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TOPIC: When LNAA blocks tryptophan what do we eat?

When LNAA blocks tryptophan what do we eat? 25 Aug 2012 16:46 #4096

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You talk about the LNAA blocking L-tryptophan from making its way into a receptor which then inhibits serotonin release. This, as I understand it, is one reason behind sugar cravings. Eating sugar will get the pancreas to clear out the cells allowing the L-tryptophan in, and the resulting release of serotonin. (I may have gotten some of these details wrong, so let me know if I have, but what I really want to know is the solution :?).

So, when we have those (excruciating and uncontrollable) cravings, do we eat some grapes, raisins, a banana?? or some other high glycemic, "sugary" piece of fruit? Will that make the craving go away, and then will the amino acid make it into the neuroreceptor?


This is from the website:
When LNAA's, especially tyrosine crowd tryptophan out, your brain sends signals to your appetite to crave sugar or carbohydrates, preferably highly refined carbs so they hit your blood stream faster. These cravings can be very strong for sugary sweets. With large amounts of glucose (sugar) hitting the system all at once, the pancreas pumps enough insulin to not only clear the glucose but those LNAA's as well. Insulin helps clear the neutral amino acids out of the way primarily in muscle so the concentration of tryptophan can increase to enable the brain to make more serotonin.

When LNAA blocks tryptophan what do we eat? 26 Aug 2012 00:32 #4097

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(This post is by Debra)
Hi Autumn-K,

Welcome to the Cycle Diet. The idea behind this theory is to avoid red meat and dairy proteins (especially casein), sources high in the branched chain LNAA amino acids. This may help decrease the sugar cravings. As you noticed red meat and dairy are on the "avoid list" during the luteal phase. If you are having severe sugar cravings during the luteal phase, something very common, try reaching for a complex carbohydrate with a good amount of fiber. Although your cravings will be for sugary sweets and salt, try eating beans, oatmeal, carrots, or hummus with flaxseed crackers. You can also eat a piece of fruit if you want.

The best solution I've found for getting cravings under control is to avoid sugar for 2 straight weeks. If you can do this you may be able to break the sugar addiction. You will definitely change your sensory perception of sugar. Try it and note any withdrawal symptoms. Many get headaches or neck aches.

Sugar cravings may also be caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, where they're not supposed to be. Sugar feeds yeast (candida albicans fungus) and those bacteria that may have moved up from the large intestine due to dysfunction of the small intestine (slow transit, gastroparisis, leaky gut or permeable gut). We've learned in very recent studies that intestinal bacteria do much more than help digest our foods, they also communicate with the intestinal cells on what to do through the nervous system ie: the brain. In the future we may be examining the gut bacteria to determine what may be missing and then supplementing or translocating them to cure disease.

If you notice after avoiding dairy for two weeks and then reintroducing it back, you have a change in mood a day or even two, you will want to test for casein or dairy protein sensitivity.

Another thing you can do when those sugar craving hit....exercise. Exercise increases the uptake of those branched chain amino acids, which helps the trp/LNAA ratio. After moderate exercise (at least 20 min) have a nice piece of fruit or a banana and you should feel better.

When LNAA blocks tryptophan what do we eat? 26 Aug 2012 12:51 #4098

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(This post is by Debra)
Here's a small French animal study suggesting a plasma Trp/LNAA ratio:

Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(5):413-8.

Plasma Trp/LNAA ratio increases during chronic ingestion of an alpha-lactalbumin diet in rats.
Feurté S , Gerozissis K , Regnault A , Paul FM .SourcePro Dietic, ZAET Les Haies, rue Benoit Frachon, Saint-Maximin, France. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract
Brain serotonin synthesis depends on the uptake of its precursor, tryptophan (Trp), and is correlated to the plasma ratio of Trp to large neutral amino acids (LNAA) which compete for the same transporter system in the brain. As the plasma Trp/LNAA ratio decreases when the dietary protein content exceeds 5%, we tested whether a diet containing 17% of a Trp-rich protein, namely alpha-lactalbumin (LAC), might increase the plasma Trp/LNAA ratio over a long period. Blood samples were obtained at different days (-1, 3, 6 and 9) from rats receiving either a LAC or casein (CAS) diet, and plasma amino acids and insulin concentrations were determined. The increase in plasma Trp concentration was much higher during the LAC diet (49 vs 26%; P<0.001), while the plasma LNAA concentration remained fairly constant. Consequently, the plasma Trp/LNAA ratio increased by 40% during the LAC diet while it decreased by 15% during the CAS diet (P<0.001).
 The above results were not related to plasma insulin concentration differences during these diets. These data suggest that a balanced diet containing a natural Trp rich-protein increases the plasma Trp/LNAA ratio over a long period, leading to a probable increase in brain serotonin activity.
PMID:11842917 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

When LNAA blocks tryptophan what do we eat? 26 Aug 2012 17:19 #4099

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I just knew I wasn't crazy--there had to be some biological explanation.

Thank you for the link to the article--it links to other abstracts too including one randomized trial with 18 men http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15178151 . I've been reading through some of them; they are very helpful.

I had been on a diet (for body building) for 12 weeks when the cravings got the better of me. (I'm still on the diet, at week 20, but "failing" due to the cravings overtaking me like a monster). I don't know what happened, the diet was so easy, just choices I had to make. Simple. But the last two cycles were deadly. The weight comes off for two weeks, the weight comes back for two. Off, on. Off, on. Torture.  

So, I'm going to try this:
  • Reduce sugar during follicular phase
  • Eliminate sugar during luteal phase (is this even possible?)
  • Increase vegetable intake (red leaf lettuce, red peppers, spinach, asparagus, green beans)
  • Eat oatmeal (which I love!)
  • No red meat during luteal phase.
Do you have any other suggestions? I don't eat dairy--except for a little milk (less than 1/2 cup a day) and those are the vegetables I tend to eat. And I exercise six days (a week).

Also, is there a way to get tested for some of the small intestine dysfunction you mention (slow transit, gastroparisis, leaky gut or permeable gut)? And if tested positive what is the solution?

I just started my cycle so I'm sure I'll be back with more diet-related questions.

Thank you so much. You have no idea how much the information you have provided has done for me already!!

When LNAA blocks tryptophan what do we eat? 26 Aug 2012 19:26 #4100

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Yes you can get tested, but do you have any kind of digestive problems? Do you have a current diagnosis? I usually like for my clients to be working with their own primary physician or possibly a gastro just to make sure there isn't anything serious going on ie: IBS, IBD before I make any other suggestions for testing. Why don't you make an appointment with me so we can discuss family medical history and other possible problems and solutions.

http://www.cyclediet.com/services.php


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