Here are my amino acid and pyroluria supplement recommendations. These are the products I use with my one-one clients and those doing my online group programs.
You can find most of these products in my online store at Fullscript – you’ll find details here on how to set up and account (you just need to do this once) and make your purchase.
Questionnaires and information
My publisher would not allow me to make specific product recommendations in my book so this list is a courtesy to those of you who have purchased the book.
If you do not have my book I highly recommend getting it and reading it before jumping in to taking supplements: The Antianxiety Food Solution – How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood, and End Cravings
There is a complete chapter on the amino acids and one for pyroluria, plus information on real whole food, sugar and blood sugar, gluten, digestion and much more.
Once you have read it you can use these blogs as summaries (they do contain some information that is not in my book).
Here is the Amino Acids Mood Questionnaire from The Antianxiety Food Solution and additional information on Anxiety and targeted individual amino acid supplements: a summary
Here is the Pyroluria Questionnaire from The Antianxiety Food Solution and additional information on Pyroluria, social anxiety, introversion: a summary
Supplements for Low Blood Sugar (anxious, shaky between meals and intense sugar cravings)
Glutamine helps with low blood sugar, may help eliminate the strong desire for something sweet when opened on to the tongue, and is very healing for the digestive system
- Pure Encapsulations L-Glutamine 500mg: L-glutamine (free-form) 500 mg, vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) 5 mg. The capsules can be swallowed or the capsule can be opened on to the tongue
- Designs for Health Glutamine Powder: This is a powdered glutamine that you can use right on your tongue or even mixed in water. The taste is quite pleasant.
Supplements for low GABA (stiff and tense muscles, anxious, panic attacks, use sugar/wine to relax)
GABA helps to raise GABA levels. I find GABA to be most effective when taken sublingually or opened on to the tongue. I find GABA to be more effective than pharmaGABA for most of my clients. I don’t ever use Phenibut (which the FDA recently removed from non-prescription use). Here are some GABA products that I like and use with clients.
Source Naturals GABA Calm (lozenges): This is a pleasant-tasting sublingual product that is my most popular and the most effective form of GABA I use with my clients. It is a lozenge that contains 125mg GABA, 5mg magnesium, 50mg glycine, 25mg tyrosine and 20 mg taurine.[Note: this product is a lozenge with 125mg GABA and is not to be confused with the Source Naturals, GABA Calm Mind, 750 mg tablets]
Nutritional Fundamentals for Health GABA-T SAP: gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) 300 mg, l-Theanine 150 mg. This is pleasant-tasting when opened on to the tongue and works very well when GABA Calm can’t be used. I find best results when it is used opened on to the tongue.
Enzymatic Therapy GABA: gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) 250 mg. This is also pleasant-tasting when opened on to the tongue and works very well when GABA Calm can’t be used. As with all GABA products, I find best results when it is used opened on to the tongue.
Thorne PharmaGABA-100: the label says Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) 100 mg but it also states that the product uses Pharma Foods International’s Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (PharmaGABA®). This is also pleasant-tasting when opened on to the tongue and is most effective when used this way.
Thorne PharmaGABA-250: as above but contains 250mg of PharmaGABA®. This is also pleasant-tasting when opened on to the tongue and is most effective when used this way.
Designs for Health PharmaGABA Chewables: gamma-amino butyric acid (pharmaGABA) 200 mg in 2 chewable tablets. It’s quick-acting and convenient like GABA-Calm because it’s chewable. This does contain xylitol, natural flavors, stevia and some other ingredients so taste may be a factor and xylitol can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea when too much is consumed.
Natural Factors PharmaGABA: gamma-amino butyric acid (pharmaGABA) 200 mg in 2 chewable tablets. It’s quick-acting and convenient like GABA-Calm because it’s chewable. However it also contains organic cane sugar and natural fruit flavors so it’s a little too candy-like for my preference, especially if you have low GABA-related sugar cravings. Also 2 chewable tablets – 4g of carbs which is almost 1 teaspoon of sugar![January 22, 2021: I’ve included this as a stand-by option for occasional use until Source Naturals GABA Calm is readily available again or if Designs for Health PharmaGABA Chewables are not available.]
Now Foods GABA Powder: 1/4 Level Teaspoon (500mg). This is pleasant-tasting when opened on to the tongue and is most effective when used this way. The only challenge with powder like this is making sure you don’t use too much by mistake. And it’s especially challenging when you only need 100mg.
Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal GABA with L-Theanine: 2ml (4 Pumps) provides (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) 240mg, L-Theanine 100mg and Phosphatidylcholine 120mg (from purified sunflower seed lecithin). Spray and hold 30 seconds before swallowing. It does contain ethanol so would not be suitable for alcoholics or young children.
ProThera 500mg GABA: GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) 500 mg. You will likely need to open this up and start with less than a full capsule during the day (a full capsule may be fine at night for some individuals)
Designs for Health Stress Arrest: Niacin (niacinamide) 100 mg, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCL) 10 mg, Pantothenic acid (d-calcium pantothenate) 100 mg, GABA 300 mg, Glycine 200 mg
Supplements for low serotonin (worry, rumination, negativity, afternoon and evening cravings and insomnia)
Tryptophan and/or 5-HTP can help to raise low serotonin. I typically recommend starting with tryptophan and don’t recommend 5-HTP if you have high cortisol as it can raise cortisol. Some people do better on tryptophan and some do better on 5-HTP.
Lidtke l-tryptophan 500mg: I only recommend the Lidtke brand for tryptophan as quality is a big consideration when it comes to this amino acid. This can be opened and/or chewed but doesn’t taste good. It can be mixed with inositol powder to make it more pleasant (see below) or with mashed banana. NOTE: This is not the same as the Lidtke Tryptophan Complete which has ingredients other than tryptophan making it more difficult to titrate up.
Lidtke l-Tryptophan Chewable: tablets contain 200mg L-Tryptophan per 2 tablets. This chewable form is both good and bad. It’s good because it’s a nice 100mg of tryptophan per tablet, is chewable, tastes good and is suitable for kids and “pixie dust” individuals (who need a very small amount). The bad aspect is that it does contain sugar and is quite sweet. Because you are continually consuming something sweet you may end up over-consuming them if sugar addiction is your issue.
Pure Encapsulations 5-HTP 50mg: Some of my clients do better on 5-HTP and some find taking this during the day and tryptophan at night works well for them.
Douglas Labs 1mg melatonin sublingual: If the tryptophan isn’t enough for sleep issues, adding this often helps if you can’t fall asleep (and if it’s a low serotonin/low melatonin issue). Start with one and increase to 3 as needed
Douglas Labs 3mg melatonin prolonged release: If the tryptophan isn’t enough for sleep, adding this often helps if you wake in the night and if it’s a low serotonin/low melatonin issue. Start with one and increase to 2 as needed.
Supplement for low endorphins (comfort and reward eating, weepy, pain issues)
DPA or D-Phenylalanine is the amino acid that helps to raise endorphins and eliminates the comfort/reward eating and the feelings of “I deserve this” and LOVING certain foods
Lidtke Endorphigen 500mg: Riboflavin 5mg, Pyridoxal 5-phosphate 5mg (enzymatic form of vitamin B6), D-Phenylalanine 500mg. This is also one of my top products that I recommend. I used to recommend simply chewing the capsule to get the quickest and best effects and this worked well when it was produced in a gelatin capsule. Now it’s made with a cellulose capsule and chewing doesn’t work at all well so opening the capsule (or just biting off the top) and tipping the powder into your mouth works well. It does taste quite pleasant – some of my clients think it has a dark chocolate-like taste. A few people don’t like the taste at all but even then, it can be very effective when low endorphins are an issue.
Supplement for low catecholamines (tired, coffee-drinking, blahs, poor focus, low motivation)
Tyrosine is the amino acid that helps to raise low catecholamines and can often help you quit coffee if you “self-medicate” due to low catecholamines.
Progressive Labs tyrosine 500mg: 500mg l-tyrosine. This is the last amino acid I trial with my anxious clients because it can make you more anxious (although with one client it reduced her anxiety because she was able to focus better at work).
Vitamin C for negating the effects of any amino acid
Vitamin C 1000mg is used to negate the effects of any amino acid. I used to use EmergenC but this still contains folic acid, so here are some good alternate vitamin C recommendations:
Designs for Health C + Biofizz: Vitamin C 2569 mg (as Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbate) Quercetin 20 mg Hesperidin 20 mg Rutin 10 mg. This one mixes nicely in water and can also be added to a smoothie but tastes quite sweet for many people. I personally prefer less of a sweet taste.
Designs for Health Buffered Vitamin C: Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 2000 mg, Calcium (as calcium ascorbate) 80 mg, Magnesium (as magnesium ascorbate) 160 mg, Potassium (as potassium bicarbonate) 200 mg. This one doesn’t mix very well in water and can also be added to a smoothie. The taste is not very pleasant.
The supplements for pyroluria
Zinc, vitamin B6, evening primrose oil and a good copper-free multivitamin are what I use for my clients with pyroluria or for those who score above 15 on the questionnaire:
Solaray OptiZinc 30mg. Zinc (as Zinc Monomethionine [OptiZinc®] 30 mg, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCl) 20 mg. The zinc in this form seems to be well absorbed by many of my clients and is available over the counter. This also does not contain copper. Be aware as there are other OptiZinc products on the market that do contain copper (Source Naturals is one example)
Douglas Labs Opti-Zinc: Zinc (from 150 mg Zinc Monomethionine) 30 mg. The zinc in this form seems to be well absorbed by many of my clients. This also does not contain copper.
Metagenics Zinc Drink: Zinc sulphate monohydrate in a base of distilled water. Each 2 tsp provides Zinc sulfate monohydrate 8 mg. Use this for testing your zinc status as described here: Zinc deficiency is common: using liquid zinc status test as an assessment tool
Here are a selection of 100 mg Vitamin B6/pyridoxine products. Use dream recall as a way to monitor if it’s working, plus social anxiety and mood improvements. If this doesn’t work you may need to use the activated form in conjunction with or instead of this one (see below)
Progressive Labs 100mg Vitamin B6 (contains rice flour)
NOW 100mg Vitamin B6 (contains rice flour)
Vital Nutrients 100mg Vitamin B6 (Only B6 and glycine)
Klaire Labs 250mg Vitamin B6 (Use this one if you find you do better with more i.e. 250mg)
Pure Encapsulations P5P 50 (activated B-6): pyridoxal 5 phosphate (activated B6) 50 mg, vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) 3 mg. This activated form of B6 may be needed if the 100-500 mg B6/pyridoxine doesn’t work or may be needed in addition to vitamin B6/pyridoxine. Use dream recall as a way to monitor if it’s working, plus social anxiety and mood improvements.
Designs For Health P5P 50mg: another good product with pyridoxal 5 phosphate (activated B6) 50 mg
Now Foods Super Primrose 1300mg: Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera blennis) (Seed) 1.3 g (1300 mg) – 120 count. GLA is often low in pyroluria and EPO helps with zinc absorption and PMS symptoms.
Designs for Health Twice Daily Multi: This is a good copper-free multi. It also contains Folates (NatureFolate™ blend) 400 mcg instead of folic acid (no DFH products contain folic acid).
Free form amino acids and magnesium
Pure Encapsulations Amino Replete: A free form amino acid powder blend that does contain tryptophan. It does contain fructose, flavors and luo han guo
Allergy Research Free Aminos: A free form amino acid blend in capsules. It contains 5-HTP and not tryptophan. I’d prefer it if it had tryptophan.
Designs for Health Amino Acid Supreme: A free form amino acid blend powder that does contain tryptophan. It is sweetened with stevia and contains natural flavors.
Designs for Health Magnesium Malate 360mg
Liquid and powder options for children
Here are some liquid and powder options for children (or for adults, if you have a hard time swallowing pills):
Carlson 100mg B6: Use dream recall (and no more nightmares) as a way to monitor if it’s working, plus improvements in social anxiety and mood.
Designs for Health 50mg P5P (with a little zinc and magnesium): This is the activated form of B6. Use dream recall (and no more nightmares) as a way to monitor if it’s working, plus improvements in social anxiety and mood.
Pure Encapsulations 15mg Zinc gluconate: A liquid zinc option.
Metagenics 15mg Zinc (as zinc sulfate): A liquid zinc option.
Designs for Health Zinc Challenge: Zinc sulphate monohydrate in a base of distilled water. Each 2 tsp provides Zinc sulfate monohydrate 8 mg. I use this for testing zinc status but it could be used as a supplement too.
BodyBio evening primrose oil: Gamma Linolenic Acid/GLA (omega-6) 473 mg. GLA is often low in pyroluria and EPO helps with zinc absorption, eczema and PMS symptoms.
Klaire Labs Vitaspectrum multivitamin/mineral: This is a great copper-free, iron-free powdered multi for kids. You can mix the powder directly into room temperature or cold foods or beverages just before serving.
Pure Encapsulations Amino Replete: A free form amino acid powder blend that does contain tryptophan. It does contain fructose, flavors and luo han guo.
Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Citrate 250mg powder
Designs for Health Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate 300 mg powder: This one does have stevia and natural flavors
Also see chewable tryptophan, GABA Calm and inositol powder, plus powdered Vitamin C (all listed above).
The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Check with your doctor before starting a new supplement program.