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What is going on? NAC causes burning brain and other symptoms, ALA does not.

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by TheChosenOne, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Senior Member

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    I've experienced something weird.

    About a year ago, I took some NAC (600 mg) in the evening (before bed time) just to try it out.
    I slept really good and was well rested, but I woke up with heart pain and trembling hands and feet (more than usual). Soon after getting up and eating breakfast, I started to get a high level of burning sensation in my head.
    Recently I chelated about 20 rounds with ALA/DMSA and a few rounds with DMPS. So I decided to try NAC again (again before bed time). The exact same thing happened. How is this possible? I didn't get this feeling while chelating with ALA. Actually the opposite happens. The burning sensation goes down, not up.
    A burning brain wasn't the only symptom. My anxiety and especially depression went way up. It also made me unease in a lot of (social) situations. The burning became unbearable at a certain moment, and I decided to take a capsule of DMPS (25 mg). The relief was amazing. Almost all my symptoms melted away. I still have a minor burning sensation, but the depression and anxiety are gone. The same is true for the pressure on my heart and the neurological symptoms.
    I think this is a confirmation that I still have a serious mercury problem.
    I know that NAC can cross the blood brain barrier and thus has the ability to chelate mercury from the brain. So does ALA.
    I'm questioning the fact that ALA can actually chelate mercury in an effective way. I feel that it is just acting as a strong antioxidant.
    Have people tried using NAC instead of ALA for brain chelation?
     
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    First thing to point out is that your symptoms of a "burning sensation in my head" from N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) may be unrelated to mercury chelation, and due to some other biochemical action of NAC in the body.



    Though if we assume your "burning brain" symptoms are mercury-related, then note that:

    N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) increases excretion of organic mercury (like methylmercury), but not inorganic mercury. Ref: 1

    Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) increases excretion of inorganic mercury (like mercuric chloride) by over 12-fold, but causes decreased excretion of organic mercury. Ref: 1

    DMSA and DMPS increase the excretion of both forms of mercury, but DMSA works better for organic mercury, and DMPS works better for inorganic mercury. Ref: 1

    Research indicates NAC may cross the blood-brain barrier; ALA does cross the blood-brain barrier.

    DMSA and DMPS do not cross the blood brain barrier.



    So armed with the above facts, here is a very speculative hypothesis about what caused your "burning brain" symptoms:

    • The mercury accumulated in your body is mainly organic mercury (methylmercury), because you only had side effects when you took NAC, which targets organic mercury; but not from ALA, which targets inorganic mercury.

    • When you took NAC, it may have carried methylmercury from your body tissues into your brain, causing the burning sensation in the brain. It has been shown that L-cysteine can carry methylmercury into the brain. Ref: 1

    • When you then took some DMPS, this may have preferentially chelated the methylmercury, snatching the methylmercury away from the methylmercury-NAC complex, thus "cleaning" the NAC molecule. I think DMPS and DMSA have higher affinity for mercury than other chelating agents like NAC, so they may snatch the methylmercury from NAC. So now the methylmercury is transferred to the DMPS molecule, and because DMPS does not cross the blood-brain barrier, the methylmercury-DMPS complex cannot enter into and affect the brain. So this may be why DMPS relieved your burning brain symptoms caused by NAC.

    If the above is true, then in future you might possibly consider taking NAC with DMPS or DMSA, so performing this two-stage detoxification.



    Note that NAC may also remove mercury from the brain by its effect of increasing glutathione levels: glutathione can also bind to methylmercury and then take the latter out of the brain.



    Generally I don't like commenting on mercury chelation protocols, because there seems to be very little good research in this area, so most of the time it is just a guess as to what is going on, and it is hard to know whether a given detoxification approach will help or harm (or do nothing at all).

    Also, I am not aware of any studies showing that mercury (or other heavy metal) detoxification protocols lead to improvements in ME/CFS; although there was a forum poll which showed that around a third of ME/CFS patients following a mercury detoxification protocol had moderate to major improvements.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
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  3. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    u.s.a.
    I had a really bad reaction to NAC when I took it about 10 years ago....headache from h*ll and just put out of commission when took it
    I was told at yahooexperimental group at the time that could mean chlamydia pneumonia CPn.....I read about that but it just seemed like another endless hole to try to figure out without any mainstream help....but convincing research about it by few dedicated people
     
  4. Starlight

    Starlight Senior Member

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    Cpn help.org has a lot of info on NAC and clamydia pneumonia.there seems to be a lot of people with me Cfs being diagnosed with cpn..and treatment for it is very important.worth finding out if you have it and worth treating.
     
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  5. David Hammond

    David Hammond

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    Burning brain is a symptom reported by a few people with mercury toxicity. My own experience was that I could feel something moving around in my brain when I ate foods containing high levels of thiols. A large proportion of people with mercury poisoning have high levels of plasma cysteine. Cysteine has a single thiol (sulfhydryl bond) while ALA has a two thiols. Cysteine can move mercury around in the body, but doesn’t hold onto it well enough to excrete it efficiently and can redistribute it throughout the body, particularly the brain, as cysteine can cross the blood brain barrier. ALA, with two thiols, is able to chelate mercury effectively.

    When you took the DMPS it bonded with the excess mercury the NAC had liberated and reduced your symptoms.

    I would suggest you avoid NAC in the future.

    ALA is an effective chelator of inorganic mercury in the brain. The study by Gregus found that when mercury and ALA were administered at the same time, it increased the concentration of mercury in the brain by a factor of three. This is why it is important not to take ALA when you still have amalgams – mercury will be transported into the brain rather than out of it. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0041008X92901007

    If you are sensitive to thiols you may benefit from restricting high thiol foods in your diet - http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/food/high-sulfur-sulphur-food-list
     
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  6. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Senior Member

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    I used some glycine in the past, but it didn't do anything. I'm planning to try it again in combination with glutamine.
    What is your opinion about turmeric? Cutler says that it "is really good at raising thiol levels." But I want to try it to counter anxiety.

    Assuming @Hip is right, don't I have to take NAC in the future anyway? It seems the only one to be able to chelate methylmercury from the brain.
     
  7. David Hammond

    David Hammond

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    You don’t need to worry about chelating organic mercury from your brain. Methylmercury in the brain is demethylated to inorganic mercury with a half life of about 37 days. This can then be chelated with ALA.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041008X85711933

    I don’t know about the turmeric – I know Cutler says it can raise thiol levels, but variations in metabolism may mean different people are not so affected. If you really want to try it I would start with a small dose and gradually increase.

    My anxiety gradually dissipated with chelation and hydrocortisone.
     
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  8. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Senior Member

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    The NAC experiment is over with mixed results.
    I did this for 5 days. Some days I was really awake. During other days I wasn't. I did sleep very well every day except for the last day. Then I took some more NAC during the day, something I shouldn't have done. I had a nightmare and by the end of the day I felt horrible and I had a total breakdown. I had to cry for hours without any reason.
    I stopped using NAC. I'm not gonna try this anymore for now. Maybe some glycine and glutamine will help me.
     
  9. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Hi TheChoesenOne,

    It sounds like what is often called "NAC Detox" which is the same as "Glutathione Detox" which is sudeen onset methyltrap by glutathione destroying and removing all the circulating MeCbl and AdoCbl (takes nearly a month to feel the lack of AdoCbl) from your system\. This causes sudden severe folate deficiency symptoms. MeCbl (5 mg sublingual for 45-120 minutes) and Metafolin like 7.5mg or so. Methyltrap can cause Sub Acute Combined degeneration type demyelination in the brain that is not easily healed unless done very quickly and with the right things.There is no gurantee I am correct in my hypothesis however, you can know within a few days or less. I've been through this with a N=10 glutathione in many forms trial for people, all with people having substantial; success with active b12 and folate so they had plenty of old symptoms no longer present to come back and announce themselves.

    Version 2.11 01/11/2016 A work in process,incomplete, use at your own risk.


    INDUCED DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS FROM REFEEDING SYNDROME. This can follow 5 days of food deprivation, anorexia, or sort of a pinpoint starvation via vitamin or mineral or amino acid deficiencies. Whatever the “most needed” item is will often cause a strong response

    Group 1 – Hypokalemia onset. Often called “detox”. Symptoms may appear with serum potassium as high as 4.3. May become dangerous if ignored. Considered “rare” with CyCbl (Cyanocobalamin) it is very common with MeCbl (methylcobalamin) and AdoCbl (adenosylcobalamin) and less so with HyCbl (Hydroxycobalamin).

    There does not appear to be a clear order of onset. The order of onset varies widely from person to person but many appear consistent for each episode for any given person. There tend to be more and more intense symptoms as it gets worse. Some people have ended up in the ER because of not recognizing the symptoms.

    IBS – Steady constipation, Nausea, Vomiting, Paralyzed Ileum,

    Hard knots of muscle, Sudden muscle spasms when relaxed, Sudden muscle spasms when stretching , Sudden muscle spasms when kneeling, Sudden muscle spasms when reaching , Sudden muscle spasms when turning upper body to side, Tightening of muscles, spasms and excruciating pain in neck muscles, waking up screaming in pain from muscle spasms in legs. Muscle weakness

    Abnormal heart rhythms (dysrhythmias), increased pulse rate, increased blood pressure

    Emotional changes and/or instability, dermal or sub-dermal Itching, and if not treated potentially paralysis and death.


    Group 2a - Both

    IBS – Diarrhea alternating with constipation, IBS – Normal alternating with constipation


    Group 2b – Either or both

    Headache, Increased malaise, Fatigue



    Group 3 - Group 3 - Induced and/or Paradoxical Folate deficiency or insufficiency, partial methylation block to methyltrap on 1 or more internal triage levels. Frequently called “NAC DETOX” or “GLUTATHIONE DETOX”.


    These symptoms appear in 2 forms generally, the milder symptoms that start with partial methylation block and the more severe symptoms that come on as partial methylation block gets worse or very quickly with methyltrap onset.

    Edema - An additional thing I would like to mention. I would never have found it without 5 years of watching the onset of paradoxical folate insufficiency and trying to catch it earlier and earlier and to figure out what was causing it and to reverse it. For me the onset order goes back to the day of onset now with edema and a sudden increase of weight. I noticed that within 2 hours of taking sufficient Metafolin I would have an increase in urine output.


    Old symptoms returning

    Edema

    Angular Cheilitis, Canker sores,

    Skin rashes, increased acne, Increased itchy acne on scalp and face, Skin peeling around fingernails, Skin cracking and peeling at fingertips,


    IBS – Diarrhea alternating with constipation, IBS – Normal alternating with constipation
    Headache, Increased malaise, Fatigue


    Increased hypersensitive responses, Runny nose, Increased allergies, Increased Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Increased asthma, rapidly increasing Generalized inflammation in body, Increased Inflammation pain in muscles, Increased Inflammation pain in joints, Achy muscles, Flu like symptoms

    IBS – Steady diarrhea, IBS – Diarrhea alternating with normal, Stomach ache, Uneasy digestive tract,

    Coated tongue, Depression, Less sociable, Impaired planning and logic, Brain fog, Low energy, Light headedness, Sluggishness, Increase irritability, Heart palpitations,


    Longer term, very serious

    Loss of reflexes, Fevers, Forgetfulness, Confusion, Difficulty walking, Behavioral disorders, Dementia, Reduced sense of taste, bleeding easily




    Group 4 - HyCbl onset, degraded MeCbl onset, MeCbl after photolytic breakdown onset.

    Itchy bumps generally on scalp or face that develops to acne like lesions in a few days from start.


    Group 5 – Copper deficiency after methylation startup has been achieved which often starts refeeding syndrome. 50mg or more of zinc has been indicated as a possible cause. 200-400 mg of zinc has been linked to copper deficiency. Excess supplemental or environmental manganese is linked to copper deficiency. Any or all symptoms can occur at “low normal range” copper tests.


    Demyelination of nerves similar to Sub Acute Combined Degeneration except that methylation and ATP startup has occurred, and copper deficiency favors damage to the upper motor neurons with perceived muscle weakness. Brittle nails. Sleep disorders. Mood (especially depression perhaps) and personality changes. Connective tissue breakdown. Spider veins. Varicose veins. Shrinking gums. Gum disease not responsive to usual measures. Unstoppable tooth decay on exposed areas without enamel. Low testosterone


    Group 6 – Excess P-5-P, an active form of B6 that appears to drive hematocrit.

    High hematocrit. The blood thickens and doesn’t pump as easily. Deep vein thrombosis can result. Other suspected circulatory hazards. Sometimes linked to high testosterone when lowering P-5-P might reduce it.


    Group 7 – Excess B-vitamins affecting methylation

    When taking the active B12/folate deadlock quartet (AdoCbl, MeCbl, Metafolin, L-methylfolate) Excess B1 - Thiamin, Excess B2 – Riboflavin, Excess B3 – Niacin and/or Excess Inositol can all produce an excess need for potassium to deal with Groups 1, 2a and 2b symptoms and/or produce an excess need for l-methylfolate to reduce groups 2a, 2b and 3 symptoms. A person might not be able to correct by taking potassium or folate and may need to reduce B1 <= 15mg/day, B2<= 10.2mg/day, B3 <=50mg, and inositol below an unknown quantity.

    Group 8 – Boron.

    Arthritis swelling and pain, can be reduced by Boron

    https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/boron.html

    Although all of the deficiency symptoms of boron are not fully understood, it is known that boron deficiency might result in the abnormal metabolism of calcium and magnesium. Some of the other symptoms include hyperthyroidism, sex hormone imbalance, osteoporosis, arthritis and neural malfunction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
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  10. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Senior Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I've taken methylfolate in the past and I figured out that I'm doing better without it. The only methylfolate I take is from my B complex:
    Thiamin (as Thiamin HCl) 40 mg 2,667%
    Riboflavin (25 mg as Riboflavin and 3.6 mg as Riboflavin 5'-Phosphate Sodium) 28.6 mg 1,682%
    Niacin (as Niacinamide) 80 mg 400%
    Vitamin B6 (200 mg as Pyridoxine HCl and 6.8 mg as Pyridoxal 5'-Phosphate) 206.8 mg 10,340%
    Folate (100 mcg as Calcium Folinate and 100 mcg as 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt) 200 mcg 50%
    Vitamin B12 (50 mcg as Adenosylcobalamin and 50 mcg as Methylcobalamin) 100 mcg 1,667%
    Biotin 80 mcg 27%
    Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium Pantothenate) 45 mg 450%
    On top of that, I take some extra 1000 mcg methylB12.

    I'm taking some Astaxanthin for inflammation and I seem to get a good response on it for about 6 hours after I take it.

    I don't really see the connection between glutathione and methyl trapping. Can someone explain me? The post about methyl trapping isn't really clear for me.
     
  11. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    For some people, either because of genetics or perhaps dose of glutathione (or precursors) or both, glutathione (often called combines with ALL circulating MeCbl and AdoCbl and excreting them("glutathione detox"). 1000pg/ml indicates that there is 5 mcg in circulation. A few mg of glutathione is always sufficient for removing all circulating active cobalamins, there being very little in circulation. Then when mfolate is about to do the methyl transfer and there is no MeCbl available to donate it AT THAT SECOND IN THAT CELL, there is a folate "fail" as the folate is forced from the cell. That is methyltrap. The cell fails its duplication by a fail that has folate deficiency symptoms, usually more severely than partial methylation block which is usually missing the folate part but can happen in fewer instances.

    If only it were as simple as taking enough B12 to no longer have a "technical" deficiency and same with folate. Unfortunately refeeding syndrome is mysterious, not well identified or described nor has anybody else here successfully mapped a path through refeeding syndrome for healing to occur. Refeeding syndrome then becomes what everybody is struggling with. As far as I can tell most of what is called "detox" is refeeding syndrome requiring a correction of an induced deficiency, one after another, or years.

    If one learns the logic and patterns of one's own body and correctly identifies the deficiencies and treats them as a deficiency and corrects each induce deficiency in turn, then healing occurs pretty rapidly requiring generally close attention to low potassium symptoms every time an induced deficiency is corrected.

    If a person has partial methylation block for 20 years, think of all the cells that are not made and need to be made. Each kilogram of meat contains over 3 grams of potassium. I gained 23 kilos of meat and repaired who knows how much. That's a lot of nutrients needed.

    The folate I needed has made a nice curve over the past decade of titration. Basically the symptoms by intensity decrease by 50% with every doubling of the methylfolate dose reaching zero folate symptoms at 30mg daily, which my doctor has now prescribed. My partner has zero folate deficiency symptoms at 1600mcg of methylfolate and zero potassium deficiency symptoms at 200mg/day. We applied the same criteria. She doesn't have my genetics but does have her own problems. The studies of Deplin shows that the 15mg and 30mg doses are far more effective than 7.5mg.

    I hope I explained it.

    And with taking calcium folinate you can't ever know if it is causing a problem for you or not unless you can get it not a position of causing or not causing partial methylation block. Too many things can be happening with it so who knows.
     
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  12. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Senior Member

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    I've taken turmeric recently with very bad results. It is supposed to lower inflammation, but it gives me a massive headache. It also worsened heart problems as I got a rapid heart rate as well as a huge pressure on the right side, spreading towards my shoulder.
    I've recently been experimenting with N Acetyl Glucosamine, because it massively lowers my burning brain symptom. So I'm pretty sure that this burning sensation (and anxiety) is actually caused by inflammation.
    These headaches (and heart problems) usually disappear when taking some N Acetyl Glucosamine and ALA. Other symptoms improve as well (trembling/cold hands).
     
  13. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    @TheChosenOne,

    I would like to offer a different interpretation. I experimented with NAC and l-glutamate as glutathione precursors. I did this with 9 ohter people also taking either glutathione or precursors. A certain percentage respond to NAC just like glutathione.

    I had the precursors, and so did the others, early on quite down the nerves, or so it seemed at the time. Over time many more symptoms started up and the "quieted nerves" became numb nerves and the delineation damage became much more intense and obvious causing us to all quite at the 6 week mark. The people who didn't get the other symptoms were people who already had the symptoms and so had no differences. The ones that did reliably get the other symptoms were those who had substantial healing on AdoCbl, MeCbl, l-methylfolate and LCF. They considered that the "return of symptoms" that had gone away. Good luck.
     

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