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Supplementary GABA makes you stupid?

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#1 Protagonist

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 07:17 PM


Hi all,

I've been reading rumors online that supplementary GABA can cause a decrease in IQ as a long-term side effect.

http://www.amazon.co...f=cm_cr_rdp_pdp
http://docwellness.w...daily-gaba-use/

Neither of these sources looks very good, but I greatly value my thinking ability, so I thought I'd check with you guys to see if you thought the claims had any credibility.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, right? So it makes sense that it would slow your thinking in the short term... but it doesn't seem obvious that that effect would persist once all of the GABA was "used up".

Also, if supplemental GABA is dangerous, what about substances like L-Theanine that increase brain GABA levels? And L-theanine is found in green tea, so does green tea make you stupid?

Just trying to figure out if there's something I'm missing here...

#2 renfr

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:51 AM

I'm not sure GABA crosses the BBB but yes GABA agonists especially benzos make you terribly dumb.


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#3 bobz1lla

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

Supplements... not sure how GABA is manufactured and if it has long-term effects you describe.



According to Dr. Braverman, author of "The Edge Effect: Achieve Total Health and Longevity with the Balanced Brain Advantage," the following foods are high in glutamic acid/glutamate (forms glutamine, precursor to GABA):

* Almonds, tree nuts
* Bananas
* Beef Liver
* Broccoli
* Brown Rice
* Halibut
* Lentils
* Oats, whole grain
* Oranges, citrus fruits
* Rice bran
* Spinach
* Walnuts
* Whole wheat, whole grains.


So highly doubtful all of these foods are going to decrease IQ long term.

Edited by bobz1lla, 17 March 2013 - 02:22 PM.


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#4 renfr

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

Glutamate also stimulates mglur AMPA kainate and NMDA receptors which are excitatory, glutamine is double sided as it can be transformed into glutamate or GABA

#5 Protagonist

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:43 AM

Well, some of it is going to get transformed in to GABA, right? But not in the quantities that a GABA supplement has.

I looked on Wikipedia, and it doesn't seem like benzos are simply a GABA agonist. (http://en.wikipedia....anism_of_action) Instead, it looks like they change the GABA receptors and make them more sensitive to GABA:

Once bound to the benzodiazepine receptor, the benzodiazepine ligand locks the benzodiazepine receptor into a conformation in which it has a greater affinity for the GABA neurotransmitter. This increases the frequency of the opening of the associated chloride ion channel and hyperpolarizes the membrane of the associated neuron. The inhibitory effect of the available GABA is potentiated, leading to sedatory and anxiolytic effects.


Furthermore, one doctor speculates that brain impairments from benzos are due to changes at this receptor (http://en.wikipedia....age_speculation):

Professor Ashton, a leading expert on benzodiazepines from Newcastle University Institute of Neuroscience, has stated that there is no structural damage from benzodiazepines, and advocates for further research into long-lasting or possibly permanent symptoms of long-term use of benzodiazepines as of 1996.[69] She has stated that she believes that the most likely explanation for lasting symptoms is persisting but slowly resolving functional changes at the GABAA benzodiazepine receptor level.


It looks like alcohol might also improve the sensitivity of the GABA receptor: http://en.wikipedia...._nervous_system

My intuition is that taking GABA would do less brain damage than drinking alcohol, since you're activating the receptor normally, not actually changing its sensitivity. But I'd love to hear what you guys think. Alcohol DOES cause brain damage when abused, of course. GABA is not mentioned on this page: http://en.wikipedia....ol_on_the_brain but a few sources say that benzos may cause brain damage in a way that's similar to alcohol, so there's that.

#6 renfr

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:54 AM

No benzos doesnt make you more sensitive, on the contrary they make you less sensitive to GABA, wikipedia just says their binding affinity is increased which means potency increases each time you take it again.
It will just makes the same dose more effective.
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#7 withdrawn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:45 PM

Does the amino acid glycine play any sort of role regarding GABA? I feel like I have mentally deteriorated ever since taking copious amounts of magnesium glycinate for a very long duration (on a daily basis). My IQ feels as though it has lowered heavily, and I just do no have the will to think about anything or even want to think about anything.

#8 Thorsten2

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

Supplements... not sure how GABA is manufactured and if it has long-term effects you describe.



According to Dr. Braverman, author of "The Edge Effect: Achieve Total Health and Longevity with the Balanced Brain Advantage," the following foods are high in glutamic acid/glutamate (forms glutamine, precursor to GABA):

* Almonds, tree nuts
* Bananas
* Beef Liver
* Broccoli
* Brown Rice
* Halibut
* Lentils
* Oats, whole grain
* Oranges, citrus fruits
* Rice bran
* Spinach
* Walnuts
* Whole wheat, whole grains.


So highly doubtful all of these foods are going to decrease IQ long term.



GABA supplementation is a bit different to eating foods. Foods also contain many other things (including other amino acids - which compete with each other). Eating those foods and thinking that you're higher in GABA is viewing the situation a bit simplistically, in my opinion.

I disagree with Dr Braverman and would say that the foods listed just do a good job at stabalizing your blood sugar levels, resulting in calmer moods andf less dips. I notice it myself with these slow sugar releasing foods. Think about how crabby you can get when you don't eat. But you can eradicate issues with blood sugar anyway just by eating more sensibly. Eating more protein and getting rid of sugar is going to help a lot.

The body is always trying to get into equilibrium, and homeostasis. Foods high in glutamic acid will be turned into GABA and glutamate, depending on the need of your body. One or too much of the other is not going to feel nice. So taking GABA, as a supplement, is probably going to upset a balance somewhere.

With GABA supplementation, you're dumping 500mg into your blood stream, unopposed (nothing competeting with it, other than what's already in your blood stream). Whether it gets through the BBB or not, it is going to have some effect on the body - physically, mentally or both.

The OP would be better of supplementing with glutamic acid or L-glutamate, rather than GABA. Let your body decide how much gets turned into glutamate or GABA.

Or, try something like picamilon. That's a 'GABA+niacin' agent that is advertized as a nootropic, and a potent vasodialator (possibly responsible for its nootropic effects). I've taken it and it does have cognitively beneficial effects. It's just not all that strong (in comparison to other GABAergics) and your body soon gets used to it - hence, needs to be cycled regularly.

Edited by Thorsten2, 30 May 2013 - 02:44 PM.


#9 Thorsten2

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:49 PM

Does the amino acid glycine play any sort of role regarding GABA? I feel like I have mentally deteriorated ever since taking copious amounts of magnesium glycinate for a very long duration (on a daily basis). My IQ feels as though it has lowered heavily, and I just do no have the will to think about anything or even want to think about anything.


Glycine is a used by the body to activate the NMDA receptor, forcing release of glutamte (as long as other co-factors are present). So, it's going to have the opposite effect than turning you into a vegetable.

Your mental deterioration could be down to anything. Maybe you're taking too much of the supplement? Maybe your body, doesn't need it? Maybe there are things going on in your life that are causing stress? It could be down to many things. You're not depressed are you? Stress will screw your cognitive capabilities, big time.

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#10 renfr

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.

#11 withdrawn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:27 PM

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.



Honestly.. That is what I have been thinking lately.. that I have become retarded. No joke.

:/

Is there anything I can do to reverse this? Any supplements I could take to counteract the damage that might have already been caused? I have been taking glycine and magnesium glycinate for the past 2 years, and whilst it helped tremendously with insomnia/anxiety, the cost and expense has been my intellect.

My attention span is practically zero - and I'm in a contact state of brain fog. It feels like such a chore to even think, or even concentrate on mentally challenging tasks. Something of which in the past, I use to thoroughly enjoy doing. I use to be such a deep thinking articulate person, but now I just feel completely shallow and mindless.

#12 chung_pao

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:00 PM

Supplemental GABA definitely makes me dumber for the duration it lasts. That's why I only use it to fall asleep or relax.
But, is it possible that it could downregulate the GABA receptors?

#13 Deckah

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:24 AM

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.



Hmm. First time hearing about this.

I'm currently taking magnesium glycinate @ night which contains around: 1g of glycine for my serving
Also taking 10g of gelatin @ night which contains around: 2-2.1g of glycine
For a total of around: 3-3.1g glycine and not including what I get from my diet (+ a whey shake).

Ive only started the mag glycine for the last month.

Is there an upper limit of glycine intake that people should steer clear of?

#14 withdrawn

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:58 AM

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.



Hmm. First time hearing about this.

I'm currently taking magnesium glycinate @ night which contains around: 1g of glycine for my serving
Also taking 10g of gelatin @ night which contains around: 2-2.1g of glycine
For a total of around: 3-3.1g glycine and not including what I get from my diet (+ a whey shake).

Ive only started the mag glycine for the last month.

Is there an upper limit of glycine intake that people should steer clear of?




I think, from my own personal experience, it may be wise to take a break from it every other month. I made the mistake in consistently taking it on a nightly basis for a few years. I took magnesium glycinate, Zinc glycinate, and glycine amino acid. This did not include all the glycine I may have also been consuming via my diet and protein powders.

The problem is, I am not going to lie to you, I find a tremendous relief from glycine for its intended purpose, that was in helping me relax and fall asleep. But unfortunately It seems as though I have suffered from a side effect from it's use (misuse?).

#15 withdrawn

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:07 AM

The other problem is,I am a supplement addict. I have two whole cupboards full of supplements, and I use to take a whole cocktail of supplements on a basis, which included herbs, fruit extracts, green powders, spice extracts, amino acids and flavones and polyphenols etc.

It could have been any number of these supplements that contributed to me feeling that my intelligence has declined. I'm making the assumption that it is related to glycine due to the fact that it's the only supplement I have taken religiously, nightly, for years.

I went through a supplement detox and ceased taking all supplements - except for glycine (magnesium, zinc and glycine amino acid). Then I noticed a more profound effect.. slurred speech, memory decline, loss of motivation, loss of thinking capabilities, decreased attention span etc. My evidence is only anecdotal, and it may have affected me differently than say, how it may effect you, as everybody's compositions are different.

But I think it would be wise to either take a break every other month, or maybe take it a handful of times per week instead of daily/nightly, just to be on the safe side.

I should have learnt about supplement cycling years ago!

#16 withdrawn

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:47 AM

Does anybody know of a way to reverse GABA/GLYCINE abuse regarding the receptors?

#17 withdrawn

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:07 AM

Do any of you think that maybe trying some natural GABA antagonists may help?

#18 renfr

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:50 AM

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.



Honestly.. That is what I have been thinking lately.. that I have become retarded. No joke.

:/

Is there anything I can do to reverse this? Any supplements I could take to counteract the damage that might have already been caused? I have been taking glycine and magnesium glycinate for the past 2 years, and whilst it helped tremendously with insomnia/anxiety, the cost and expense has been my intellect.

My attention span is practically zero - and I'm in a contact state of brain fog. It feels like such a chore to even think, or even concentrate on mentally challenging tasks. Something of which in the past, I use to thoroughly enjoy doing. I use to be such a deep thinking articulate person, but now I just feel completely shallow and mindless.

I don't know if damage is permanent, at least it's permanent for those who have congenital glycine encephalopathy.
I would suggest that you check your blood levels of ammonia to see if that's really the problem and that you reduce your protein intake because protein causes ammonia and this might slow down recovery.
Ask a physician to do an ammonia test, a liver test as well, how much glycine exactly did you take? Unless you have poor functioning kidneys you should be able to excrete excess ammonia quite fastly.
What makes you think this is necessarily the glycine? Is this the only supplement you took? How was your alcohol consumption during the year? Any changes in lifestyle and diet (high protein diet?)?
Here's a page about what you think is your problem : http://en.wikipedia..../Hyperammonemia

. Dietary protein (a source of ammonium) is restricted and caloric intake is provided by glucose and fat.

There's no OTC solution, at least I'll keep searching and tell you if I find one, what I can think of immediatly is NAC to flush out your liver.

I've personally taken glycine several times but never constantly everyday for months or even weeks and never took more than 5g. (usually not more than 3g)

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.



Hmm. First time hearing about this.

I'm currently taking magnesium glycinate @ night which contains around: 1g of glycine for my serving
Also taking 10g of gelatin @ night which contains around: 2-2.1g of glycine
For a total of around: 3-3.1g glycine and not including what I get from my diet (+ a whey shake).

Ive only started the mag glycine for the last month.

Is there an upper limit of glycine intake that people should steer clear of?

To be on the safe side, not more than 500mg or 1g of glycine, remember that if you eat a lot of protein you'll make your ammonia levels go up, also don't combine such amounts with foods high in glycine : http://nutritiondata...0000000000.html

The other problem is,I am a supplement addict. I have two whole cupboards full of supplements, and I use to take a whole cocktail of supplements on a basis, which included herbs, fruit extracts, green powders, spice extracts, amino acids and flavones and polyphenols etc.

It could have been any number of these supplements that contributed to me feeling that my intelligence has declined. I'm making the assumption that it is related to glycine due to the fact that it's the only supplement I have taken religiously, nightly, for years.

I went through a supplement detox and ceased taking all supplements - except for glycine (magnesium, zinc and glycine amino acid). Then I noticed a more profound effect.. slurred speech, memory decline, loss of motivation, loss of thinking capabilities, decreased attention span etc. My evidence is only anecdotal, and it may have affected me differently than say, how it may effect you, as everybody's compositions are different.

But I think it would be wise to either take a break every other month, or maybe take it a handful of times per week instead of daily/nightly, just to be on the safe side.

I should have learnt about supplement cycling years ago!

So you took a lot of amino acids? That could be the reason of your problem.
Take a break from the glycine and switch your magnesium glycinate to magnesium citrate which is the most bioavailable and potent form of magnesium/

#19 renfr

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:18 AM

So I've found something interesting there : Taurine rescues hippocampal LTP from ammonia induced-impairment

Ammonia-treated slices displayed a significant impairment of LTP maintenance. Taurine and the mitochondrial enhancer l-carnitine, but not the antioxidants (ascorbate, carnosine, and the novel compound GVS-111) or the osmolyte betaine prevented this impairment. The protective effect of taurine was preserved under the blockade of inhibitory GABA(A) and glycine receptors. It is suggested that taurine may rescue the mechanisms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by improving mitochondrial function under hyperammonemic conditions.

Note : GVS-111 is Noopept
So it seems so far that a combination of Taurine, L-carnitine could be a good thing.

Another study confirms that : http://www.sciencedi...014299903016674

You can buy Taurine in bulk on MyProtein, they're doing a promotion now, I was going to buy from them and that's why I happened to search if it interferes with ammonia : http://www.myprotein...e/10530303.html

#20 withdrawn

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:57 AM

Renfr, that you for that information. I have looked into a possible ammonia connection, and am still uncertain concerning whether my symptoms could be related to ammonia. I have been on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for over 13 years.. But from my understanding, L-ornithine is used to expel excess ammonia, and this is a supplement I have consistently used on an on and off basis for quite some time.

The reason I feel this is in relation to glycine is because glycine, magnesium glycinate and zinc glycinate are the three supplements i have consistently taken on a daily basis for almost 3 years (if i can recall).

Initially, the effects I received from supplementing with these were life changing. My sleep improved six fold, and my immune system felt bolstered.

The glycine/magnesium glycine brought my mood to an even keel and mellowed everything out for me. It felt like certain emotions I use to once feel, became numb. Past experiences (traumatic) and memories started to diminish and I felt they did not seem to concern me as much as they had done before. This was initially fantastic, because I always had the tendency to ruminate, but then, within the last year, I noticed other changes.

The only way I can describe this is that, from being a very deep thinking philosophical individual who once had bags and bags of attention and interest in reading. creativity pursuits, and a memory that had so much depth and intrinsic detailing, i have become a vegetable! a shallow vegetable at that.

I feel like i've become dumbed down. Like my IQ has lowered drastically and my memory is diminishing. I'd read an excerpt of information only to forget what I had read 20 minutes later. This never use to be the case. I use to be a sponge that would absorb and recall everything and anything.

I never first felt it was related to any of the supplements I was taking, and I thought that maybe it may just be the fact that I've reached the age of 30 and maybe this was just a naturalprogression of a declined attention span and memory due to age (age related cognitive decline), but half way through last year, I really started having difficulty with slurred speech, memory black outs, and my vocabulary and recall of words literally diminished by about 90%.

This just does not feel right.

I have ceased using glycine in all forms, but am now trying to find relevant information about how to reverse these effects (if possible at all).

#21 renfr

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:45 PM

Even a drug that causes ammonia excretion might not be efficient enough to c

#22 renfr

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:56 PM

Even a drug that causes ammonia excretion might not be efficient enough to counter hyperammonia.
It might have worked for a single use but you used these drugs for like two years, chronic high levels of ammonia are worse than acute ammonia poisoning.
Apart from that, have you made significant changes to your lifestyle, diet?
You seem to describe brain fog,this could be caused by bad blood sugar regulation, if we link that to glycine it might be an option, glycine causes insulin release.
Try fasting or doing a session of moderate exercise and see if your abilities return, I don't think you have permanent brain damage.


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#23 blood

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 08:22 AM

The other problem is,I am a supplement addict. I have two whole cupboards full of supplements, and I use to take a whole cocktail of supplements on a basis, which included herbs, fruit extracts, green powders, spice extracts, amino acids and flavones and polyphenols etc.

It could have been any number of these supplements that contributed to me feeling that my intelligence has declined...



Any one of those "whole herbs" - presumably obtained from China where standards are patchy - may have been contaminated with any number of harmful substances. Even things you can buy in a first world pharmacy or health food shop - multivitamins containing copper for example - may contribute to accelerated cognitive decline. Could you be experiencing heavy metal poisoning? That seems less of a long shot than glycine-induced neurotoxicity.

Melatonin protects against the oxidative damage that occurs when neurons are exposed to excess glycine (in mice cortex... in a test tube...) but who knows if glycine from a magnesium glycerinate supplement is really the source of your problems? If the problem is as serious as you describe, surely you must visit a doctor and discuss your concerns?

Edited by blood, 17 November 2013 - 08:39 AM.


#24 YoungSchizo

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:58 PM

Supplementing GABA does not make you stupid, supplementing GABA is stupid, it doesn't cross the BBB. :P
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#25 Terrybear

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 09:07 AM

Supplementing GABA does not make you stupid, supplementing GABA is stupid, it doesn't cross the BBB. :P

lol yes you are right ;) if u want more GABA in your brain take Glutamine with vitamin B6! But not if you have any public speaking or social events coming up..it's very chilling ;)
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#26 Nobility

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:13 AM

Supplements... not sure how GABA is manufactured and if it has long-term effects you describe.



According to Dr. Braverman, author of "The Edge Effect: Achieve Total Health and Longevity with the Balanced Brain Advantage," the following foods are high in glutamic acid/glutamate (forms glutamine, precursor to GABA):

* Almonds, tree nuts
* Bananas
* Beef Liver
* Broccoli
* Brown Rice
* Halibut
* Lentils
* Oats, whole grain
* Oranges, citrus fruits
* Rice bran
* Spinach
* Walnuts
* Whole wheat, whole grains.


So highly doubtful all of these foods are going to decrease IQ long term.


What he is trying to say is benzo's make you dumb.

Do any of you think that maybe trying some natural GABA antagonists may help?


Exercise, Extreme healthy diet,At least 11 hours of sleep, no masterbation , no chronic stress , no tv/pc/etc(entertainment) for more than 2 hours,

all that and your set.
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#27 withdrawn

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:10 PM

The other problem is,I am a supplement addict. I have two whole cupboards full of supplements, and I use to take a whole cocktail of supplements on a basis, which included herbs, fruit extracts, green powders, spice extracts, amino acids and flavones and polyphenols etc.

It could have been any number of these supplements that contributed to me feeling that my intelligence has declined...



Any one of those "whole herbs" - presumably obtained from China where standards are patchy - may have been contaminated with any number of harmful substances. Even things you can buy in a first world pharmacy or health food shop - multivitamins containing copper for example - may contribute to accelerated cognitive decline. Could you be experiencing heavy metal poisoning? That seems less of a long shot than glycine-induced neurotoxicity.

Melatonin protects against the oxidative damage that occurs when neurons are exposed to excess glycine (in mice cortex... in a test tube...) but who knows if glycine from a magnesium glycerinate supplement is really the source of your problems? If the problem is as serious as you describe, surely you must visit a doctor and discuss your concerns?



I found the cause..:

http://www.longecity...nitive-decline/

your input would be greatly appreciated
http://www.longecity...nitive-decline/

#28 iseethelight

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:49 AM

Glycine in high doses can cause mental retardation.
There's a congenital disease in which there is hyperglycinemia and people with this have encelopathy with mental retardation.
Glycine is a co agonist of NMDA, too much NMDA can cause glutamate excitotoxicity which causes neuronal death.

 

I cannot do any heavy mental activities when when i take glycine. I can't focus, feels like excess glutamate or something. It's a shame because it has some other good effects.



#29 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:15 PM

Glutamate also stimulates mglur AMPA kainate and NMDA receptors which are excitatory, glutamine is double sided as it can be transformed into glutamate or GABA

Glutamate directly metabolizes to gaba via one enzyme.

 



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#30 gamesguru

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:44 AM

even if they don't cause damage alcohol and molly will forever be to my mind dumb people drugs.  they discourage introspection and curiosity.  so basically, yeah, gaba is for dumb people who want to get dumber, like my friend's mom who grew like pure CBN weed, took skunk cabbage tinctures for her MS, and tons of other crap.  she was a walking science experiment i swear

 

if youre meditative and want to get even more meditative then theanine is somewhat of an exception, because it modulates gaba both ways and has diverse effects on dopamine & serotonin.  and i wouldn't bother with a milligram scale and theanine powder, most quality green teas are well-standardized


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