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Insomnia, brewer's yeast and MSG

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,865
But since that time I have consistently reacted with very severe insomnia when I eat a meal at an Asian restaurant, which I no longer do at night.

That is interesting. @cigana found the reverse: it is only when he eats an Indian curry in the evening that he gets a good night's sleep.
Indian curry gives me a good nights sleep....why?
I can now sleep...with this curry



So I don't have any desire to "prove" this is real by ingesting pure msg powder. Just as you knew the Epicor was causing depression, you didn't need to read clinical findings to verify it.

If the adverse effects of some food intolerance are quite bad, then I can understand how someone would not want to deliberately test them.

However, if the reaction is not that bad, I would have thought that given that something like MSG avoidance involves quite a bit of dietary restriction, someone would want to ensure that they were indeed sensitive to MSG.


25 years ago, I first discovered I had a food intolerance to gluten (it caused me to get a bout of depression / dysphoria that would last for around 8 hours). Because gluten avoidance involves very significant dietary restriction (especially back in those days, when there were no gluten free products in supermarkets), I wanted to make sure I really had a gluten intolerance, so I tested this a least a dozen times, just to be 100% certain I did have a problem with gluten. I would also retest every year or so.
 
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Mary

Moderator Resource
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Location
Southern California
However, if the reaction is not that bad, I would have thought that given that something like MSG avoidance involves quite a bit of dietary restriction, someone would want to ensure that they were indeed sensitive to MSG.

This is a good point. And before I started the brewer's yeast, I was able to tolerate small amounts of msg without major insomnia - e.g., a little bit soy sauce with my dinner or a can of chili or my favorite frozen burritos (I do try to eat fresh foods whenever possible but too often am unable to cook due to lack of energy) although in retrospect these items may have caused manageable difficulty going to sleep, only I never made the connection, all I knew was that some nights it was harder to get to sleep before 11:00 or midnight, but nothing like the severe being awake until 3:00 a.m. insomnia.

But after starting the brewer's yeast, even small amounts of msg sent me over the edge, causing severe insomnia, only I didn't make the connection. All I knew was that suddenly I was much more sensitive to msg than before and discovered that my chili and burritos did indeed have msg, much to my surprise and dismay. And shopping last week-end with my sister who wanted chips (which I never buy), found that all the interesting varieties had, you guessed, it msg! It's everywhere in processed foods! arggghhh!

So I'm figuring the extra load on my system from the brewer's yeast was too much for my body to handle and am hoping my tolerance will go back to where it used to be ....

So I think I may have worked out a system for days when I can't cook - eat the chile etc. for lunch, far enough away from bedtime so it doesn't affect me that badly, and have cheese and crackers and a salad for dinner, something simple like that - and get away from the idea that dinner has to be hot!
 
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PatJ

Forum Support Assistant
Messages
5,288
Location
Canada
Now I'm wondering if perhaps the Twin Labs brand is processed differently than Swanson's, I read that processing with heat can increase glutamic acid, or perhaps I'm just more sensitive to it

It says "Genuine Brewer's Yeast" on the label. They're quite specific about what it isn't as well: "It should not be confused with "brewers type yeast" or "brewers molasses grown yeast" for these yeasts are primary grown, whereas TwinLab Brewers yeast is grain grown and is 100% genuine brewers yeast of superb quality and freshness."

It contains 1120 mg of Glutamic Acid per heaping tablespoon (18 grams). Detailed ingredient info is available here.

I wonder how many people who think they react to MSG have actually gone out and bought some pure MSG powder (which is very cheap and easy to find), and taken pure MSG to see if it really does cause the symptoms they think it causes.

That would be the scientific approach. I am not denying that some people may be sensitive to MSG, but before anyone claims they are MSG-sensitive, they should really test this.

I think the scientific approach of isolating a specific element in that way might be problematic because it ignores interactions with other ingredients and food preparation methods.

My BP went up close to 20 points when I started the brewer's yeast and went down when I stopped it.

I was hoping I would have the experience of a BP boost with the Brewer's Yeast but I haven't noticed any difference so far. My average BP is 85/50 when lying down, so I could really use a way of increasing my BP.

25 years ago, I first discovered I had a food intolerance to gluten (it caused me to get a bout of depression / dysphoria that would last for around 8 hours). Because gluten avoidance involves very significant dietary restriction (especially back in those days, when there were no gluten free products in supermarkets), I wanted to make sure I really had a gluten intolerance, so I tested this a least a dozen times, just to be 100% certain I did have a problem with gluten. I would also retest every year or so.

How detailed were your tests? I think some people:
* react to the excess gluten that is often added to supermarket bread to increase volume and consistency,
* others may be reacting to folic acid added to non-organic flour,
* some may have problems with modern hybridized wheat but no trouble with one or more heirloom wheats (such as Spelt, Kamut, or Red Fife),
* while still others have trouble with modern baked bread but don't have any difficulty with properly made, long fermented sourdough bread (organic preferably just in case other additives are causing problems.)

And to complicate things even further: before I started taking LDN, Spelt and Red Fife sourdough bread was a staple food for me. Now that I'm taking LDN, anything with gluten causes extra fatigue for me so I have to avoid it.
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,865
I think the scientific approach of isolating a specific element in that way might be problematic because it ignores interactions with other ingredients and food preparation methods.

I would not have thought that isolation would be problematic, unless you are aware of a specific interaction of MSG with some other food ingredients that worsens the effects of MSG.



How detailed were your tests? I think some people:
* react to the excess gluten that is often added to supermarket bread to increase volume and consistency,
* others may be reacting to folic acid added to non-organic flour,
* some may have problems with modern hybridized wheat but no trouble with one or more heirloom wheats (such as Spelt, Kamut, or Red Fife),
* while still others have trouble with modern baked bread but don't have any difficulty with properly made, long fermented sourdough bread (organic preferably just in case other additives are causing problems.)

Through my testing of different gluten-containing foods, what I found was by far the worse culprit (in terms of the severity of the depression it precipitated), was any sources thickened with wheat flour (for example, a curry dish whose source is thickened with wheat flour, or a salad dressing thickened with wheat flour).

Then the next severe was supermarket bread. I have not specifically tested different bread types though.

The least severe was the wheat found in pasta (durum wheat).

(I think the Kamut® Khorasan wheat you mentioned is very similar to durum wheat: one appears to be Triticum turgidum subsp. durum, and the other Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum.)


I am not sure why wheat flour was by far the worst, but I wonder if it is because flour comprises very fine particles, which in effect may have a larger surface area, and so places more gluten in contact with my intestinal surfaces, and the immune system apparatus found therein. But this is just a guess; I really do not know the answer.

The only thing I found of comparable severity to sources thickened with wheat flour was wheat beer (beer made with wheat rather than malted barley). Wheat beer tastes lovely, but boy did cause me nasty depression.


I had gluten sensitivity all my life, but only discovered it when I was 25 years old (from doing an exclusion diet). From then on I cut out all gluten, and this was something of a revolution in my life, because I no longer would suffer from these bouts of depression and dysphoria that would mysteriously appear in the evening.

However, since getting ME/CFS, around the age of 40, although my depression and anhedonia are at higher levels as a result (comorbid symptoms to ME/CFS), I no longer seem to be gluten sensitive. That is to say, now with ME/CFS, I can eat gluten containing foods without them triggering an 8 hour bout of depression that they invariably did previously.

Why this change occurred is a mystery to me.


Dr Fasano's research on non-celiac gluten sensitivity I find very interesting (see this post).
 
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Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,865
I just came across this interesting study which found that Kamut® wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum) was much less inflammatory in IBS patients than modern wheat.

It could be that in these unhybridized ancient wheats, not only are gluten levels lower, but conceivably the protein structure of the gluten may be slightly different as well, such that it provokes less of an immune response.
 
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PatJ

Forum Support Assistant
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5,288
Location
Canada
I would not have thought that isolation would be problematic, unless you are aware of a specific interaction of MSG with some other food ingredients that worsens the effects of MSG.

I'm not aware of anything specific. I just wonder how often studies or informal experiments arrive at incorrect conclusions because they test a compound in isolation. Isolation is necessary and very useful much of the time, but a more comprehensive approach would test isolated MSG, and MSG in various preparations.

(I think the Kamut® Khorasan wheat you mentioned is very similar to durum wheat: one appears to be Triticum turgidum subsp. durum, and the other Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum.)

Curiously, when I was eating a lot of sourdough bread I found that if I ate Kamut more than three days in a row I would get persistent stomach discomfort. It didn't happen with spelt or red fife.

I am not sure why wheat flour was by far the worst, but I wonder if it is because flour comprises very fine particles, which in effect may have a larger surface area, and so places more gluten in contact with my intestinal surfaces, and the immune system apparatus found therein. But this is just a guess; I really do not know the answer.

Maybe the wheat in a sauce would be absorbed into your body much more quickly than wheat in pasta or another form which would need to be broken down slowly. A quick assault that overwhelms vs. a slow attack that is easier for the body to cope with. A similar effect is the spike in blood sugar when flour made into porridge is consumed vs something like steel cut oats which are digested more slowly and result in a slower rise in blood sugar.

I just came across this interesting study which found that Kamut® wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum) was much less inflammatory in IBS patients than modern wheat.

Here are a couple of other views about gluten intolerance (possibly from glyphosate/Roundup use just before a crop is harvested), and a possible digestible wheat (Einkorn) for gluten intolerant people.
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,865
a possible digestible wheat (Einkorn) for gluten intolerant people.

I am quite happy eating gluten-free bread and pasta; these days gluten-free breads and pastas taste pretty good. (Although I no longer have ill effects from gluten, I mostly still keep gluten-free just as a precaution: gluten was causing me serious problems in the past, so my thoughts are perhaps I should continue to avoid it).

I had in interesting experience recently when I decided to spend a week or so going back to eating regular supermarket wheat-based bread. After this week of daily eating of wheat bread was over, and I went back to my usual gluten-free bread, I found I had developed a strong craving for the wheat-based bread.

My gluten-free bread tastes just as good as the wheat-based bread, but nevertheless, I really just wanted to eat more and more of the wheat-based bread. I really had to exert some willpower in order to stop eating it. I had created some kind of addiction and craving for wheat-based bread.

So it seems I developed an addictive desire for wheat-based bread after just one week of eating it. This addictive desire I think was most likely due to the gluten exorphins, the opioid peptides formed during digestion of the gluten.
 
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Mary

Moderator Resource
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Location
Southern California
QUOTE="Hip, post: 714660, member: 249"]So it seems I developed an addictive desire for wheat-based bread after just one week of eating it. This addictive desire I think was most likely due to the gluten exorphins, the opioid peptides formed during digestion of the gluten.[/QUOTE]

That is so interesting - one of my sisters has problems with sugar cravings and wheat, and says that it's harder for her to stay away from wheat than sugar, and this could explain why - I've never heard of opioid peptides before!
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,865
that it's harder for her to stay away from wheat than sugar

25 years ago, when I first discovered wheat was causing me depression, it was very clear that I needed to stop eating it, because of the very significant miserable mood it would create. So there was a major incentive to stop wheat — in order to avoid miserable depression.

Nevertheless, during the first year of trying to stop eating wheat, every now and then my willpower would break down, because I still seemed to have these strong habitual cravings for gluten. When my willpower broke, I'd scoff down a toasted sandwich or two (I love toast). In invariably within an hour of eating this, a miserable depressed / dysphoric mood would ensue, and last for around 8 hours, as per usual.

My craving for wheat was obviously still strong and habitual, and even though I knew it would make me feel miserable, I'd still break down now and then and eat it. I think it took me around a year of not eating wheat before I finally lost these cravings.
 
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