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

Sasha

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On the thread about how recent metabolic research indicates impaired pyruvate dehydrogenase function in ME/CFS, new forum member @Murph kindly told us:

Murph said:
I've been a patient at CFS Discovery, the clinic run by Dr Lewis in Melbourne, Australia. (He's co-author on some of those metabolic papers by @@ChrisArmstrong, et al.)

I was out at his clinic a few weeks ago (prior to this Fluge, Mella paper dropping, but I now suspect he was well aware of its contents) and he encouraged me to add amino acids to my diet, in the form of whey powder.

I bought the brand he recommended (which I shan't name here in my first post for fear of appearing to be a shill!) and have been consuming it each day since.

I keep a health diary which shows improvement over that period, although I am aware that this time of year is unusual and so not a great time for drawing definitive conclusions from data.

What I found interesting is that two of the most abundant AAs in the mix are the two ketogenic amino acids being discussed above: Lysine and Leucine. It also contains smaller amounts of several of the other "Category II" acids that Fluge et al indicate feed into production of Acetyl-CoA downstream of the hypothesised PDH obstruction.

The take-away message I guess, is that at least one respected physician suspects amino acid supplementation may be beneficial, and at least one patient has tried it (however briefly) with at least some possible upside.
And, after we assured him we didn't think he was a shill and asking him to give us the brand of the whey powder, he said:

Murph said:
As for questions about whether whey is meant to spur ketosis, I don't think so, but I admit I don't remember everything the doctor said when he recommended it. (The recommendation came before I'd read about *why* it might work, so I lacked a framework to integrate what he was saying. Much of the technical detail went, sadly, in one ear and out the other!)

One thing I do recall is he said to take it after my daily activities, (which is presumably a point where glycogen stores are diminished) where it might work as a PEM preventer.

It is whey protein isolate, hydrolysed, made with "cross-flow microfiltration." The brand is Dymatize ISO 100. I've bought whey only once, but I'd be surprised if there were not other types that are the same. As for dose, I'm taking one 31g scoop per diem, in water, but I will experiment over time. [...]

The doc also recommended digestive enzymes, which I bought at the same time. They are still unopened - I'm trying to minimise the number of simultaneous changes for the sake of untangling cause and effect.
Here's info about the contents of this product from the manufacturer's website:

https://www.dymatize.com/iso100

... but it doesn't seem to be broken down much.

I'm assuming that the flavourings in this particular product might well trigger migraines for me (I get migraines triggered by tyramine and, I think, strong flavours) so was hoping to find a flavouring-free version with a similar profile.

But I'm not sure what the profile is! @Murph, if you don't mind me piling on yet another question, could you tell me where you've seen the breakdown of amino acid ingredients? I'm wondering if all whey protein powders have the same profile.

Is anyone aware of a comparable one that isn't flavoured?
 

Sasha

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Note hixxy's experience, also mentioned in that thread:

hixxy said:
@@Sasha Early on in this disease I had benefits from amino acid powder, but the effect diminished over a month or two, so it was another thing I crossed off the list. Right now I get 80g of hydrolyzed whey protein per day in enteral feeding formula which is the next closest thing to free amino acids and get no energy improvements from it either.
I'm wondering if this is a common experience. I think we're all familiar with the ME/CFS thing of people starting a supplement, doing well for a while, and then losing the effect, and then sometimes finding they get worse when they come off it.
 

Sasha

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Unflavoured whey protein powder does indeed exist (I should have googled before I asked that question, not after!) and apparently tastes horrible to some but not to others:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2468706

But I'd still like to know if the amino acid profile is similar to the one that @Murph's doctor recommended to him.

Is anyone managing to find a breakdown of the ingredients?
 

Sasha

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Aha! Here are the ingredients (why don't I google more first? :bang-head:):

http://www.iherb.com/Dymatize-Nutri...Isolate-Gourmet-Chocolate-3-lbs-1-342-g/54175

Typical Amino Acid Profile Per Serving†
Essential

Leucine (BCAA) 2,767 mg
Isoleucine (BCAA) 1,418 mg
Valine (BCAA) 1,444 mg
Histidine 440 mg
Lysine 2,346 mg
Methionine 566 mg
Phenylalanine 774 mg
Threonine 1,714 mg
Tryptophan 413 mg

Conditionally Essential
Glutamine & Glutamic Acid 4,422 mg
Arginine 688 mg
Cysteine 522 mg
Glycine 455 mg
Tyrosine 691 mg

Non-Essential
Aspartic Acid 2,601 mg
Alanine 1,235 mg
Proline 1,445 mg
Serine 1,256 mg

Lysine and leucine are the ones that @Murph noted as being discussed as being of interest.
 

TreePerson

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Hi Everyone
I am interested in this thread because I recently tried whey protein to see if it would help. I used 30 g Pulsin whey isolate over the course of one day. I experienced a possible increase in energy but also some extreme night sweating. I was unsure if this was good or bad. But was advised by @gregh286 on another thread that probably bad and some kind of allergic immune response. I had hoped it was a detox. I have since tried rice protein also Pulsin isolate at a lower amount of about 15 g a day. No night sweats but I'm pretty sure it's giving me nerve pain down the backs of my legs and a bit in the back of my head. I don't know why that would be. But it has crossed my mind that this type of protein might be more accessible to the body i.e. need less digestion so that even small amounts are making available quite a lot more protein.
So I'm very interested to know if anyone experiences these kind of reactions.
 

Sasha

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Thanks for telling us what happened, @TreePerson! Yikes.

I'm currently looking at Pulsin' and comparing its amino acid profile to the one @Murph was recommended.

One good thing I can see already about the Pulsin' isolate product is that you can buy a small amount at first, rather than a whacking great (expensive) tub, so if it doesn't agree with you, at least it's not £30 down the pan.
 

Thinktank

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A little tip for the many whom are intolerant to dairy products; try a beef protein isolate powder. Most have a good amino acid profile, Pre-ME a beef product called carnivor gave me better musclegains than whey protein (but it does contain a lot of crap ingredients like artificial coloring).
There are more natural beef powders on the market.

Then there's something called beef collagen hydrolysate, it's very easily absorbed and contains all the amino acids.
http://www.iherb.com/Great-Lakes-Ge...te-Collagen-Joint-Care-Beef-16-oz-454-g/52774
 
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trishrhymes

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I'm having a go with soya protein, just with the intention of bumping up my protein intake. I've been using soya milk, tofu etc for years, so assumed it would be OK. I've been off dairy foods for years because of gut issues. (and gluten grains).

I had a look at the amino acid profile on the soya protein packet there is 6.8g Leucine and 5.4g Lysine per 100g. Less than in whey powder which according to Sasha's figures above is more like 9g and 7g per 100g.

Any comments?
 

Sasha

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Here's my comparison of the product that Murphy is using with Pulsin's isolate, and their amino acid profile is very similar indeed:

Dymatize vs Pulsin amino acids.png
In the UK (it's a UK product, I think), it's available in 250g, 1 kg and 5 kg packs. For those who want to start off with the smaller pack size, it's only £7.50 on UK Amazon with free delivery (if you include it in a larger order of at least £20 of Amazon goods).

It says it's low in lactose, because of the filtration process.

Here's some quite informative blurb, from the Amazon page:

Amazon said:
Product Description

At 93% protein, our Whey Protein Isolate is the optimum premium protein powder on the market. It is: Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Non GM, No added fillers, sugars or sweeteners, made using hormone-free milk from UK grass-fed cows.

This product is natural, unflavoured and additive free, giving you the freedom to develop your own recipes. It's the perfect addition to smoothies, porridge bowls, juices and your favourite recipes. Just one serving is a big step towards your 50g recommended daily protein intake.

Not sure which 'whey' is the right 'whey' for you? No problem. This handy guide explains the differences between all Pulsin' whey protein powders.

Pulsin' produces three different Whey protein powders - Whey Concentrate, Whey Isolate and Organic Whey Concentrate.

The main difference between a protein isolate and concentrate is the percentage of protein content, with this isolate having a higher content at 93% whereas the Whey Concentrate has 83% protein and the Organic Whey has 75% protein.

The protein percentage is determined by the filtering process. A whey protein concentrate goes through micro-filtration, whereas a whey protein isolate is micro-filtered and then ultra-filters, resulting in increased protein content and quality.

Here are some other key differences between a Whey Concentrate and a Whey Isolate:

Fat content: Pulsin' Whey Protein Isolate is lower in fat compared with the Concentrate. Although dairy fat has many benefits compared with other fat sources, it you're looking to lose weight then the Isolate may be the better choice as it contains less fat and calories.

Vitamins and Minerals: Because Pulsin' Whey Isolate has an extra filtration step, it is slightly lower in vitamins and minerals than the Concentrate which is considerably higher in the B Vitamins, Choline, Calcium and Potassium.

Lactose: Pulsin' Whey Protein Isolate has a lower lactose content than the Whey Concentrate. This make it a great choice for those with lactose intolerances. It also boasts a less creamy taste.

About Pulsin': Since launching Pulsin' in 2007, the three founders Simon, Nick and Ben have developed award-winning nutrition products including protein snack bars, brownies, protein powders, organic fruit bars and oat bars for children. Pulsin’ has won multiple awards for its products, most recently the 2015 Best New Food Product at the Natural and Organic Awards as well as several other Great Taste Awards.


Ingredients
Whey protein isolate, soya lecithin (trace).
Nutritional Information Per 100g: Energy 1590kJ/374kcal, Protein 90.0g, Carbohydrates 2.0g, Fat 1.0g.
 

Sasha

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A little tip for the many whom are intolerant to dairy products; try a beef protein isolate powder. Most have a good amino acid profile, Pre-ME a beef product called carnivor gave me better musclegains than whey protein (but it does contain a lot of crap ingredients like artificial coloring).
There are more natural beef powders on the market.

Then there's something called beef collagen hydrolysate, it's very easily absorbed and contains all the amino acids.
http://www.iherb.com/Great-Lakes-Ge...te-Collagen-Joint-Care-Beef-16-oz-454-g/52774
I've got some of that Great Lakes stuff sitting in my cupboard (I think I got it to see if it helped with some vague gut-healing thing and then forgot why I'd bought it!). Its amino acid profile is quite different to the product that Murphy is using - it's pretty low in leucine and lysine, for instance (which I gather are key).
 

Sasha

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A little tip for the many whom are intolerant to dairy products; try a beef protein isolate powder. Most have a good amino acid profile, Pre-ME a beef product called carnivor gave me better musclegains than whey protein (but it does contain a lot of crap ingredients like artificial coloring).
There are more natural beef powders on the market.
I have some issues with dairy so just did a bit of googling on this. I stumbled across a bodybuilders' message board where someone suspected that the beef protein powder he was using was basically gelatin/collagen, and so he emailed the manufacturer. Here's what they said (my bolding):

Hi,

The hydrolysed beef protein which is used in our Paleo Protein blend is sourced from beef collagen. This tends to be the case for the majority of beef protein powders. We use hydrolysed beef protein in our Paleo Blend as it is suitable for those following the principles of the paleo diet and those looking to avoid dairy and soy protein sources. In terms of amino acid profile we would always recommend Go Whey Protein 80 as a better quality protein source, but we offer this product as an alternative for those with special dietary requirements.

Cheers,
Tommy (NPD GN)
I'm going to try the Pulsin' stuff first and see if I can get away with it, milk-wise and migraine-wise.
 

Sasha

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I can't have beef, dairy or soy, so I'm using hemp protein. It seems to help. At least it really feels good, one of the foods that make me feel the best allong with some mushrooms and artichoke. In fact I thing this is the best "food-medicine" I've had ever.
That's interesting - it's also low in leucine and lysine, apparently:

Examine.com said:
Hemp that is currently on the market is a strain low in THC (the intoxicant and psychoactive agent in Marijuana) and does not confer intoxicating properties. It is usually not a pure protein supplement, as it has up to 10% fatty acids by weight (pretty balanced between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and generally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids) and confers a higher inherent fiber content relative to other Protein supplements. The protein portion of hemp is not a complete protein source, due to being low in Lysine (the rate limiting essential amino acid); it is also relatively low in Leucine, but is relatively high in both L-Tyrosine and Arginine.
https://examine.com/supplements/hemp-protein/
 

PatJ

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Sunwarrior is a very good plant based protein powder. It comes in vanilla, chocolate, and natural. The "natural" flavors don't contain anything other than pure protein powder (no sweeteners, no gums, etc.)

"Sunwarrior classic protein raw vegan superfood - natural flavor" is plain non-gmo brown rice protein (sprouted).

A 21g serving contains 17g protein.
100g contains 81g protein, 4.1g lysine, 7.3g leucine (serving size times 4.76)
Vitacost price = $0.95 per serving based on the 2.2 pound size.

"Sunwarrior classic plus protein - natural flavor" contains a mix of Organic Pea, Organic Brown rice, Organic Quinoa, Organic Chia Seed, Organic Amaranth.

A 25g serving contains 20g protein
100g contains 80g protein, 4.3g lysine, 7.2g leucine (serving size times 4).
Vitacost price = $1.12 per serving based on the 2.5 pound size.

This url allows you to compare the two products on Vitacost, including a comparison of amino acid content (per serving, note that the serving sizes are different 21g vs 25g).

When comparing products watch out for differences in serving size and flavor additives. Sweeteners and other additives lower the protein and natural amino acid content per serving.

I've got both on order so can't say anything about flavor yet. Some reviews say the natural flavors are disgusting, others say they have a neutral flavor, and some say pleasant.

For those in the US, Sunwarrior has samples available if you contact them (I'm in Canada so couldn't get any samples.) When looking at the price ($45 for 2.5 lbs of the classic plus from Vitacost) it's actually a good price compared with other protein powders (Swanson has the same pricing). I recently compared quite a few plant based protein powders and found that Sunwarrior is well priced for the quality and per serving cost. It's also very rare to have a natural flavor that doesn't contain any additives.
 

Molly98

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Sunwarrior is a very good plant based protein powder. It comes in vanilla, chocolate, and natural. The "natural" flavors don't contain anything other than pure protein powder (no sweeteners, no gums, etc.)
I have been using sun warrior protein powder daily for a couple of years. I prefer the chocolate version. It doesn't taste fantastic but it is fine- I usually have it blended with cocomilk and a banana.

I don't know if it makes a difference or not but perhaps I would be worse if I didn't have it. I find it a useful way to get protein in me because I can struggle with meat and fish and some times loose my appetite completely

so at least I know I am getting something good in to me. I also use Amazing Grass, protein powder and amazing meal replacement, it is really useful for the times I am unable to prepare my own food and husband is at work. I get both from Amazon.

I think I may try the Pulsin whey powder to see how that compares. I have a box of Pulsin protein bars from Amazon monthly, they are the best protein bars, totally yum - well the chocolate orange ones really taste of chocolate orange and the mint choc chip are delicious also. No baddies in them, no sugar and really really useful if you have hypoglycemic symptoms and need something quick and easy and can not get to the kitchen. Also great to take out in your bag when you need something urgently.
 
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