What factor in red meat was responsible for my PEM relief?

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Guys,
As I look back on my medical history through the lens of ME/CFS, I suddenly remembered something.

I had to completely stop eating meat 3 years ago, since I simply wasn't able to digest it anymore. In the 6 months before that, I was already experimenting with going vegan (it gave me so much energy) and I see now that I was also having my first PEM experiences.

I remember distinctly not being able to recover well from my regular exercise days for the first time, and suffering from cognitive symptoms and brain fog the following days. What I discovered then was that a single big red meat meal would completely snap me out of the PEM, even after being a week into it. Specifically I remember trying to achieve the effect with organ meat (liver,...) and chicken, even with all brands of whey protein shakes, but I found that only a big meal with minced beef was able to get me out of the PEM.

I always assumed it was zinc, so I have been supplementing with zinc for quite a while and, frankly, it doesn't do anything for my PEM. Is there another factor in red meat which could explain the relief effect on my PEM?
 
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I also find eating red meat very positive. I suggest the answer is amino acids.

The Fluge and Mella studies suggest that we are short on certain amino acids, because our bodies are preferentially using them ahead of carbs to make energy.

I've had **huge** improvements from adding to my diet large amounts of a certain kind of whey protein that is essentially just highly bioavailable amino acids . If you google a bit on this site you will find the thread. If you're seeing a positive response to red meat I'd have to suggest trying one of the whey kinds I've used. (dymatize iso 100 or Amix - both hydrolysed whey isolates). For me the effect has been pretty amazing (both short term, because it erases PEM, and long term - after a year of being able to control my PEM I'm just a lot healthier and able).

(nb. I also take iron, magensium and potassium and I got sick after several years of being vegetarian, and, I admit now, not being a very good one (young male, consuming mostly bread and spaghetti and beer!)
 

pamojja

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Is there another factor in red meat which could explain the relief effect on my PEM?
Possibly a lot: https://selfhacked.com/blog/16-nutrients-vegans-arent-getting/

Besides, I found the dietary approach of Nickolas Gonzales refreshing (from the usual one size fits all), in that he recommended different type of diets to different kind of personalities. Here the notes I took one time:

Dominant sympathetic types: Typ ‘A’ personalities, disciplined; mostly solid cancers; do good on much plant based foods: fruits, vegies, seeds, grains, nuts, plant based oils: hemp, flax; Vitamin B1, B2, B3, 8:1 ratio magnesium to calcium, High vitamin C & D; but not on much meat protein, No b12, no choline, no pantheonic acid, no zinc, no selenium, no fish oil. Yes to beta Carotene, chromium, folic acid, riboflavin, thiamin,& niacin

Parasympathetic types are rather creative with unconventional ‘formal’ education; mostly blood-based cancers; do good on lots of meat and a ketogenic diet, saturated fats, fats from fish oils, Calcium 10-15 ratio to magnesium (High magnesium causes depression), Vitamin B12, B5, Choline; not as good on grains or seed. Need zinc & selenium, not good with other large Vitamin B doses.

Mixed or balanced types: suffer rather from allergies and fatigue.
I've been a vegan since age 10 to 41, at which time I ended up with allegedly non-reversible chronic disease - PAD, with a 60% walking-disability. Added at least eggs and fish in again and reversed that disability (after 5 years). Since also none of the vitamins at high doses do me any bad, I would guess myself in the mixed category.
 
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PatJ

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Freddd has posted about a "magic meal" that an ancient, usually vegetarian religious group would use to get a boost of carnitine, amino acids and other nutrients every so often. It would help to increase their energy levels and provide what was lacking in their usual diet. The meal contained a lot of red meat and fish.

Acetyl-l-carnitine or l-carnitine-fumarate are available in capsules so it would be easy for @sam.d to try as an isolated nutrient. If there is no reaction then it might not be carnitine that relieved the PEM, or maybe it was a combination of carnitine and something else.
 

Learner1

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The suggestions above are all good ones. I've found that both B12 and amino acids will raise me out of a funk.

The best us to get food from a whole food diet, then supplement with nutrients as needed. (And many of us need them.)

Digestive enzymes might help you digest the meat better. And pre and probiotics, especially if you can use the results of a stool test to improve your microbiome, which likely has issues if you can't digest food well.
 
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I've had **huge** improvements from adding to my diet large amounts of a certain kind of whey protein that is essentially just highly bioavailable amino acids . If you google a bit on this site you will find the thread. If you're seeing a positive response to red meat I'd have to suggest trying one of the whey kinds I've used. (dymatize iso 100 or Amix - both hydrolysed whey isolates). For me the effect has been pretty amazing (both short term, because it erases PEM, and long term - after a year of being able to control my PEM I'm just a lot healthier and able).
This one?

Whey protein powder to address ME/CFS metabolic issues being identified by researchers - which one?
 

BadBadBear

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From what I have experienced with cycling through various diets, I feel now that it is really not an option for us to not eat read meat or any meat at all. I am even considering the Carnivore diet of only meat.
The M.D. I see works at a clinic that is well known and regarded for complementary & alternative care for cancer patients. They won't even accept vegetarian or vegan clients because the nutrient deficiencies are too much of a problem.

My diet is meat, veg, fruit. I do best with minimal processed food and lower starch content.
 

andyguitar

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Yeah meat has always been a part of the human diet - when it was available. Fish was also a staple for many of the small communities that walked the earth in the distant past. Fish also includes shellfish. Just about the easiest thing to collect.
 

Wishful

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What I suggest is trying different foods and supplements to identify which nutrient is providing the effect. When I found that multivitamin/mineral tablets gave me a major improvement, I tested vitamins separately (none helped) and then minerals, and found that iodine was the active ingredient. Likewise, with cumin seed, I found a list of the active compounds, and tried other herbs that contained some of the same ones. I had it pretty much narrowed down to cuminaldehyde before the cumin stopped having any effect.

At one point, meat worsened my symptoms, and I had to give it up for a while. Then I had a bit of beef, and found that it didn't trigger symptoms. Meat seemed to be too complex to try the 'test compounds separately' method. Later, while researching something else, I came across mention of carnitine, with a list of foods that contained it. The amounts in the foods were inversely proportional to how sensitive I was to the different meats (beef, pork, poultry). That was a strong enough correlation for me to buy some carnitine, and I found that it was indeed the active compound. Taking carnitine allowed me to eat even chicken without triggering the symptoms. Carnitine is responsible for transporting fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane, which is probably why it helps. I still don't quite know why having excess fatty acids in the cells without enough carnitine to get them through the membrane causes worse symptoms; I'll leave that question for an expert.

I support the others' suggestions of trying amino acids. Whether you want to test them separately or as a mixture (whey protein) is up to you. If money is very limited, the whey is probably a good start. If that works, you can then test amino acids separately, in order of most likely to be the right one.

If it's not an amino acid, then it might be fatty acids less abundant in vegetable sources, or minerals, or maybe even hormones. Meat seems very complex, chemically speaking.
 

heapsreal

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There seems to be this tale of fruit and veg having all sorts of vitamins, if you eat 6 servings a day of a variety of sources than maybe. But!

A good piece of steak has many nutrients and often meat is overlooked as a good source of nutrients and most think of it as just a protein source only. It has an assortment of vitamins especially the B group, creatine, a complete source of amino acids, conjugated linoleic acid/CLA an important fat, saturated fat often overlooked and important for hormones, cell wall structureand nerves, carnitine for fat and mitochondrial metabolism, q10 another mito supp, zinc, iron, selenium. Thats just off the top of my head.

Eat your meat and fill in the gaps with some veg if you want. Much easier to obtain a variety of nutrients and alot tastier.
 

heapsreal

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With 'one size fits all', this is what I meant. Be it vegan or omnivore or anything between, we have to sharpen our senses to what really fits our bio-chemical individuality. It could be different for everyone.
I look at a meat in my diet as my base. If theres a need for other nutrients than fill the gaps with other foods or supplements. Other nutrients i have added to my diet is through trial and error or theres research to show it can help cfs. One example is q10 is found in beef and cfsers may find they need more so add q10 supplement.

I dont think any one diet is bad if its based around natural foods ie runs around on the ground, comes off a tree or pull it out of the ground. If most of ones food comes out of a packet than its going to have negative impact.