Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 31, 2008

Methionine – Allergy Fighter

Claims for methionine in medicine were initiated by Adelle Davis (1970), who suggested that methionine was deficient in toxemia of pregnancy, childhood rheumatic fever and hair loss. Today, we see a more defined role for methionine as a treatment for some forms of depression, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.

Methionine is one of the essential amino acids needed by humans and higher animals; bacteria can make it from aspartic acid. Some methionine may be absorbed from the bacteria of the gut flora under starvation conditions. The average human needs about 10 mg/kg of methionine and cysteine or as much as 700 mg a day of methionine. This minimal daily requirement is significantly less than the optimal need for methionine.

Methionine-deficient diets in experimental animals result in impaired growth and elevated blood spermidine. Normal methionine metabolism depends on the utilization of folic acid which can be elevated in the serum of methionine deficient patients. Some foods are rich in methionine. A cup of low-fat cottage cheese can contain up to a gram of methionine. Most cheeses contain 100 to 200 mg per ounce.

Methionine supplements lower blood histamine by increasing the breakdown of histamine. It is also a useful treatment for copper poisoning and for lowering serum copper. Methionine’s three major metabolic roles are as methyl and sulfur donor and a precursor to other sulfur amino acids such as cysteine and taurine.

Methionine supplementation is unusual because the D, L form is probably more effective than just the L form. This is probably due to D-L salt formation. Methionine is well absorbed in the brain where it is converted into SAM, which can increase adrenalin-like neurotransmitters in the brain. Methionine, the methyl donor, may produce active brain stimulants and degrade blood histamine. Methionine supplementation has been particularly useful in depressing the high histamine type (histadelia). It has been found to be more effective than MAO inhibitors in depression.

Methionine is a useful adjunct therapy in some cases of Parkinson’s disease, because it can stimulate the production of dopa. Methionine may be of value in acrodermatitis enteropathica, a rare disease of zinc deficiency. Methionine, like other sulfur amino acids, protects against the effects of radiation.

Methionine supplementation may help patients with heroin addiction, who often are unusually high in histamine and have a low pain threshold. Detoxification and withdrawal from barbiturates or amphetamines may also be assisted by methionine. Methionine may be useful for patients with chronic pain and is thought to lower blood cholesterol.

At present, we use methionine for patients with high blood histamine, depression, high copper, high cholesterol and chronic pain, allergies and asthma. Measurement of plasma levels is useful for guiding therapy. Doses of 1 to 2 g of methionine can raise plasma methionine levels 2 to 4 times above normal.

There are usually small elevations in other amino acids. We have had one case where taurine levels were raised as high as the methionine levels and other cases where taurine was not significantly elevated. Elevated levels of taurine, a methionine metabolite, are a hidden benefit of methionine therapy. These elevations may be the basis of methionine’s therapeutic effects.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 31, 2008

So now I discover a link between SAM-e and melatonin.

SAM-e Is Necessary for Melatonin

One of the most exciting things about SAMe is that it is melatonin’s daytime equivalent. The natural synthesis of melatonin during the night is dependent on the synthesis of SAMe during the day. SAMe is necessary for the biochemical reaction that converts serotonin into melatonin. (Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that drugs like Prozac elevate). SAMe and melatonin are entwined in a circadian rhythm that see-saws back and forth as the sun rises and sets. SAMe is melatonin’s other half: when melatonin levels shoot up at night, SAMe stays low. But during the day, when melatonin falls, SAMe levels climb. Without adequate SAMe during the day, neither melatonin nor serotonin can be synthesized. And both are dependent on light and dark.

One of the most fascinating animal studies on SAMe and melatonin was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry in 1995. Researchers demonstrated in great detail the perfect orchestration that occurs between levels of SAMe and melatonin. The so-called “nyctohemeral” rhythm (pertaining to both day and night) was documented almost minute-by-minute. Data were translated onto graphs showing the see-saw relationship between melatonin and SAMe (Fig. 1).

Both melatonin and SAMe are controlled by an internal “clock” that knows lightness from darkness. In the evening, about 30 minutes before sunset, levels of SAMe shoot up to their highest level. They stay there for about an hour, and then suddenly drop. When this happens, melatonin kicks in. Melatonin increases for four hours, while SAMe drops. Five hours into the night, melatonin hits its high, and SAMe hits its low. Melatonin stays elevated until three hours before sunrise, when it abruptly falls. Meanwhile, SAMe builds up. Five hours into the day (around 11:00 A.M.), SAMe reaches its peak level again, then begins a gradual descent until evening.

Serotonin levels follow roughly the same pattern-higher during the day and lower at night. It appears that the serotonin synthesized during the day is used at night to make melatonin. SAMe is absolutely crucial for the natural synthesis of melatonin because it donates a methyl group molecule to the enzyme that converts the acetylated form of serotonin to melatonin.

Melatonin is not traditionally though of as a hormone that effects mood, but it does. When melatonin levels are low, you tend to wake in the wee hours in a panicked state, even if things may be generally okay in your life. You will wake fearing the worst about the least important things or feeling depressed for no real reason. Melatonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan, which also makes serotonin. It’s production in the brain requires methionine and SAMe.

What a fantastic article. Off to the health food store looking for SAM-e!

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 31, 2008

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about lecithin and methionine lately and I came aross something called s-adenosyl methionine with a link to the adrenals and how it can be effected by methionine and riboflavin deficiencies. This sounds all too familiar…

Methionine is also used by the body to manufacture SAMe, also known as S-adenosyl-methionine or S-adenosyl-L-methionine. SAMe is found in every cell in the body. SAMe has been shown to be effective as a treatment for osteoarthritis and associated joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

It is important to note that dietary supplements of methionine do not appear to elevate SAM-e levels or have the same effect on mood states found with SAM-e. Doses of 200-600 mg per day may be effective in elevating mood and treating mild depression.

Highest concentration of SAM in body (in order):
1) Adrenal gland
2) Pineal gland

“Deficiencies of any of the active coenzyme forms of vitamins B2, B6, B12 and folic acid will disrupt SAMe production, and conversely diminished SAMe production will impair conversion of folic acid and B12 to their coenzyme forms.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment


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