Admin · 16 May at 11:26 · tagAdd topics
Hello Friends! Part 2 on Anxiety:
This post will also focus on b3, but whereas part 1 was an introduction, this will be a little bit deeper of a dive into the biochemistry. Yesterday I mentioned 1 mechanism of action by which b3 treats anxiety which was the correction of subclinical pellagra. This is sooo significant it can't be overstated. Dr Hoffer noted that when they started fortifying bread flour with b3, half of the mental hospital population of the south got cured in a month and went home. The south had this problem because corn meal was the staple of the diet and when you process corn meal in the American way (without lime juice as Was done in Mexico) there is no absorbable niacin, and southerners were for the most part unable to afford meats which the body can use to make niacin. Hoffer also proposed the other half needed way more than the 20 mg per day of the RDA, and his research proved this correct, as he was able to cure 'hopeless' schizophrenics with as much as 20-30 grams per day.
However, let's focus back on anxiety and the common mechanisms of action that niacinamide helps to treat.
Niacinamide dials down the kynurenine pathway. The image in this post shows a simplified version of this important metabolic pathway. This pathway is all about tryptophan metabolism. you have heard that tryptophan is the amino acid found in turkey (and all animal protein, much less so in plant protein) that our body converts into melatonin and makes us sleepy. (Fun fact, it's not actually the tryptophan that makes us sleepy after Thanksgiving, its the 2500 calorie dinner of mostly carbs and fat that make us sleepy lol)
Cornmeal has almost no tryptophan that we can digest, unless its processed with an acid like lime juice. Tryptophan is called a 'rate limiting' enzyme in human metabolism. What does this mean?
Note in the image how the arrow to the left of tryptophan says 'protein synthesis'. Yep, you aren't going to be making much protein without tryptophan.
Then, note how the arrow going up yields first serotonin, and then melatonin.
We want MORE of these two neurotransmitters if we struggle with anxiety and sleeplessness.
Now, look at the down arrow that shows the kynurenine pathway. You can see that the end result of this pathway is NAD+, this is the bioactive form of b3, that is used in energy metabolism and is critical for life.
This pathway is activated whenever we don't have enough niacin, and we DO have enough tryptophan, and the body will divert its tryptophan into producing niacin, since we can't live long without niacin. This is NOT efficient, it takes 60 mg of tryptophan to produce 1 mg of niacin, and we need 20 mg of niacin per day bare minimum. Consider that 6 oz of beef have about 700 mg of tryptophan, which means you could make about 10 mg of niacin, as long as you didn't want any of that tryptophan to go towards serotonin!
I think you can all plainly see from the above, that if we take b3 directly, we SPARE tryptophan from being used to make b3, and we will have more of it for protein synthesis which is good, and seretonin/melatonin which is good.
Bottom line, is that taking b3 will greatly increase seretonin production in the brain. This why a lot of people love to take b3 right before bed time to help boost melatonin and sleep better.
Final thoughts and practical applications: if a client tells they have anxiety or depression, the first thing I do is a 3-day diet history to figure out what they typically eat. I often find they don't have nearly enough protein, especially women. The above shows pretty clearly how important protein is for tryptophan (and a whole lot more when it comes to mental health) A person of 115 lbs should strive for 60-80 grams of protein per day and a person of 220 lbs should get 120-150 per day, to feel well, to feel optimal.
Along with the obvious step of taking b3, some people will feel best when also taking tryptophan. I recommend 1-3 grams per day on an empty stomach first thing in the AM. this can be very powerful for some people with anxiety and depression. Some people respond better to 5-htp which is a direct precursor to serotonin, taken at 100-200 mg per day.
One last thought on the seretonin pathway. Vit C is essential to seretonin. This is due to the chemical biopterin, which is the cofactor in the first step of converting tryptophan into seretonin. Biopterin is easily oxidized (destroyed) and needs C to protect it from oxidation. This is one reason of many why Dr Hoffer always prescribed at least 10 grams of C per day day, when giving high dose niacin.
There is still more to come! I hope you have enjoyed this look into the seretonin pathway
Richard Sexton You can't buy tryptophan, the FDA took it off the marked for no good reason. What you can buy is 5-HTP, which turns into tryptophan in the body.
One minor correction: "(without lime juice as Was done in Mexico)"
Not lime juice, the juice from limes. "Lime" in this context means "slaked lime" or Calcium hydroxide. This is made by heating marble or limestone at a very high temprature. it fizzles when you add a drop of water and it also called "quicklime" and is used to make cement.
500 years ago the indigenous peoples of Central America began treating theur corn with this stuff. We don't know why or how this came into being. What this does is make the niacin in the corn able to be absorbed by the body. Without it, it can not be absorbed.
The Navajo in the US do this and after the civil war the government had a lot of starving poeple to feed and reasoned that if corn as a staple worked for the Navajo it would work in Georgia.
It would have too, if they'd treated the corn with lime like the Navajo did but they failed to do that. Thus, cornmeal is the problem, "myxelated" mexican corn, like get in Tortillas, is different. Millions of people died in the US until an 1830 German biochem paper was found that pointed out this happens if Niacin is withheld. We began adding niacin to all white flour (a bizarre solution - there's a problem with corn? fix the wheat then). The only problem here is they add a homeopathic dose, Hoffer has gone on record pointing out it's a tenth of what it should be.
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Kevin Kirkpatrick Richard Sexton you can indeed buy tryptophan from amazon. Just give it a quick search. It quietly came back on the market. Good correction on lime
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Richard Sexton Oh no kidding. That's interesting.