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Posted by sapphire101 (Member # 6638) on :
Is L-Glutamine bad to take for someone that has seizures? Seems I read that on here somewhere.

My dr in DC prescribed it for me but I'm hesitant to take it. I just need to know for sure that it's OK to take with the seizures.

I don't need to add to the problem for sure. They have really helped the seizures though. I'm just getting ready to get started on abx again.

Was supposed to get a port today but hubby was sick so had to postpone. I'm really dreading starting this all again but I'm in worse shape than I've been in the 20 years I've been sick.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I want to try to do what the dr says and I'm trying really hard. Gluten free isn't easy and I mess up some but go right back at it.

I'm confused a little too because they said low sugar but not no sugar and that's all I've ever heard was none.

Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
My opinion:

L-Glutamine powder should NOT be taken by anyone with seizures. Ever. Also, anyone with anxiety or nerve irritation should avoid it.

I've had many very intense seizures from trying this - even in small amounts - it substantially lowers the seizure threshold.

I don't think any lyme patient should be taking it, either. Maybe in small amounts, balanced as part of an larger formula, but never as a single supplement or in high numbers even in a formula with other ingredients.

Lyme patients' neurological issues are far too serious to risk adding to that. An article in the next post explains more, in general.

My ND had suggested it to help with gut issues (but she has no other lyme patients so my reaction is very different from her other patients). I tried it many times over a couple years, actually. It took several times before I made the connection and research confirms my experiences with that.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
L-Glutamine is often suggested to help heal damaged stomach tissue. However, for those with lyme, be very careful with L-Glutamine.

In TINY amounts, L-Glutamine can help. However, I would first try all the other things. Lyme patients can be too sensitive to L-Glutamine.

L-Glutamine caused some very intense seizures for me - every time I tried it. It took 3 such instances to connect the dots but - even at a very low dose, L-Glutamine significantly lowered the seizure threshold and caused much more severe seizures, each requiring at least a month of recovery time before I could even really talk again.

I wish I had seen the article below beforehand. I could have prevented brain damage.

Therefore, since lyme patients frequently are more susceptible to seizures, it's best to avoid L-Glutamine supplements. We get some in our food (and we do need some) but extra is just too risky for a compromised brain that is already very toxic and irritated.

If nothing else works, you might try a very tiny amount - with Slippery Elm bark. L-Glutamine can help with the stomach lining but be careful if anxiety or central nervous system irritation occur.

Anyone with a seizure disorder - or myoclonus of any degree - should avoid this (as as sole supplement), unless in small amounts as part of a balanced formula. As seizures are not uncommon with lyme, it's just best not to do anything that can make the brain any more irritated than it already is.

Glutamine converts to glutamic acid in the brain and that can create further toxicity & irritation to brain/nerve cells for those with neurological illness and a compromised blood brain barrier (as with lyme):


AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENTS I: GLUTAMINE - with Reference to the Related Compound Glutamate

-by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D.

Excerpt, half way down the article:

. . . Glutamate in Neurological Diseases

The other concern about glutamate is related to its essential role as a neurotransmitter. The levels of glutamate in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) are highly regulated, since the neurons have sensitive receptors for the compound.

* In some neurological diseases, it is found that glutamate levels in the central nervous system become unusually high at sites of pathology. This can occur, for example, if the rate of degradation of glutamate is slowed by an impairment of the enzymes that are involved.

* Also, glutamate is excreted by immune cells that take part in inflammatory processes; the result is high local concentrations at the neurons in progressive neurological diseases such as MS and ALS.

* Glutamate levels in the central nervous system can also increase when the blood brain barrier is substantially weakened, as occurs after neurological surgery.

* The excess glutamate at the neuron acts as a poison; at high enough levels, the nerves exposed to glutamate can be completely and permanently damaged, so that they are no longer capable of transmitting signals.

* Thus, while glutamate is a major component of the body, and an essential part of the nervous system, high levels localized in the nerve cells can be quite toxic, and this is readily demonstrated in animal models.

* Laboratory research has revealed that in the progressive, debilitating disease ALS, one of the many processes involved in disease progression appears to be damage of nerve cells by accumulation of glutamate.

* In relation to multiple sclerosis, changes in control of glutamate homeostasis in the central nervous system might contribute to demyelination of the white matter of the brain (19).

Based on preliminary animal studies, it has been suggested that glutamate dumped by immune cells can exacerbate the nerve damage (20).

* One of the means by which a stroke (causing blockage of blood circulation to the brain) results in brain damage is through an increase in glutamate levels in the brain cells (of course, oxygen deprivation and other effects are also contributors). These findings point to local glutamate excess as an important factor in brain diseases.

* Since glutamine is converted to glutamate, supplementing glutamine at very high levels in persons who have such neurological disorders may be contraindicated.

. . . .

- Full article at link above.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
To help with stomach issues:

DGL, Slippery Elm, (from the plant, not the fluffy confection) Marshmallow Root. And Gum Mastic.

For extreme stomach lining or "Leaky Gut" -- If all these are not enough, try adding just a tiny bit of L-Glutamine powder to a Slippery Elm gruel (mix with warm water for a thick paste). See how you do.

** Taurine and Magnesium can help balance out the effects so always consider adding those if you take even a little L-Glutamine.**

A gluten-free diet is also very helpful. Avoid carbonated water. Avoid caffeine.


DGL is Deglycyrrhizinated licorice

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, also known as de-glycyrrhizinated licorice, or commonly referred to by the acronym DGL, is typically used as an herbal supplement in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers. It is made from licorice from which the glycyrrhizin has been removed.

The usual dosage is 760 mg, chewed, 20 minutes before a meal. Studies of DGL in humans and animals against placebos showed that DGL significantly reduced the size of gastric ulcers and hastened healing, with 44% of the subjects obtaining complete healing, as opposed to 6% of the control group.

DGL has also been found to be an effective treatment for duodenal ulcers. In another study a group of 40 patients who had duodenal ulcers for 4-12 years were treated with 3 grams of DGL a day for 8 weeks, or 4.5 grams a day for 12 weeks, with all subjects showing vast improvement, with the higher dosage being the most significant.

An additional study shows that DGL's therapeutic effect is equal to the effect of cimetidine (Tagamet). . . .

. . . There are no known drug interactions with drugs used to treat ulcers. In Europe, South Africa, and Canada, DGL is marketed in a medicinal preparation called Caved-S. In the U.S., DGL is marketed as a herbal supplement.

DGL has also been reported to help treat aphthous ulcers (canker sores).[1]


Gastrointestinal Support: Proactive Steps to Strengthen GI Health -- By Chris D. Meletis, ND

Article at link.


PubMed Search:

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice - 17 abstracts


From The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook (Tillotson) Home:

LICORICE ROOT (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

WHAT IT DOES: Licorice root is sweet in taste and cooling in action. It detoxifies poisons from the blood and liver, and reduces general inflammation and pain.

It moistens and heals the lungs and digestive tract.


. . . Almost 50 years ago, a scientist by the name of Revers reported that licorice paste reduced abdominal symptoms and caused radiographic evidence of ulcer healing.

However, about 20% of patients developed edema, headache and other symptoms due to overdose, leading to a loss of enthusiasm (Schambelan, 1994).

This led to the development of DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), a form of licorice that does not contain the agents responsible for the side effects such as electrolyte changes.

The de-acidified DGL tablet or capsule form used in Europe and America is therefore devoid of any major side effects, and is effective for healing the intestinal membranes. . . .

- Full chapter at link above.


Just is just one of several similar products out there. DGL has saved the life of my stomach and can stop reflux within a minute.


Articles Search results for DGL



DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract) 300 mg

Gum Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus resin extract 4:1) 150 mg


A list of various brands of DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice) - many are chewable so they will soothe the esophagus and cool reflux.


Hidden Sources Of GLUTEN


If CANDIDA is causing the pain, in addition to PROBIOTICS, I have found OLE (Olive Leaf Extract) to be fabulous to help heal the gut from fungal issues.

[ 09-20-2010, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
You also said that you are "confused a little too because they said low sugar but not no sugar and that's all I've ever heard was none. "

That's another whole topic and many disagree here. Our brain and every cell of our bodies need sugars (carbohydrates) from good food. The liver also needs carbohydrates to help keep toxins down. Beta Carotene rich vegetables are required.

Avoid: No REFINED sugars. No SIMPLE Carbohydrates. No Flours, no processed foods.

Enjoy: WHOLE foods. COMPLEX Carbs. Foods from as close to the earth as you can get (but do cook your meat and steam your veggies just until the color pops.)


About every other week, someone posts that they are trying to go "no carbs" - but feel weak from it. Whether by too strict of a definition or whatever, "no carbs" can be dangerous. Vegetables of all types are carbs.

We NEED carbohydrates to live, brain tissue, especially needs the calories. It's the complex ones, though - not simple.

We also need the fiber that good carbs provide. Without that fiber, we become more toxic. The antioxidants in vegetables are also invaluable to helping control pain and inflammation.

And there are some very good non-gluten whole (complex) grains that have such great mineral and protein content that they can work very well for lyme patients, in the right proportion and with vegetables, proteins and good fats.

Here are some good cookbooks & sites - adaptations can be easily made with these. You might consider growing kitchen herbs so you have fresh rosemary, basil, fennel, etc. at your fingertips.

Saut onions with vegetables and you won't crave simple carbs. If we get enough magnesium, cravings also disappear.


Kitchen Medicine: Naturally Cooling Foods for Summer

- by Eytom Shalom, M.S., L.Ac.


CHRISTINA COOKS - Natural health advocate/ chef, Christina Pirello offers her comprehensive guide to living the well life.

Vegan, with a Mediterranean flair. Organic.

She was dx with terminal leukemia in her mid-twenties. Doctors said there was nothing more they could do. Among other things, she learned about complementary medicine and she learned how to cook whole foods. She recovered her health and is now a chef and professor of culinary arts.

She has program on the PBS network "Create" a couple times week. Check your PBS schedule.

To adapt: in the rare dishes where she uses wheat flour, it can just be left out for a fruit medley, etc. Brown Rice Pasta can be substituted (Tinkyada or Trader Joe's). Quinoa and the dark rices can also be used.

But she focuses mostly on very filling vegetable dishes and garden herbs.

Regarding her use of brown rice syrup, just leave it out and add a touch of stevia at the end.


Rick Bayless is a very good chef for MEXICAN meals that are healthy. These are heavy on vegetables.


Spoonful of Ginger site



From Nina Simonds, the best-selling authority on Asian cooking, comes a ground-breaking cookbook based on the Asian philosophy of food as health-giving. The 200 delectable recipes she offers you not only taste superb but also have specific healing . . . .

. . . With an emphasis on the health-giving properties of herbs and spices, this book gives the latest scientific research as well as references to their tonic properties according to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, the traditional Indian philosophy of medicine. . . .

You can find this at Amazon, too.


THE CURE IS IN THE KITCHEN, by Sherry A. Rogers M.D., is the first book to ever spell out in detail what all those people ate day to day who cleared their incurable diseases . . .






MEDITERRANEAN DIET (minus the wheat and the wine) is also good. It's many vegetable based, with delicious herbs in the meat dishes. Quinoa, dark rices - and unsweetened pomegranate juice can be substituted.


Look up Black Forbidden Chinese Rice & the Red Bhutanese Rice. The nutritional content is excellent and these will help fill and fortify you, even in moderation, along with lots of vegetables.


Wehani & Wild Rice (Organic)


Black Japonica


Quinoa Recipes


Red Quinoa Recipes
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
We also need to avoid all artificial sweeteners. Even a trace of aspartame can be very toxic to our brains. Other artificial sweeteners have also been associated with problems.

The only sweetener that is from a plant source, safe to use is

STEVIA - SweetLeaf and Trader Joe's are two good brands. SweetLeaf Liquid is easier to measure drop by drop.


Also avoid MSG (but, if you avoid all processed foods, that pretty much takes care of that).

Still, it can creep into even broths.

Google for all the names aspartame & MSG can hide under.


Just a few links about gluten:


Topic: Gluten Free Diets, help Lyme pain???

Food Intolerance- Man and Animals versus Gluten, Casein, Soy, and Corn


Gluten Free Basics


Hidden Sources Of Gluten
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
Now, if your doctor said "low sugar" I wonder if you might have a liver condition called Porphyria. If so, a little sugar is needed at times to get some quick glucose. And glucose can, indeed, prevent damage or even death. But, for management, just a little will do. Beta Carotene works better for me.

I'm very tired now, so cutting and pasting from another thread. I can't make the proper explanation or transition here but I hope you can figure it out.

Porphyrins (very toxic in excess) and can be indistinguishable from a herx.

If this is the case, Beta Carotene can help prevent it but, in an emergency IV glucose &/or a heme product, may be needed to save a life. A glucose tablet may help prevent a hospital visit.

While I don't agree with the kinds of carbs used in the "Secondary" article but, clearly, going too low in carbs can be dangerous for some people and straight glucose, itself, is at times medically necessary if porphyria is involved.

I have 2 kinds of genetic porphyria. I do very well with complex carbs and lots of greens, some orange, to keep beta carotene up. But I also have to avoid most pharmaceuticals. Red meat only now and then when I'm dong well.

If glucose is needed, unless at emergency stage, a VERY small amount will do: the amount in 85% dark chocolate, one ounce is about 5 - 6 grams. That is what my porphyria doctor has suggested. But I do well as long as I keep up with beta carotene rich foods and avoid C P-450 Rx. (That's explained in thread below).

MAGNESIUM is still the best. Sometimes, up to 2,000 mg a day.

Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory agent. Marnie wrote this in one of her posts: "All of our enzymes need Mg to be made. If there is too little Mg available, we're in trouble."

So, as porphyria is a problem stemming from deficiency of very specific enzymes, magnesium could be the best helper we have.

** And, we need B-6 and D3 for magnesium to work. **

In an emergency, a very good greens powder has helped. I like Green Vibrance by Vibrant Greens. Even straight Spirulina or other greens (maybe chorella but a mix works best for me)

Now, porphyria may or may not be connected but it's good for everyone to know about it as I suspect the high number of hospital deaths each year could be substantially reduced with this knowledge. So, it may help now - or sometime down the road for you or others.

See the "Secondary Porphyria" post first.


Posted by sapphire101 (Member # 6638) on :
Thanks Keebler, I will read this more thoroughly when I feel more like it. I
appreciate you taking the time to post all

Posted by Tincup (Member # 5829) on :
Hey Sapphire...

Once you read through Keeblers information... you might consider the other side of the coin.

I've used it on/off for years with no problems, only benefits. I take it full strength, as do many others I know (Lyme or not), with no problems.

As each of us are different, you need to make your own choices.

For me it was a life saver as I had leaky gut really bad and a bad bladder that was corrected to the point I avoided surgery and was thrilled about that.

I've also noted the slippery elm and other herbal things have not worked nearly as well for those I know who tried that route.

They ended up trying the Glutamine and it did the trick.

Good luck and keep asking questions.. it is the only way to learn!

[Big Grin]
Posted by Tincup (Member # 5829) on :
BTW- always a big thank you to Keebler for her excellent information and resources... and taking time to share them.

Hats off the Keebler!

[Big Grin]
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
The question was: "Is L-Glutamine bad to take for someone that has seizures?"

The answer is: absolutely, it can be dangerous for anyone who deals with seizures. It can lower the seizure threshold and alter kindling in the future.

My experiences with it, even in tiny amounts with several tries - and then later reading about - points clearly to L-Glutamine being contraindicated for all with seizures but also those who have neuro excitability.

Tincup has a good point that we are all different and can have opposite effects from the same thing. And that is true. But where damage can be so devastating as the outcome, the risk of trial is not worth it for a brain that is already in the danger zone, as with seizures.

It's the seizure involvement that shifts the focus, though. L-Glutamine is clearly contraindicated for all seizure patients.

Glutamine converts to glutamic acid in the brain and that can create further toxicity & irritation to brain/nerve cells for those with neurological illness and a compromised blood brain barrier (as with lyme).

With each seizure, my brain has been damaged. Some of that seems to be permanent, along with injuries from the falls. Seizures are nothing to put to a test. Ever. It is not worth the risk. Ever.


PubMed Search of Medical Abstracts:

L-Glutamine, seizures - 292 abstracts

Glutamic+acid, seizures - 1089 abstracts


Epilepsia. 2008;49 Suppl 2:42-52.

Glutamate and astrocytes * --key players in human mesial temporal lobe epilepsy?


. . . An increasing number of studies have suggested that an abnormal amplification of glutamatergic activity--often referred to as the "glutamate hypothesis"--is involved in the pathophysiology of seizures and certain types of medically refractory epilepsies.

For example, elevated levels of extracellular glutamate in hyperexcitable areas of the brain, up-regulation of glutamate receptors, and loss of the glutamate-metabolizing enzyme, glutamine synthetase (GS), have all been reported in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). . . .


* Astrocytes are characteristic star-shaped glial cells in the brain and spinal cord.

* Astrocytes are the most common type of cell in the brain and play an important role in the function of neurons - nerve cells.


EPILEPSY AND SEIZURES - by Lawrence Wilson, MD (August 2010)

[The author discusses in detail the adverse effect of glutamine (glutamic acid) for those with seizures. Even certain foods are to be avoided.]


Also good to do, a Google Search for:

L-Glutamine, seizures

Glutamic+acid, seizures
Posted by Haley (Member # 22008) on :
Tincup -

Which L-Glutamine did you take? I take a powdered form that I add to my protein shake. I think it's helping but not sure.

I do not have a problem with seizures.
Posted by Tincup (Member # 5829) on :
Hey Haley,

I used.. actually, the best one I used.. was a powder form, 100% pharmaceutical grade with no additives. I got it from the chiropractor and it was the best of the other brands... but of course I can't think of the brand name right now.

Also just gave away the new bottle I just bought that was ordered by my pharmacy for me.. to someone with radiation caused holes in their colon from where the prostate cancer treatment missed and caused problems, so I don't even have that brand name. Sorry!

Anyhow.. maybe this added info will help?

I mixed it in room temp water and once it dissolved I'd add another few ounces of cold water and drink it down. Don't let it sit and sip on it for a while. Always drink it down because it will turn into ammonia if left to sit.

It took several weeks to notice changes... and one of the clues was my appetite came back REAL fast and real GOOD! That indicates the gut is being healed up and the body clicks back on again into "ok, time to eat mode".

That was MY clue it was working- confirmed by chiro. You may or may not have that sudden surge in appetite... so don't think it isn't working if you don't.

I took it for several months and it fixed the bladder, bleeding issues... which stopped me from having to have surgery... and it fixed the gut and improved my muscles.

So, best advise is from what the chiro told me... all natural, no additives and get the best brand out there. I do remember that his brand was online but could ONLY be ordered by doctors.

So sorry I can't recall the name... but hope the above info helps.

[Big Grin]
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
I've been giving some thought to what could help those with seizures if nothing else was working for the stomach tissue healing.

Magnesium is normally the most most common amino acid used to balance NMDA (excitatory) receptors in the brain and nerve cells.

Taurine is a calming amino acid, too. There could be other things to bring it into balance if there were no other choice, say with bleeding of the stomach, etc.

Theanine can also be considered.

Theoretically, GABA is supposed to calm the NMDA but, for me, it did the opposite and also triggered seizures.

With my regular ND, I tried to balance L-Glutamine with several different things and our efforts were unsuccessful. However, an ILADS-educated LL ND (naturpathic doctor) may have good suggestions.

No doubt about it, L-Glutamine is a big help to heal a bleeding stomach. It's just that, for those with seizures, expert advice is best to find the right balance.


Topic: How to find a LL ND (naturopathic doctor), acupuncturist, etc.

Includes how to find an ILADS-educated LL ND, an Acupuncturist, a doctor of Oriental Medicine (O.M.D.), or a doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine (D.Ay.), certified herbalists or nutritionists, etc.
Posted by Tincup (Member # 5829) on :
Hey Keebler..

Looked this post up to get some of your good info. Had a question about it tonight and remembered (that in itself is amazing) that you had posted this.


[Big Grin]
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
Hope you found what you needed. I just watched a cooking show today that featured a soup of all high glutamine foods. Seaweed and Soy Sauce hit the ball out of the park. Here's a bit more from an article I came across the other day:

Excitotoxins - Some Key Information!

What Are They - How Do They Work?

Glutamic acid helps transport potassium into the spinal fluid and is itself an excitatory neurotransmitter . . .

[Near the bottom of that page]

Mechanism of Excitotoxin Effect on the Brain


. . . Excessive glutamate levels will not only kill the neurons with the receptors for glutamate but will also kill any neurons that happen to be connected to it, even if that neuron uses another type of receptor.

** This fact is very important relative to the contribution glutamates and aspartates make toward development of both Alzheimer's syndrome and Parkinson's disease. . . .

. . . Experimental evidence has shown that within 15-30 minutes after being exposed to excessive levels of glutamate, such as that acquired by eating processed foods, neurons suspended in tissue culture swell up like balloons. The organelles begin to degenerate and the chromatin begins to clump.

Within three hours these neurons are dead.

However, when lower doses of MSG are used for two hours, and then removed, the cells remained viable for 18 to 24 hours, after which they suddenly died.

Apparently, glutamate acts as a trigger that opens the sodium channel on the cell membrane and allows calcium to enter the neuron, triggering an enzyme called phospholipase C within the cell, which then triggers the release of arachidonic acid, damaging the cells interior.

The arachidonic acid is attacked by two enzymes called lipoygenase and cyclo-oxygenase, further triggering an explosive release of free radicals (superoxide and hydroxyl radicals) which brings on cell death.

The normal concentration of antioxidants in the brain is not enough to handle the excess free radicals produced in this way. . . .

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