International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day Is On May 12, 2018
Thomas Hennessy, Jr., selected May 12th to be our international awareness day back in 1992. He knew that May 12th had also been the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was the English army nurse who helped to found the Red Cross as well as the first school of nursing in the world.
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BCAA vs increasing protein

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Plum, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    I'm curious if anyone has benefited from increasing how much protein they eat instead of taking BCAA? For various reasons including having a lot of allergies, it's hard for me to find a BCAA supplement I can take (due to the additives in the supplement). I wondered if I could just eat a bit more protein at meal times to help? If anyone has found a benefit, could you share how much protein you eat daily? Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  2. Carl

    Carl Senior Member

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    BCAA= Branch Chain Amino Acids

    Therefore you should not react to BCAA because the immune system will not react to something as simple as an Amino Acid, unlike you would with protein. Maybe there is something else in the product which you are reacting to such as flavourings, colourings etc? What have you tried?

    I have used a MyProtein BCAA of several types. The instant is more easily mixed in water and does contain soya lecithin to accomplish that. I have used Sunflower lecithin with their none instant BCAA but do not usually bother.
     
  3. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    I have no idea if it would be comparable to the potential, possible benefits of BCAA's or not,

    but I definitely have found that increasing my protein intake, does help.
    For myself, I am now eating as much protein as I possible can manage, of the ones that I can digest.

    I don't measure it, but it is a significant increase for me, and does seem to have benefits for me.
    Most of my snacks are protein, as well. I vary the type as much as I am able.
     
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  4. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I have benefited from increasing my protein intake quite a bit. I weigh about 145 pounds (66 kilos) and eat about 85 grams a day. It seems to give me more energy, that lasts longer than carbs do.

    Jim
     
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  5. Carl

    Carl Senior Member

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    You can buy BCAA in powder form 250, 500, 1Kg, with or without flavourings/sweeteners. Are you using capsules or something like that?

    All protein, but not Amino Acids, will cause problems for CFS and will cause an immune reaction to the whole proteins which are absorbed into the bloodstream because of the Increased Digestive Permeability. This is what leads to the increased histamine levels.

    The BCAA that I have purchased do not have any additives.
     
  6. Mary

    Mary Forum Support Assistant

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    @Plum - I've been taking this BCAA product for a few years with no problem. Besides leucine, isoleucine and valine, it has these additives: Gelatin, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate.
    https://smile.amazon.com/Optimum-Nu...1nojoFS-PL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&th=1

    I take 8 a day, in divided doses on an empty stomach: 4 when I first get up and 4 before lunch, for a total of 4000 mg a day. I discovered a few years ago that BCAAs cut my PEM recovery time in half. This thread explains about this, and also has links to articles about BCAAs reducing fatigue and possibly helping with ME/CFS: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/bcaas-reducing-pem.34719/

    Regular protein powder does not have the same effect in reducing PEM. So it depends what you are trying to do in deciding whether you should take BCAAs or protein powder, or both. Also, BCAAs can boost your energy some.
     
  7. Runner5

    Runner5 Senior Member

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    I felt better decreasing meat and animal protein.
     
  8. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    Thank you to everyone who's replied. Some useful insights for me. I will look into suggested links and do some more research on BCAAs. Thanks!
     
  9. lafarfelue

    lafarfelue Senior Member

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  10. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    Umm, no. Saying that all proteins will cause problems for all CFS victims is just wrong, and may mislead people. Likewise, IDP and histamine are not a problem for all ME/CFS victims. Those may be serious problems for some victims, but not all. I haven't noticed any problems with proteins or histamines or gut issues. I have dietary responses that no one else seems to be mentioning (sensitivity to peroxynitrie scavengers for example). There are too many variations of ME/CFS to state that one issue affects all victims, or that one dietary plan will benefit all.
     
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  11. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    Different aminos have different roles to play in your health. Its important to figure out what your body needs and adjust your intake accordingly. Testing your amino acid levels is relatively easy to do.

    Population based guidelines for protein intake may not work for us. Sick people typically require a higher protein intake than healthy people, up to 1.4-2g/kg per day.. Amino acids are used in making glutathione, our body's most powerful antioxidant and key to detoxifying heavy metals and dealing with oxidative stress, producing immunoglobulins, making neurotransmitters, maintaining muscle mass, and many other tasks.

    I found that even eating 100g of protein a day and supplementing another 20g of amino acids, it wasn't enough for me - tests showed my amino were low, and increasing my supplementation with a customized amino formula has helped. (For comparison, I weigh 150lbs, so I'm needing a lot more than @ljimbo423 is reporting.)

    One problem many of us have is the pyruvate dehydrogenase blockade, so we tend to burn amino acids for fuel, accounting for the increased need.

    BCAAs help with PEM and fatigue, while aminos like glutamine, tryptophan and tyrosine help with making neurotransmitters, and methionine, glutamine, glycine, and cysteine are needed for methylation and detoxification. Citrulline, ornithine, theanine, glycine, GABA, and taurine can help with sleep.

    This book is old, but a good reference for what aminos can do:

    https://www.amazon.com/Amino-Revolution-Robert-Erdmann/dp/0671673599
     
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  12. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I feel like I would do better with more amino acids but not from meat. I think I would do better with BCAA's or other amino's. Just hasn't reached high enough on my priority list yet.:) Money being the number one factor. The numbers you give of 1.4-2 grams per kilo sound pretty good to me.

    Jim
     
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  13. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    Thank you very much @Learner1 - lots to think about from your post. I am on about half the protein you suggest so need to work on increasing that. Will have to look into amino acid supplements a lot more - I do prefer to do from diet but I can't physically eat very much!
     
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  14. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    I find I can do the 100g with a good serving of organic meat or wild fish at lunch and dinner, with a mix of nuts, duck eggs, sheep cheese and yogurt, and lentils throughout the rest of the day.

    To go above 100g really seems to need supplementing. Most protein powders are problematic, either with toxins, allergens, or the wrong ratio of aminos, so I've found supplementing aminos my body needs, either through oral capsules or powder is best. There are 3 companies I know of that will customize aminos, and the cost vs doing each separately is comparable.

    Regarding the ratios, one common amino acid predominant in most powders is arginine, which is not good with a chronic herpes family viral infection (EBV, CMV, etc.) And many of us need lysine, glycine, cysteine, and tyrosine, which are in short supply in most commercial powders...

    It just takes finding what you need and developing habits to get you there...
     
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  15. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    I will try increasing my protein with meals first and see how I feel. Then I might get tested to see what I'm lacking as it does seem important to know. @Learner1 do you know if blood testing or urine testing is best for amino acids? Also, are we aiming for the normal range with test results?
     
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  16. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    Blood plasma is generally preferred, especially if you have any kidney issues. Genova Diagnostics offers a urine test. Which assists with identifying co factors needed for amino acid metabolism.

    The Genova Diagnostics NutrEval does both, so you get the most info, with supplement recommendations. Look into their Easy Pay program, which is the cheapest option.

    Your want to be robustly in the middle of the ranges, if not at the 60-70%iles. More is not better... Just enough for your body to use what it needs to perform various amino-consuming tasks.

    I've had LabCorp blood plasma aminos done when we wanted answers faster and didn't care so much about the other stuff. Total protein and globulin are numbers to watch, too.
     
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  17. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Dessicated liver tablets, cheap and can take a few with each meal and or between meals to increase protein intake as well as many other nutrients in liver eg q10, B vitamins, iron etc etc
     
  18. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    Random question... How do you ensue that dessicated liver tablets are free of toxins which tend to concentrate in the liver?

    Is there a particular brand that's safe or a source of organic ones from New Zealand, Iceland, etc.?
     
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  19. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Most are new zealand or argentina and come with good recommendations. Another thing to consider is the liver doesnt store toxins but breaks down toxins so it can be eliminated by the kidneys etc. So if it had toxins, it wouldnt be anymore than any other part of the beef??

    Universal nutrition dessicated liver tablets is the brand i have used and priced well but the prices do seem to vary between different distributors also. Beverley international and Solgar are popular brands.
    Screenshot_20180423-171059.png
     
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  20. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    @Learner1 what BCAA supplements do you take - as in brand?
     
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