Branch chain amino acids .. experience please ...

Emmarose47

Senior Member
Messages
884
Likes
2,036
Location
UK
Hi I've just obtained some BCAA from optimum nutrition 1,000 mg .
They have 500mg leucine, 250mg isoleucine and 250mg valine .
I don't know anything about them apart from reading the posts on here ...
Am I right they can help PEM as a reducer ? I also saw they can cause side effects ..
I'm in a crash right now .
What are people's experience of using these please ?
Amounts , titration ...good effects ? Side effects ?
 
Messages
2,037
Likes
4,702
Location
United Kingdom
Yep they help block PEM and usually help you recover much faster.

They must be taken on an empty stomach, they compete with proteins in the stomach so you can't take it with food.

I noticed I felt better if I took them in between breakfast and lunch or after lunch before dinner. If I took them after 2pm that would likely induce insomnia. I preferred to take them on an empty stomach around 10.30am.

Essentially after taking them you should notice a fairly rapid change in your fatigue levels in your muscles, although that might take a few days to really show. @Mary takes them every day and has done for years.

A lot of people on the forum take them. No side effects really, maybe a slight headache but it varies. I wouldn't titrate up myself, they feed your muscle tissues exactly what they need to regrow and renew.

I believe I used to take 3 to 8 capsules a day, but only really noticed a difference when I took 6. You'll notice a difference quite quickly I expect and you'll see the diff in PEM and crash to recover times as well within a week or two.
 

nerd

Senior Member
Messages
863
Likes
2,532
Here are three posts I have in mind:

The adverse metabolic effects of branched-chain amino acids are mediated by isoleucine and valine

ME/CFS: The Human Herpesviruses Are Back! (Ariza, 2021)

From My Keto Experience:
I also try to eat a lot of eggs. Eggs are ideal sources of Lysine and Leucine. These two are the only ketogenic amino acids. Moreover, as already discussed, Leucine triggers AMPK and SIRT1 activation (10.1155/2014/239750).

The reason for taking Isoleucine, Valine, Threonine, or Methionine is that these degrade to Succinyl-CoA and Succinyl-CoA is speculated to be depleted in CFS/ME patients due to a blockage in the Citric Acid Cycle (CAC). The blockage is speculated to be caused by an elevated NADH to NAD+ ratio, which is mediated by a lack of oxidative phosphorylation and also tied to the ATP to ADP ratio and its recycling. By replenishing Succinyl-CoA from BCAAs (Leucine excluded), you'd expect an energy boost from it. However, this doesn't fix the CAC blockage. This means, after one cycle, their metabolites might be redirected into the glutamate system, which would cause more neurological adverse effects.
 
Messages
2,037
Likes
4,702
Location
United Kingdom
The reason for taking Isoleucine, Valine, Threonine, or Methionine is that these degrade to Succinyl-CoA and Succinyl-CoA is speculated to be depleted in CFS/ME patients due to a blockage in the Citric Acid Cycle (CAC). The blockage is speculated to be caused by an elevated NADH to NAD+ ratio, which is mediated by a lack of oxidative phosphorylation and also tied to the ATP to ADP ratio and its recycling. By replenishing Succinyl-CoA from BCAAs (Leucine excluded), you'd expect an energy boost from it. However, this doesn't fix the CAC blockage. This means, after one cycle, their metabolites might be redirected into the glutamate system, which would cause more neurological adverse effects.
Yep which is probably what caused my headaches. (CAC blockage).

The thread here discusses one of many protocols but it's one approach to a balanced way of correcting all the broken pathways in ME. It's highly likely this is just one subset or one core subset of the disease.
 

seamyb

Senior Member
Messages
560
Likes
1,312
Has anybody ever had bad effects with protein shakes?

I took one the other day thinking aminos are good. But I had terrible muscular pain in my chest. I had soy protein isolate, which is high in phenylalanine and tryptophan - which might be consistent with BH4 and metabolic trap theories respectively.
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
Messages
2,496
Likes
6,060
Has anybody ever had bad effects with protein shakes?

I took one the other day thinking aminos are good. But I had terrible muscular pain in my chest. I had soy protein isolate, which is high in phenylalanine and tryptophan - which might be consistent with BH4 and metabolic trap theories respectively.
Protein shakes help me prevent/treat PEM.
The New Zealand protein with immune factors works the best in my experience, while soy protein helps minimally.
 

Emmarose47

Senior Member
Messages
884
Likes
2,036
Location
UK
Yep they help block PEM and usually help you recover much faster.

They must be taken on an empty stomach, they compete with proteins in the stomach so you can't take it with food.

I noticed I felt better if I took them in between breakfast and lunch or after lunch before dinner. If I took them after 2pm that would likely induce insomnia. I preferred to take them on an empty stomach around 10.30am.

Essentially after taking them you should notice a fairly rapid change in your fatigue levels in your muscles, although that might take a few days to really show. @Mary takes them every day and has done for years.

A lot of people on the forum take them. No side effects really, maybe a slight headache but it varies. I wouldn't titrate up myself, they feed your muscle tissues exactly what they need to regrow and renew.

I believe I used to take 3 to 8 capsules a day, but only really noticed a difference when I took 6. You'll notice a difference quite quickly I expect and you'll see the diff in PEM and crash to recover times as well within a week or two.
Thanks so much godloves
So with the empty stomach would that be an hour before food and say 2hrs after ?
When u took 6 was that 1000mg tabs ... And what regime would u do ...?
The instructions say X2 at a time...
To note ..I really don't want insomnia..
Is there any negative knock on to recovering quicker ?
If not I'm so glad I bought them ...this flare up I feel so ill ( not that it's worse than prev just always we feel unwell hey when crash
 

Emmarose47

Senior Member
Messages
884
Likes
2,036
Location
UK
Here are three posts I have in mind:

The adverse metabolic effects of branched-chain amino acids are mediated by isoleucine and valine

ME/CFS: The Human Herpesviruses Are Back! (Ariza, 2021)

From My Keto Experience:



The reason for taking Isoleucine, Valine, Threonine, or Methionine is that these degrade to Succinyl-CoA and Succinyl-CoA is speculated to be depleted in CFS/ME patients due to a blockage in the Citric Acid Cycle (CAC). The blockage is speculated to be caused by an elevated NADH to NAD+ ratio, which is mediated by a lack of oxidative phosphorylation and also tied to the ATP to ADP ratio and its recycling. By replenishing Succinyl-CoA from BCAAs (Leucine excluded), you'd expect an energy boost from it. However, this doesn't fix the CAC blockage. This means, after one cycle, their metabolites might be redirected into the glutamate system, which would cause more neurological adverse effects.
Thanks nerd but I don't understand any of this !
 
Messages
245
Likes
604
probably wont pull you out of a crash but it make it a bit less likely to get into one, its generally seems to be PEM reducer when the person is stable and functioning good but completely weighed down by fatigue, brain fog etc.
 

Emmarose47

Senior Member
Messages
884
Likes
2,036
Location
UK
probably wont pull you out of a crash but it make it a bit less likely to get into one, its generally seems to be PEM reducer when the person is stable and functioning good but completely weighed down by fatigue, brain fog etc.
Hi j
Thank u
Just trying to understand the
' stable but functioning good but weighed down with fatigue and brain fog ?
 

Judee

Senior Member
Messages
2,986
Likes
8,382
Location
Great Lakes
They make me feel toxic and within a very short time after taking them my muscles especially in my back and neck start to burn horribly where I feel an almost squirmy pain and discomfort. This side effect lasted for a couple days after I tried them last month.

I think they increase my ammonia and I think I am already high in ammonia anyway. When I take supplements to lower ammonia like ornithine I feel a tiny bit better with my ME. I will even wake up a tiny bit refreshed if I take the ornithine supplement before bed.

It just goes to show once again that we definitely are all different in this disease because I know other PR members who seem to be really helped by BCAAs. I'm just not one of them.
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
16,349
Likes
37,145
Location
Southern California
Hi @Emmarose47 - Nutreval testing showed that I was low in leucine (and remarked that this was unusual), so in 2014 I started taking BCAAs just to see what would happen. I started with 4000 - 5000 mg which seemed to be a common daily dose, taking 1/2 on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and the rest before lunch, again on an empty stomach. And I was stunned when about 5 days later while recovering from a crash, I could feel the PEM lifting by late afternoon of the first day. I'd been crashing for 16 years by that time, and it always took 2-1/2 - 3 days to recover. I'd never recovered in one day before, but that's what happened. And I've taken them ever since and have continued that same rate of PEM recovery.

Here's a thread I did about BCAAs shortening PEM duration which has links to some articles which talk about "central fatigue" and tryptophan and BCAAs - (2) BCAAs reducing PEM | Phoenix Rising ME/CFS Forums

@Emmarose47 - one more thing - you've got to read the label carefully about dosage - the 500 mg. leucine, 250 mg. isoleucine and 250 mg. valine you mentioned is for 2 capsules. So to get 5000 mg of BCAAs, you'd need to take 10 capsules a day.

And this is where the ketogenic diet or BHB supplements would help.
I tried the ketogenic diet a few years ago and did badly on it. Within a few days of starting it, I noticed that I was crashing easier (my energy envelope was shrinking) and my recovery time was lengthening - it was quite scary to be honest. And this wasn't the keto flu. I'm extremely familiar with PEM and it feels like nothing else in the world. By day 5 or 6, I stopped keto. I think what happened was that when I cut my carbs a lot, my body started using more aminos for fuel, including BCAAs

I ramped up my dose of BCAAs for a few days after this all happened, and within several days was returning to how I'd been pre-keto. I'd been taking BCAAs daily for about 4 years when I tried keto in 2018. So what this told me was that I still needed them as much as ever. I won't be without them.
 
Messages
45
Likes
49
Location
Northern Virginia
I too take BCAAs as well as threonine during a crash. I usually also need NAC.

Like @godlovesatrier, BCAAs can give me insomnia if I take them too late in the day OR if I take too much. I am always very wary of BCAAs. @Emmarose47 - you might want to look at muscle testing (@Mary) as a way to ask your body the right amount of BCAAs for you. They can make such a positive difference until you take a little too much...

Trying to figure out supplement amounts (especially the more problematic ones), is where muscle testing really shines and can provide a pathway that keeps you from under or over dosing. I use it every day, pretty much all day long. When dosing things like Threonine and BCAAs, I rely heavily on muscle testing because even a little too much (for me anyway) is way too much.

@Emmarose47 - There are so many muscle testing videos on YouTube that I hate picking out just one but consider looking at info by Donna Eden. I encourage you to give it a try!