Customizing a Low FODMAPS Diet for a Client with Anxiety and/or Depression

January 19, 2015

fodmaps-image

Here is an excerpt from a Dec 2014 paper called Review article: the aetiology, diagnosis, mechanisms and clinical evidence for food intolerance:

There have been significant advances in understanding the scientific basis of gastrointestinal food intolerance due to short-chain fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs). The most helpful diagnostic test for food intolerance is food exclusion to achieve symptom improvement followed by gradual food reintroduction. A low FODMAP diet is effective, however, it affects the gastrointestinal microbiota and FODMAP reintroduction to tolerance is part of the management strategy.

We’re seeing plenty of people with digestive issues like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth),  often with accompanying anxiety and depression, and a low FODMAPS diet may need to be considered. How do we know if we should consider it and how do we help out clients make this change?

This webinar is a way for you to learn more about FODMAPS for your clients and it’s a way for me to showcase the valuable work my friend Julie Matthews is doing in her BioIndividual Nutrition™ program. And for us to share the very cool new Victus software. I’ve actually signed up for the next training and I’m just super-excited to get the word out…which is another reason for the webinar! When I learn, I like to share what I learn!

Customizing a Low FODMAPS Diet for a Client with Anxiety and/or Depression

A webinar for health practitioners – Wednesday January 21st at 3pm PST
Food Mood Expert Trudy Scott interviews Julie Matthews, co-founder of BioIndividual Nutrition Institute

In this webinar, aimed at health practitioners, we will discuss:

  • The scientific rationale for recommending a Low FODMAPS (an acronym, deriving from “Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) Diet for someone with anxiety/depression
  • Defining oligosaccharides (fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides); disaccharides (lactose); monosaccharides (fructose) and polyols (sugar alcohols and more)
  • What are high free fructose foods and the fructose malabsorption/anxiety and depression connection
  • How to do a low FODMAPs diet elimination/provocation
  • Why would you combine Low FODMAPS and SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
  • How the Victus software helps you create a diet/recipes for the Low FODMAPs Diet
  • How to learn more about Julie Matthews’ Bioindividual Nutrition program (for practitioners), other special diets and the upcoming study group

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and nutrition for pregnancy.  Her approached is based on the BioIndividual Nutrition™ needs of each person. She provides dietary guidance backed by scientific research and applied clinical experience. Her award winning book, Nourishing Hope for Autism, has helped people around the world to make food and nutrition choices that aid the health, learning, and behavior of those with autism, ADHD, and other developmental delays. She presents at leading autism conferences in the US and abroad, and is the Nutrition Editor of the Autism File magazine. She is on the scientific advisory board for USAAA (U.S. Autism & Asperger Association) and the Autism Nutrition Research Center. She is the co-founder of Nourishing Hope and BioIndividual Nutrition Institute. Julie has a private nutrition practice in San Francisco, California, and supports families and clinicians from around the world with her nutrition learning tools and professional training courses.

Here is the link to register for the webinar. If you can’t make it at this time, register anyway to get a copy of the notes and audio:
https://az184.isrefer.com/go/lowfod/TrudyScott/

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Pyroluria and chronic fatigue syndrome: is there a link?

January 16, 2015

tired-boyLast week I blogged about the social anxiety condition called pyroluria (Pyroluria, high mauve, pyrrole disorder, malvaria, elevated kryptopyrroles and social anxiety) and received some great comments on this and the other pyroluria blogs.

One question on this blog: The Anxiety Summit: How zinc and vitamin B6 prevent pyroluria and social anxiety was related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/CFS so I’ve decided to share this and some additional information I was able to find.

Hi Trudy, I’m calling from Melbourne Australia, I was wondering if you have had any of your clients present with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as pyroluria. I have just recently been diagnosed with CFS, I also have ADHD. Someone on a CFS forum that I belong to told me about pyroluria and said it is common in ADHD and CFS sufferers. While the link between ADHD and pyroluria is well documented, I haven’t been able to find any information regarding a connection between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and pyroluria. I notice that there is an overlap of symptoms in the two conditions. I have all of the symptoms of CFS and many of the symptoms of pyroluria. I’m very interested in hearing your views about CFS and how it relates to pyroluria if at all. — Tom

I was not aware of a CFS/pyroluria connection until now but see there is some research showing how CFS and mood disorders/anxiety can have related causes and one of them is inflammation:

An intriguing and hitherto unexplained co-occurrence: Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome are manifestations of shared inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways

Low zinc is a factor in pyroluria and depression and of course we may also see low zinc in CFS:

Lower serum zinc in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): relationships to immune dysfunctions and relevance for the oxidative stress status in CFS

I find this paper very interesting since many of these same nutrients are commonly low in folks with anxiety and depression: Nutritional strategies for treating chronic fatigue syndrome

A detailed review of the literature suggests a number of marginal nutritional deficiencies may have etiologic relevance. These include deficiencies of various B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, zinc, L-tryptophan, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and essential fatty acids.

I’m surprised the above paper didn’t mention iron anemia.  This is very common with pyroluria.  This paper: Iron insufficiency and hypovitaminosis D in adolescents with chronic fatigue and orthostatic intolerance found this

In patients presenting with chronic fatigue and/or orthostatic intolerance, low ferritin levels and hypovitaminosis D are common

These are just a few of the links I found by doing a very quick pubmed search. There are likely many more.

Everything is so connected and inter-related! And it’s interesting how certain deficiencies can manifest in certain ways – one person may find themselves with a CFS diagnosis, someone else with arthritis and yet someone else with heart disease. I think we need to be thinking about addressing nutrient deficiencies, balancing biochemistry and getting healthy, perhaps more just than addressing a diagnosis.  

If you score high on the Pyroluria Questionnaire I would suggest simply addressing the pyroluria which may have some ripple down effects and actually improve the symptoms of CFS.

Now the next post will have to dig into the link between ADHD and pyroluria. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’d love to see your comments/questions if you can relate to any of this. Also, please do share in the comments if you know you have pyroluria and find the nutrients have eliminated your social anxiety and inner tension symptoms, and have also helped your CFS.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Pyroluria, high mauve, pyrrole disorder, malvaria, elevated kryptopyrroles and social anxiety

January 9, 2015

coneflower

Low levels of the mineral zinc and vitamin B6 are frequently associated with a type of anxiety characterized by social anxiety, avoidance of crowds, a feeling of inner tension, and bouts of depression. People with this problem experience varying degrees of anxiety or fear, often starting in childhood, but they usually manage to cover it up and push through. They tend to build their life around one person, become more of a loner over time, have difficulty handling stress or change, and have heightened anxiety symptoms when under more stress.

This constellation of symptoms is often the result of a genetic condition called pyroluria, also known as high mauve, pyrrole disorder, pyrroluria, pyrolleuria, malvaria, and elevated kryptopyrroles.

In Nutrition and Mental Illness, wonderful book written by Carl Pfeiffer in 1987, pyroluria is described as faulty synthesis of heme (a component of hemoglobin, in the blood), resulting in elevated levels of kryptopyrroles (KP) or by-products of hemoglobin synthesis that have no known role in the body. To get quite technical, it turns out that what’s elevated is actually levels of another molecule: hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL). This molecule attaches to zinc and vitamin B6 in the body, which are then excreted in greater amounts than normal in the urine, resulting in deficiencies. Since the body makes 2 million red blood cells per second, you can see how deficiencies can rapidly develop.

Supplementing with zinc and vitamin B6 (and a few other key nutrients) improves the many signs and symptoms of pyroluria. HPL also inhibits synthesis of heme explaining why people with pyroluria often also have low levels of iron or ferritin (the body’s storage form of iron and the first indicator of decreased iron levels) and need to supplement with iron as well.

I cover this in great detail in my book The Antianxiety Food Solution. I devote a whole chapter to it and for simplicity I use the term “pyroluria” in the book, in my blog posts, articles and presentations.

I first learned of pyroluria when I worked with Julia Ross and discovered that I have it. Joan Mathews-Larson covers it in detail in her great book Depression-Free Naturally and I consider her to be a true expert on pyroluria.

It’s not well-recognized in the mental health and medical community. This is the most recent published information on the topic: Discerning the Mauve Factor, Part 1 and Discerning the Mauve Factor, Part 2.

If this sounds like you, here is a link to the Pyroluria Questionnaire from my book. I created this using the work of Carl Pfeiffer and Joan Mathews-Larson, modifying it based on feedback I received from my clients.

Many people are surprised to discover that they now have an answer to something that has plagued them their whole lives.   This was certainly the case with me. Here are Madonna’s results, posted on the pyroluria blog post for the Anxiety Summit season 2: How zinc and vitamin B6 prevent pyroluria and social anxiety

I am 55 and have suffered with panic disorder since age 14. My anxiety has gotten so bad I can hardly leave the house at times. I am a woman of faith but had to even give up church, as I could not handle the people. It has been a rough road. I had already given up gluten and sugar. Somehow I stumbled on the word pyroluria. I did start zinc and b6. Also started primrose oil today. I can tell a difference in my mood and anxiety. I am ready to start living again.

I’d love to see your comments/questions if you can relate to any of this. Also, please do share in the comments if you know you have pyroluria and find the nutrients have eliminated your social anxiety and inner tension symptoms.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Rooibos tea with a chocolate twist

January 2, 2015

chocolate-rooibos

I’ve discovered a new rooibos tea and love it and want to share it with you! It’s rooibos tea with a chocolate twist: Numi Organic Tea – Chocolate Rooibos with smooth vanilla notes.

When I shared this image on facebook here are two comments I got:

  • I drink Numi’s Rooibos everyday, but I didn’t know they made CHOCOLATE!
  • CHOCOLATE…I’ll have to find that one!

Notice that both people wrote CHOCOLATE in upper case! I have no doubt that the word “chocolate” will get many more people trying this healthy herbal tea. But I must give you an advance warning – the chocolate taste is very subtle. And if you’re sensitive to the caffeine in chocolate like I am you may find you can tolerate this – I certainly can.

You may recall my interview with rooibos researcher, Dr. Amanda Swart, in season 1 of the Anxiety Summit: A Functional Food in the Management of Stress. We discussed the role rooibos plays in the maintenance of normal cortisol levels, the influence of rooibos on cytochrome P450 enzymes, and the amazing array of polyphenols and flavonoids found in rooibos. Wow, a simple beverage that can help reduce stress and anxiety! And so much more!

Here is some new rooibos research:

chocolate-rooibos-description

Just read the description on the back of the box and see if you can resist it:

Smooth South African rooibos is enveloped by creamy vanilla beans, sweet honeybush and rich cacao. This sensual treat is a delightful, soothing beverage you can melt into.

The vanilla gives it a naturally sweet taste which you may need if you don’t enjoy straight rooibos (an acquired taste for some)

Let me give you a few more reasons why I recommend this product – other than the delicious taste and wonderful health benefits:

  • It’s organic
  • It uses fair trade ingredients
  • It uses non-GMO biodegradable tea bags
  • It’s a herbal tea so is caffeine-free
  • It doesn’t have any artificial or even natural flavors

I’m a skier and Brad snowboards and I like to be prepared with “padkos” (South African for food-for-the-road) and one nice treat is hot herbal tea for the drive up and for the drive home. For the trip up to the ski resort, I make it in a large stainless steel mug with lid and we sip it as we drive. I take an extra teabag and a thermos flask of boiling water and make a new batch to sip on the trip home. It’s so yummy and so warming, plus it keeps us well-hydrated which is important with all that exercise. 

Check out the Numi site. I love this company and their vision: “Numi inspires well-being of mind, body and spirit through the simple art of tea. Our company is rooted in the principle of creating a healthful product that nurtures people and honors the planet. In all of our company initiatives, we strive to foster a healthy, thriving global community while bringing you the purest, best-tasting organic tea.”

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Organic Acids Testing by Great Plains Lab

December 15, 2014

greatplainslabThis is a 1-day professional training being held in Berkeley, CA on January 24, 2015: An Overview of Organic Acids Testing and Why it is so Important

Hundreds of organic acid metabolites are found in the urine of all mammals including humans. These metabolites can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic measurements for: detecting abnormal gastrointestinal overgrowth or dysbiosis, assessing mitochondrial energy production, detecting genetic diseases, assessing malnutrition and suboptimum nutrition, revealing toxic exposure, finding alterations of neurotransmitter metabolites in neurological and psychiatric disorders, and assessing metabolites that cause severe inflammation in a variety of chronic illnesses.

The Interrelationship between Chronic Yeast and Various Issues

The OAT evaluates for various fungal toxins, including specific markers for Candida. Many people rely on stool testing for Candida diagnosis and miss the presence of Candida toxins through the Organic Acid Test. Candida can lead to neurochemical imbalances in the brain, as well as sensory problems and self-stimulatory behavior (often seen in autism).

The Interrelationship between Clostridia and Various Health Issues

The OAT evaluates for two specific toxins related to Clostridia bacteria – HPHPA and 4-cresol. Both of these toxins can inhibit a dopamine converting enzyme, leading to excess dopamine and toxic reactions in the brain and nervous system. Problems such as moodiness, irritability, aggression, self-injurious behavior, sleep difficulties and more can be associated with Clostridia bacteria overgrowth.

Correlating Oxalate Problems

The OAT includes glycolic and glyceric acids in the oxalate section, which can differentiate between genetic and nutritional components in disturbed oxalate metabolism. Oxalates are compounds found in many foods, and can be worsened from Candida overgrowth. High oxalates are associated with pain in the joints, muscles, and connective tissues. They can also trap heavy metals (such as mercury, lead, and arsenic) in the body and lead to mineral imbalances. Certain behavioral issues and self-injurious tendencies have been associated with high oxalates.

Organic Acids Testing and Neurochemical Imbalances

The OAT evaluates for imbalances in serotonin (an important brain chemical for mood, fine and gross motor skills, and calmness), as well additional markers that can indicate toxic stress in the brain and nervous system, such as Quinolinic Acid. High Quinolinic Acid suggests toxic stress in the brain and is important to evaluate before prescribing certain supplements, particularly L-Tryptophan which is commonly used to help with sleep.

Case Studies

This presentation will highlight various patient cases from clinical practice that show the role of biomedical intervention for various patient scenarios such as dietary therapy, yeast and Clostridia treatment, and methylation support.

All of the above, together with start and end times, and breaks can be found here on the presentation schedule page

Presenter: Kurt N. Woeller, D.O., has been an integrative medicine physician and biomedical autism specialist for 15+ years. He is an author of several health books including “Autism – The Road To Recovery,” “Methyl-B12 Therapy For Autism,” “Methyl-B12 for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia,” and “5 Things You MUST Do Right Now To Help With Your Rheumatoid Arthritis.” He is a lecturer (United States and International), educator and experienced clinician offering specialized treatment and testing for individuals with complex medical conditions such as Autism-Spectrum Disorders, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Mental Health Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis and other chronic health conditions.

I’m sharing this training on behalf of Dr. Kat Toups, M.D., Distinguished Fellow APA, Functional Medicine Psychiatry, BayAreaWellness.net

Dr. Toups shared this with me and I would suggest you call Great Plains Lab if you are unsure whether you are eligible to order testing:

This includes a free test kit. My understanding about the free test kits at the Organic Acid Testing conference is that they are available for anyone licensed to order testing. You do not have to be a Physician. Their website says the following: “Please note that to receive the FREE Organic Acids Test practitioners must be qualified as MD, DO, NP, NMD, DC, PsyD, PA, LAc or otherwise have the authority to order laboratory testing. Other healthcare practitioners will receive a voucher for 50% off one Organic Acids Test.

The pricing will increase by $40 on 12/22/14, so please register as early as possible to allow time to receive your OAT kit, complete it, mail back and get results before the conference. Things may get a little backed up around the holidays.

For those of you new to Organic Acid Testing, you can also request a complimentary consult at Great Plains once you receive your results. They will go over them with you.

Register here  Early bird expires 12/22/14

Location details are here

Chicken or turkey broth recipe

December 1, 2014

poultry

I hope you had a fabulous holiday weekend – we did! If you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal the chances are high that you have left-overs and bones so here’s a simple bone broth recipe to make good use of all those turkey bones. If you’re not in the USA and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, just use this any time you’ve cooked turkey or chicken. Growing up in South Africa, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving but roast turkey was almost always on the menu on Christmas Day in South Africa.

Chicken or turkey broth recipe

Bones from 1 whole free-range or organic chicken (or turkey – see note below)
4 quarts filtered water (almost 4 litres – South African spelling!)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large organic onion, chopped
2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
3 organic celery sticks, chopped
1 bunch of organic parsley

Place chicken (or turkey) pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all the vegetables except parsley. Let stand for about 30 minutes to get it all to room temperature. Bring to a boil and remove the scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. The longer you cook it the richer and more flavorful it will be. Add the parsley about 10 minutes before the end of cooking (this provides additional minerals). Strain and put into the fridge until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat (to use or discard) and keep the broth/stock in covered containers in your fridge or freezer.  

If you use the bones from a free-range or organic turkey, you may need to double all the above ingredients, depending on the size of the turkey.

I typically start cooking mine early in the morning and leave it simmering until just before bedtime which provides around 15 hours of cooking. You could also use a crock-pot.

You can use the broth/stock as a base for soups, stews and to cook grains. It will add a yummy flavor and provide a nutrient-dense source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium as well as a wonderful source of gelatin.

Adapted from the Chicken Stock recipe in Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Sally has just co-authored a new book with Kaayla Daniel and it’s all about broths – Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World. It’s on my list to get!

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Coconut-Lemon-Garlic Cauliflower recipe

November 21, 2014

cauliflower-1

Cauliflower is in the Brassicaceae family of vegetables together with broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It’s one of my favorite vegetables!

Enjoy this yummy recipe that I adapted slightly from a recipe from Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family.

by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN. I always seem to do this with recipes :)

1 medium head of cauliflower (i.e. a whole one)
1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
½ cup of chicken stock or water
1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (the original recipe called for lime juice which I didn’t have so I used lemon juice and it resulted in a great taste)
6 large garlic cloves, crushed (the original recipe called for 2, I love garlic so added more!)
1 teaspoon powdered ginger spice (the original recipe called for 1-2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger – I didn’t have any on hand but will try it with this next time)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Garnishes: sliced green onions and chopped cilantro

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in a food processor fitted with the “s’ blade. Pulse until it’s coarsely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop it as finely as possible.

In in large pot, heat the coconut milk, chicken stock or water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, crushed garlic cloves, powdered ginger spice or grated fresh ginger and sea salt, over medium heat. Once the mixture is simmering add the cauliflower pieces.

Stir together and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked to your liking. Garnish with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro. Serve hot.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Some of my favorite foods are coconut, garlic, lemon and ginger, and the combination of these ingredients with the cauliflower is just superb! It heats up nicely the next day and is actually delicious cold too so could serve as a “salad.”

nourishing-meals 

I’m looking forward to trying other recipes in this book written by Tom and his wife Alissa. You may recall Tom’s interview from the Anxiety Summit: toxin exposures promote anxiety. We talked about the detox and health benefits, anti-cancer effects of sulforaphane in broccoli. And in my closing talk, I discussed broccoli sprouts and this study: Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Well, cauliflower is a great source of sulforaphane too! So eat up and be sure to chew well.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Amino Acid Precautions

November 16, 2014

There are some precautions to be aware of when taking supplemental amino acids. These are reprinted from The Mood Cure (2004) with permission from Julia Ross. Consult a knowledgeable practitioner before taking any supplemental amino acids if any of the following statements apply to you:

  • React to supplements, foods or medications with unusual or uncomfortable symptoms
  • Have a serious physical illness, particularly cancer
  • Have severe liver or kidney problems
  • Have an ulcer (amino acids are slightly acidic)
  • Have schizophrenia or other mental illness
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Taking any medications for mood problems, particularly MAO inhibitors, or more than one SSRI

Also, please be aware of the following precautions in regard to specific amino acids and consult with a knowledgeable practitioner if in doubt:

  • Overactive thyroid/Grave’s disease: tyrosine, DLPA
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU): tyrosine, DLPA
  • Melanoma: tyrosine, DLPA
  • High Blood pressure: tyrosine, DLPA
  • Migraine headaches: tyrosine, DLPA
  • Low blood pressure: GABA, taurine
  • Asthma: tryptophan, melatonin
  • Severe depression: melatonin
  • Bipolar disorder: tyrosine, DLPA, glutamine
  • Cancer: there is a question around glutamine (some research shows it’s beneficial some research suggests avoiding it)

Amino Acids and SSRIs

If you’re currently taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), don’t take either 5-HTP or tryptophan unless you’re working with a knowledgeable practitioner. Taking 5-HTP or tryptophan with either of these classes of antidepressants may cause serotonin syndrome, an adverse reaction characterized by agitation, confusion, rapid heart rate, and blood pressure fluctuations. If you experience these symptoms, stop taking 5-HTP or tryptophan immediately. When I have clients who are taking a single SSRI who might also benefit from tryptophan or 5-HTP, I have them take the amino acid six hours apart from their medication—after obtaining approval from their doctor and with their doctor monitoring for adverse reactions. Please do the same. I also recommend the chapter on antidepressants and amino acids in The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to take charge of your Emotions

The above (except for the cancer/glutamine statement) is an excerpt from my book The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood, and End Cravings

Here is a link to the information shared during my interview on the Anxiety Summit season 2: Targeted individual amino acids for eliminating anxiety: practical applications 

The questionnaire is also on the blog – amino acid questionnaire   It has many comments that are invaluable.