Choline on the Brain? A Guide to Choline in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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BCAAs reducing PEM

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by Mary, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    In early November I came across some articles which indicated that branched chain amino acids could help reduce or even prevent PEM. I've posted links below. I had taken a 2nd look at Nutreval results from over 4 years ago, and saw my leucine was quite low, and tryptophan borderline high, which is described in one of the articles as contributing to PEM. I started taking BCAAs - the product I took also had glutamine added (http://www.iherb.com/MRM-BCAA-G-600...lc=en-US&w=mrm bcaa g 6000&rc=30&sr=null&ic=1) and within a couple of days my energy increased and then I recovered from a crash some 20 hours sooner than I typically do. I was taking 12 caps a day, divided doses, on an empty stomach. And then shortly after that started detoxing -- argggh! I finally figured out it was the glutamine (used in phase II liver detox), switched to plain BCAAs without the glutamine and the detoxing stopped. Right now I'm taking 8 capsules a day in divided doses of this: http://www.vitacost.com/optimum-nutrition-bcaa-1000-caps-1000-mg-400-capsules-3, with no bad side effects.

    I've also just started taking DMG (not TMG) and think it may be helping as well, though it's too soon to tell, will post more about the DMG after I've been on it for awhile. I'm taking 3 125 mg. DMG caps a day (Now Foods)

    http://www.ncf-net.org/forum/Fword.htm
    http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=41341

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11310928
    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/2/544S.full
     
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  2. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Very interesting, @Mary
    Unfortunately I can't supplement with aminoacids since they quickly raise my ammonia, which lowers my serotonin, and get a nasty cascade going. Just as a reminder to those dealing with high ammonia issues... Not to mention the uric acid...
     
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  3. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    I'm sorry to hear that amino acids raise ammonia for you! This illness can get so complicated - which is why this board is so valuable - I don't think anyone could be on top of all the variables and permutations we deal with.
     
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  4. gettinbetter

    gettinbetter Senior Member

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    I bought some BCAA in a powdered form and noticed significant improvement in stamina but they caused severe kidney pain so I stopped taking it
    I would like to try them again maybe it was the brand

    I am wondering why the kidney pain?
     
  5. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    Are your kidneys okay? If someone has kidney disease, too much protein can be harmful because the kidneys don't filter properly. I don't know if this would apply to amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Although on the other hand, this article https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16365103 talks about using BCAAs to help when protein intake is restricted due to kidney disease.

    My guess is there may have been some sort of contaminant or filler in the bulk BCAAs you bought which hurt your kidneys. BCAAs have never bothered my kidneys. I've taken these brands with no trouble: Optimum Nutrition (capsules), Bulk Supplements (bulk form) and MRM (capsule form). And I'm prone to UTIs and kidney infections.
     
  6. gettinbetter

    gettinbetter Senior Member

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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  7. Jessie 107

    Jessie 107 Senior Member

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    Hello,
    After
    Hello,
    After reading this post about Amnio Acids, I decided to try them.
    And I have seen a improvement with PEM, I still get it but instead of suffering it for two to three days, this is reduced to one day, the second day I still feel bad but not full PEM bad. So I will be continuing to take them.
    Thankyou for posting this information.
    Jessie
     
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  8. perrier

    perrier Senior Member

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    Which brand are you taking?
     
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  9. lllamamom

    lllamamom

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    I'm new to fighting my ME with supplements. I've decided to start slow, with BCAAs. The only version hubby could find was powder, not capsules. So what do I take it in? Water? Juice? Is the 5 g indicated under the PEM symptoms forum once a day?
    I neeeeeed to get back on my feet, for at least a few hours a day.

    Help?
     
    ljimbo423 likes this.
  10. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    You can add them to water. I've read it's generally best to take amino acids on an empty stomach so they don't compete for absorption with other proteins I believe. I take them in capsule form - I found this to be a good product at one of the best prices: https://smile.amazon.com/Optimum-Nu...UTF8&qid=1517273994&sr=1-5&keywords=bcaa&th=1

    I take 4 capsules at least half an hour before breakfast and 4 more before lunch, a total of 8 a day altogether for a total of 4,000 mg. a day.
     
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  11. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    I would put a half scoop, if it comes with a small one, to begin, of the powder, into ANY liquid, is my guess from what i have read, but I do not know. I would use a clear liquid but not always water.
    I would start gradually , once daily, early in the day for you, and increase to one full scoop, in that first week, and then after a week increase, to twice daily.
    Maybe not needed but I start most anything that way.

    The powder likely dissolves more fully and easily in hot, so if you want to drink it in a cold liquid, you could first stir it into a small amount of warm, and then add into the cold beverage.

    Does yours have any directions with it? Or you could go to the website of the brand you got, to see what they advise, or they might have an 800 phone number on it, that you could call and ask them about what is best for their product.

    Like Mary said, I would take it in morning and afternoon, not in evening.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  12. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    You have to know how many milligrams are in a scoop. I think you're suggesting to start with a quarter or half of a daily dose (daily dose being 4,000 - 5,000 mg.) and then work up to a full dose over a week or 2, which generally is a good way to go. Though with the BCAAs, I took a full dose from the beginning and had no problems, though we all react differently to supplements.
     
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  13. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    Yes, I meant something like that, though
    I would personally start with even a smaller partial dose, than that, in terms of milligrams, and increase more slowly, but that is from my own experiences.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  14. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    HI @Mary, and @lllamamom, and all,:)
    I found this all interesting, above posts, so I looked more at the link Mary gave, and it is interesting.

    Each individual capsule of that brand, has 250 mg of the one BCAA, and 125 mg each of the other 2 BCAA's.
    SO the individual capsule has 500 mg total, of the 3 types included.

    SO it calls a serving size, 2 capsules, and says it is 1000 mg.
    That would be the total of the 3 types, which means 500 mg of one, and 250 mg each of the other 2.

    I had gotten confused wondering if the 1000 or 4000 mg we were discussing, was how much mg of which of them, or if it was a total.
    Since Mary commented on the importance of the mg, which is logical of course:thumbsup:
    I wondered how we could transfer it between brands. And tht is why I wondered how it actually broke down.

    This way, we can compare powders, and scoops and different brands of capsules to each other,
    that is IF anyone follows what I am trying to explain. :D

    For powders, scoops often provided are often 1 serving size, whatever they mean by 1 serving...:eek:o_O:confused:

    So just to be able to start some, I had thought a person with powder, could just simply start off, with a bit (partial scoop if they give one) and gradually increase it.
    In my above posts, I was trying to just quickly suggest something, possibly helpful about powder form, but I don't know if it was. Depends on how an individual wants to go about it.

    But of course, Mary is correct, and anyone who wants to be certain what dose they are taking, could figure it out better, by reading their own label, and comparing it to those described here. I think, but maybe not. ;)


    If I personally start anything, I would start with one capsule, or with one partial scoop, but that is up to each individual, on if they think its better for them to be very gradual. It is for me.

    Everything I have read, said it is fine to put it in "your favorite beverage" or even ON a snack, so my guess is it does not need to be only in water, and some people might take it more often, if not in water, however water is always excellent!!

    :p If all of what I said sounds irrelevant, confusing, mind-boggling and useless, then please, disregard!! :lol::D
     
  15. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    Hi @Shoshana - I get what you're trying to do :) It can be confusing which is why it is so important to read labels. The recommended 4000 to 5000 mg a day of BCAAs is a total of the 3 different amino acids which comprise BCAAs: leucine, valine and isoleucine. They are generally in a ratio of something like two parts leucine to one part each valine and isoleucine. The 1000 mg. of BCAAs in each "serving" that I take (2 capsules) is in this ratio: 500 mg leucine, and 250 mg each valine and isoleucine.

    So for me to get a total of 4000 to 5000 mg of total BCAAs in the product that I take, I need 8 capsules, which equals 4000 mg. total BCAAS.

    Someone using a scoop HAS to know how much is in that scoop in order to take these properly. (this is true for any supplement) One scoop could be 1000 mg or 500 mg, or 10,000 - there's no way to tell without reading the label. So to suggest someone take half a scoop etc without knowing how much that is in terms of milligrams is not a good idea because they won't know how much they're taking.
     
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  16. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    OK. Thanks for the feedback. :hug:
    You might be correct also, about it being better to take it in water, with nothing else, and completely away from all protein, it was just interesting that was not what I had read .
     
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  17. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    Juice would probably be fine. I'm just used to taking my amino acids with only water.
     
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  18. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    Did any of that discussion help you, @lllamamom ?

    Or, did you have to hire a translator? ;):D

    I was TRYing to keep it simple, but obviously, i did not. Sorry. :rolleyes:
     
  19. lllamamom

    lllamamom

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    You did fine, Shoshona! Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner--I dared to get out of bed yesterday (6 day PEM flare) and my brain decided to be evil, including accidentally deleting all my passwords. If you heard screaming, it was just me, sigh.

    Being a "bull in a china shop" type, I decided to start with BCAAs and CoQ10. Will add the D-Ribose once I'm a bit more mobile, however that's defined. So far, at one day, my stomach hasn't revolted, which I take as a wonderful sign!
     
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  20. TreePerson

    TreePerson Senior Member

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    Hi @Mary. Do you take the bcaa all the time or just when you are in a crash or expecting PEM to hit? At weekend I ended up in a situation where I was forced to use energy I didn’t have. I tried 1000mg 3xday in the hope of avoiding or ameliorating PEM and horrible crash. I think they may have helped. Just wondering if they work better if saved for emergencies? I have sometimes felt that this is the case with other supplements particularly D ribose.
     

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