Moods, Glutemate, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6

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solinoure
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20 Jan 2010, 11:07 am

It's been a while since I have posted. I spent most of 2009 figuring myself out. Trying to understand the whys and wherefores of my volatile nature. Trying to get control over my constant anxiety and recurring meltdowns. I think I am on to something that works.

It started almost entirely by accident. My Dad and I decided to lose weight and he had heard of a book called Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution. The basic concept is that humans, like all apes, are leaf eaters. That is to say, our metabolism is evolved to eat leafy greens and the odd bit of lean protein. Dr. Gundry says that over the centuries, with first the advent of farming and then industrial farming, our diet gradually migrated from leafy greens and animals that ate leafy greens, to highly refined/processed grain products and grain-fed animals. He further explains that grains tend to be very dense in Omega-6 fatty acids while the greens tend to be laden with Omega-3, and that Omega-6 fatty acids are involved in tissue inflammation while Omega-3s tend to be anti-inflammatory. Before the advent of farming, the ratio of consumption of Omega-6 to Omega-3 was about 1:1. Today we typically consume well over six times more Omega-6 than Omega-3. Gundry postulates that this is a great part of why we are currently suffering an epidemic of inflammatory diseases. In places like Okinawa where people eat lots of greens and other Omega-3 rich foods, diseases like arthritis are virtually unknown. From other reading, I discovered that current research theorizes that autism is a consequence of inflamed nerve tissue.

So, my Dad and I are going to do this greens and leans diet to lose weight and get the other health benefits the doctor promises in his book. Before we seriously started, I got some spinach so I could get some practice cooking the stuff. I make myself omelets every now and then. Then one morning I wake up in a grim and anxious mood as I was wont to do, and I drag myself to the kitchen hating life and make myself a spinach omelet. I eat it and go about my business. About 45 minutes later, I start to feel strangely more at ease. It felt like the gray cloud over me lifted. I didn't feel happy or elated in any way, but the bad mood and the hating of life had stopped. There had to be something in the spinach that caused the change.

I immediately googled the nutritional components of spinach. To make a long story short, I bought a dietary supplement of each of the major nutritional components of spinach. Then over the course of a couple of weeks I experimented with taking them one at a time until I found that it was vitamin K that gave me the relief. (Little did I know that the eggs and the avocado were also full of vitamin K)

I wanted to know why vitamin K had this remarkable effect so I began researching it. It turns out that vitamin K plays a key role in the body's natural re-uptake of glutamate (its the very same stuff that's attached to a sodium in sodium-glutamate). Glutamate is one the most common neurotransmitters in the brain. It functions as a stimulator - it excites neurons - and it turns out that autistic people tend to have a super abundance of glutamate in the brain and that supplementing with vitamin K is helpful.
This is a link to a paper on this topic: http://www.gutresearch.com/VitaminK.pdf

When I discovered the vitamin K effect, I started supplementing with it and then I began eating foods rich in it and over time I only kept the vitamin K tabs as a backup. When the holiday's rolled around I started eating holiday foods (lots of sugar and starch - no greens) and the anxiety and meltdowns came back. After one miserable evening, it dawned on me that I hadn't take any vitamin K. I dug into my back up bottle and 45 minutes later I was right as rain. Amazing!

Recently in my research I found that large doses of vitamin B6 (with magnesium to counter and side effects of large B6 doses) has long been an alternative medicine treatment for autism. (http://autism.healingthresholds.com/therapy/vitamin-b6-and-magnesium) It turns out that B6 is key to the conversion of glutamate to GABA. GABA is the opposite of glutamate. It is also one of the most abundant neurotransmitters and it acts as calming agent - it relaxes the neurons.

So, three days ago I acquired some vitamin B6 and took about 100mg. before bed. (You gotta be careful with B6 - too much can hurt you. But from what I read, taking less than 200mg a day is safe.) The research I did also indicated that B6 also makes for vivid dreams. Anyway, I slept fantastically. I had a more restful night than I had ever had, AND my dreams were more vivid. But the thing that really amazed me was that I was dreaming about people I knew. Normally, if there are people in my dreams, they are generic unidentified people. Once in a while, one person I know will make a brief appearance. But that night it was like everyone I knew jumped into my dreams. People I had just met, friends, college and high school friends all made and appearance. And the best thing, the dreams were not the annoying and tedious affairs that they have been for many years now.

Anyway, I am sorry about the extremely long post. But, I wanted to share this with the folks here on wrong planet. Since I have been eating the greens, avoiding the grains, taking fish oil (Omega-3) and supplementing with vitamins K and now with B6, my quality of life has vastly improved. Now, the annoying things in life are still annoying, but to borrow an online gaming term, they annoyances "don't stack". I get irritated and I let it go. I assume that this is just a case the glutamate getting pumped out from between the neurons in a timely fashion.

So, again, sorry for the mega-post. Thanks for reading this all the way through. I'd love to hear what you think, or try to answer any questions you may have. And I'd like to know if you have had any experience using these or other vitamins to help manage moods, etc.


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Last edited by solinoure on 20 Jan 2010, 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Avarice
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20 Jan 2010, 5:29 pm

I also have enjoyed a higher quality of life since improving my diet and vitamin intake. I was convinced to do this when I got influenza for the second time in a year. I've felt much better simply by eating less crap and more vegetables. I have always cooked a lot but now I cook almost every day.

As for vitamins, I don't really take any except for this tonic made in Germany, it's vile but it makes me feel much better. My mother bought it originally and got me to try it.

Capsicum (bell pepper) is my vegetable of choice. But you worked out why spinach makes you feel better using an interesting technique. I wouldn't have thought of that even though it's quite simple.



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20 Jan 2010, 9:21 pm

I love spinach and wouldn't mind eating it everyday. A spinach omelet sounds wonderful. Could go for one right now. Also love avocados.

Glad to hear that you have found a way to prevent mood swings and reduce anxiety and meltdowns. Good luck to you (and your dad) with your new regimen.



Arroyo
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21 Jan 2010, 5:22 am

I've read that other sources of vitamin K are meat and cheese. Curiously, I always feel better some time after eating high amounts of either... (Brazilian barbecue. To be noted, cattle in Brazil and Argentina are mainly created in large fields, so they eat real grass)
And vitamin K plays a role in blood coagulation. My coagulation is not completely a problem, but it is always slower than in other people. I even had complications after teeth surgery because of poor coagulation.



Arroyo
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21 Jan 2010, 7:18 am

Now I read about B6. It seems that sometimes I have the symptoms of its excess, sometimes the symptoms of its lack. On top, it is abundant in most aliments, and very soluble.

I also noticed that eating more salty things (like the barbecue!) can have a lot of effects on my biological rhythm for next days. (Probably due to increase of vasopresin, which will improve circadian rhythm, but also have diuretic effects, and after a few days B6 can be lower due to that, and so on... )

So, my theory is the following: As our CNS and ANS are very responsive to any stimulus, they are also very sensitive to any change or unbalanced in substances we need, and we can already present the symptoms of lack or excess of something just by having a small lack or excess, even because of normal biological cycles.

(Vitamin K might have an additional effect of actually reducing the hyper-sensitivity)



locster
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06 Dec 2010, 5:57 pm

I wanted to add my experiences to this discussion and maybe get some feedback from the original poster and others on their continued experiences. My main problem has always been anxiety and I've been experimenting with various vitamins for a few years now. A couple years back I started taking high dose b6, b12 and magnesium and I had some really good sleep and wild dreams for a while. Later I megadosed vitamin C one weekend (approx 50g/day) and quite literally overnight the anxiety just went, completely gone. I've also always had poor complexion (boils on back of neck and jaw area) and this cleared up remarkably also.(I should also add that the megadose also caused gout in my left knee, both hips and movement in my teeth biting plane - which all cleared up within a couple of days, I figure this is a significant observation). The anxiety started to come back slowly after a few months despite being on 15g/day vitamin C. Later attempts at megadosing did not recreate the same effect.

Later my complexion started to worsen again - what was I missing? Going back over my notes I was taking 2x50mg b6, 4x1000mcg b12, and 4x400mg chelated Mg/day. So I started back on B6 50mg/day and complexion improved but still very anxious, 100mg complexion better still and anxiety noticably improved (but still not as good as before). I'm still experimenting but I'm fmore or less certain that that B6 is an important part of the picture for me. Mg and Zn are cofactors for pyridoxal kinase so they're worth trying, I've also tried Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate, the active form of B6 (thus skipping pyridoxal kinase) which for me has much the same effect as B6 (suggesting I don't have a problem with pyridoxal kinase or conversion in general).

Vitamin C is known to reduce anxiety, but I figure it was probably upregulating some process possibly related to the high doses of vitamns I was taking as it certainly doesn't have the same effect long term by itself.

On the gout, research indicated a few things that may be important. (1) uric acid (which causes gout) will come out of solution and crystalise (causing the gout) far mor ereadily in acid conditions. Further, vitamin C is known to cause the release of uric acid, long term this helps reduce gout but in short bursts this can cause gout to occur. Whatever it was that was built is clearly gone now as I've not experienced the same symptoms in subsequent VitC megadoses. Maybe the uric acid was reducing anxiety?!

Vitamin K is a new angle for me but the glutamate connection interests me. Will look into it further for sure.



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06 Dec 2010, 6:14 pm

Vitamin C reduces anxiety? I can't have too much or I get sick, like aching stomach, sometimes breathing problems sick. I also just can't take the vitamin supplement. No wonder I'm always very anxious.
I try to have a lot of vitamin K but because I have low blood sugar when I get hungry I grab whatever is available. Last time it was party food and minutes later I did have a meltdown. Probably the first one I couldn't keep internal for the first time in years.
I really want to decrease my symptoms so I'm going to try to change my diet. I love avocados so I know what I'm having for lunch.


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06 Dec 2010, 6:19 pm

Interesting thread. Thanks. A lot to read though, I'll be taking it in stages :lol:


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zippy-tri
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17 Jun 2011, 4:35 am

very interesting, I'm going to read again tomorrow so I can take it all in.

Alfalfa sprouts are a good source of vitamin k, and have b6, magnesium. I crave them when I'm feeling tired and grumpy.



Ilan
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26 Jan 2013, 2:45 pm

I saw the same good effects of the vitamin K on the mood, now i take a supplement everydays.



eric76
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27 Jan 2013, 10:07 pm

cosmiccat wrote:
I love spinach and wouldn't mind eating it everyday.


All the grocery stores around here carry is either the canned spinach or frozen spinach. Nobody carries fresh spinach at all.



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27 Jan 2013, 10:55 pm

I used to have anxiety for years before I started taking vitamin b-6. After I started taking vitamin b-6 I did have less anxiety but I would still get panic attacks from time to time and sometimes I would be paranoid (which is clearly related to anxiety). I didn't really do any research at the time about nutrition, vitamins, etc. After a while I decided to do heavy research on vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and nutrition in general. It turns out that vitamin b-6 assists in serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and a positive mood.

So after finding that out, I then found out about 5-HTP which is a precursor to serotonin. I bought some 5-HTP from the local supermarket, started taking it, and found that it made a HUGE difference in my anxiety levels. For example, I would no longer have any fear when talking to new people. I used to have a distinct feeling of anxiety when I encountered new social situations (a bad feeling in my stomach is how I would describe it). I no longer have that feeling and I'm very comfortable in new social situations now. So to the OP, I'm guessing vitamin B-6 also helped to raise your serotonin level somewhat which may have also decreased your anxiety levels.

Other things I do which also help with anxiety (I do these things so I don't have to take 5-HTP all the time):

1) no fast food / soft drinks (I read somewhere that soft drinks are linked to depression)
2) no caffeinated products (except green tea once in a while)
3) lots of vegetables and fruit
4) weight lifting (this makes me eat more, so I guess it helps in being able to eat a lot of vegetables in the process getting more vitamin K)