaron_c I am not sure how helpful my answer will be re: Taurine b/c I have never been tested for it and don't know if I am high or low in it.

    I take 2000 mg of Taurine at night b/c it makes me too sleepy to take in the day time. It makes me feel more calm and relaxed and supposed to help with cardiac issues as well as get Mag & Potassium into the cells. So for me, I didn't really see any down side to taking it.

    I was not able to tolerate the methylation supplements but may attempt this again in the future with lower doses and hydroxy b12 instead of methyl b12.

    Right now I take a general B complex called "B Minus" that Caledonia recommended and have had no problems with it. It has all the B vitamins in it but by name (not #'s) so I am not sure which is which?
     
  19. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @dannybex,

    I still believe that the issue is one of the transport of taurine into cells or the retention of it in cells. And assuming this is true, it would make sense that we would be low in some kind of cofactor. Although we probably agree that a deficiency of any one cofactor in this illness is usually a fairly complicated affair by the end of it.

    I am sorry to hear about your experience with B2. And I did not mean to imply that if B2 deficiency was the proximal cause of the taurine issues, then the fix would necessarily be to take more B2.

    @Gingergrrl

    Thanks for the reply. Every little bit helps, right? Or it has the potential to, I suppose. How many of the b vitamin pills do you take in a day?

    PS B2 is riboflavin.
     
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  20. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    I think it might be zinc. I was taking taurine before I switched to a more absorbable form of zinc which changed the way I reacted to taurine. The effect it had used to wear off within a few hours but after it seemed to last a lot longer. I actually had to lower my dose because it felt like I was taking too much (went from 3g to 1g).

    Also zinc is a cofactor for converting riboflavin into its active form FMN, so you might be right about B2. Maybe zinc is helping indirectly by facilitating the conversion to FMN.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
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