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GABA/Glutamate Methylation Program

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Here's some info from a Yasko support group site. I have edited it to make it a little more readable. Some of it is quite technical. When she says "CBS" or "COMT" these are call letters referring to specific genes. Most of us don't know what our status of these genes are, but they can influence how we react to certain supplements.

The importance of balancing GABA and Glutamate:

A major part of step 1 is eliminating excitotoxins from the diet and from supplements. Excitotoxins such as MSG trigger an inflammatory cascade that releases mediators that create havoc in the body. In addition, these inflammatory pathways can lead to leaky gut by increasing the "gaps" between cells. The purpose for this is so that cells like T cells can get to the sites of infection. However, if we have inflammation caused by other factors we can end up where substances that do not belong exposed to the blood stream are now there.
This will cause allergic reactions and sensitivity responses.

We use Bowel Health, Stomach pH and if needed RNA metals 1 to resolve the gut issues, so that one is able to eat a much wider variety of foods. And test results support the fact that the leaky gut issue has been addressed. Glutamate can stimulate the nerves to death with the help of calcium. Studies have shown that some patients have extra glutamate receptors. We want to be careful about any outside sources of glutamate so that we are not causing our systems to overflow with glutamate.

Gaba is the calming neurotransmitter. You can think about glutamate and GABA as being on opposite sides of the seesaw. Most of the patients have too much glutamate activity and not enough GABA activity. Balancing these systems helps tremendously. Keep in mind that Glutamate goes up when detoxing. You want to make sure glutamate levels are under control, as they will be rising with detox.

In summary, step 1 addresses CBS/ammonia imbalances using the ammonia support program. This is an important first step so that added methylation cycle support does not lead to increased levels of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other toxic sulfur byproducts. If there are no CBS up regulations you can skip this step, however, other imbalances may cause excess ammonia levels, and it is recommended that ammonia levels are controlled prior to starting with Step 2 of the program.

Lab Tests indicating a need for glutamate/GABA balance:
On a Urine Amino Acid Test: elevated glutamate, glutamine, glutamic acid, aspartate, or aspartic acid.

Low GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) on a urine AA test or on a Neurotransmitter test.

Elevated quinolinic on OAT/Metabolic Test, Seizures.

Step 1 Support to balance glutamate and GABA:

Grape seed extract. This is reported to help control glutamate by protecting the glutamate receptors and to repair nerves in the brain. It works well in conjunction with pycnogenol. Start with 1 capsule can go up to 3 x day

Pycnogenol - This can be used to help to control glutamate by protecting the glutamate receptors, as well as to help repair nerves. Pycnogenol is also reported to help strengthen veins.

GABA - Start with 1/4 to 1/2 capsule of plain Gaba and work up to 2-3 day as tolerated. If becomes mushy/sleepy/tired during the day then back off. May not be necessary "if we see adequate amounts of GABA on a urine AA test." High doses may not be tolerated well by COMT ++.

Branched amino acids (ONLY leu/ileu/val) (discontinue immediately if urines smells like “maple syrup”) (If over stimulated, use just a sprinkle.)

Other supplements to consider:

ZEN, Theanine, METHYL DONOR: (Avoid if comt++, encourage if comt--) Nerve Calm RNA, Lithium orotate (depending on levels on urine essential test) Sublingual GABA/ Glycine - gaba calm has glycine in it which can be your "fair weather friend" Try the plain gaba first.
Sublingual methylcobalamin (B12), Sublingual cyanocobalamine, Sublingual hydroxycobalamin Liposomal B12, Taurine (depending on urine AA test levels - not for CBS upregulations), Trehalose, Progesterone cream, Valerian root - MSG and Aspartame should be avoided. - Foods high in gluten and casein are high in glutamate. The Neurological Inflammation video and the Boston DVDs really cover the glutamate/gaba balance and the issue of glutamate and excitotoxins thoroughly. The MSG Free Cookbook is a great resource (available on line). Stay away from anything where the label actually says: glutamine, glutamate, glutamic acid, amino acid chelate, also aspartame, aspartate, aspartic acid, nutrasweet, or MSG. Another name MSG goes by is Natural Flavor.

It is important to allow sufficient time for step 1 before progressing the step 2.

[This Message was Edited on 05/13/2007]


New Member
taking the time to make it more readable! I know it's time consuming to edit things. I really appreciate this post! It explains some things to me that I didn't "get" before.



Thanks for the info!

"Stay away from anything where the label actually says: glutamine, glutamate, glutamic acid, amino acid chelate, also aspartame, aspartate, aspartic acid, nutrasweet, or MSG. Another name MSG goes by is Natural Flavor"

In my Pro Health Multi Vitamin it has amino acid chelates for the molybdenum, maganese, boron, vanadium, and copper.

So according to Yasko one should avoid minerals in the form of amino acid chelates?

It's kind of ironic becuase even Yasko's Multi-vitamin there is an amino acid chelate in it.

[This Message was Edited on 05/13/2007]


New Member
I'm not sure i wanna invest in teh DVDs, but if someone else does, mebbe they could burn some copies and pass them around?

Maybe if we put our heads together, we could figure out ways to cut corners and costs on this program.

Laurie has already figured out how to get the tests cheaper than if she went thru Yasko's site.

I have noticed that if you order a metagenics product, the company gives you a life-long discount that u can use every time u order thru its website.

Obviously 2 of the supps on the simplified protcol are Metagencis products... Folapor and Intrinsic B12

Anybody else got anything they can share?



Could you elaborate on what the "the ammonia support program" is I think I am confused, hehe. Is it another list of supplements and things to avoid, like with the " Support to balance glutamate and GABA:"

So if I do the AA urine test and my ammonia levels are high then what do I do to lower them? The last thing I want is hydrogen sulfide and other toxic sulfur byproducts. Should I avoid sulfur containing foods like raw garlic? When I did a hair elements test my sulfur levels were high.

The Ammonia issue has come up before, and It always stumps me. Is the only way to know if ammonia is a problem, is through the urine testing? What supplements can I take to lower my ammonia levels? Maybe I am looking for short cuts, but I really just wanna get step 1 out of the way, and then start step 2 and get my methylation cycle flowing perfectly. I just hope I understand step 1 properly.

I've cut out gluten, msg, and artificial stuff from my diet, and I am taking the methylation protocol supplements. Would I be experiencing negative side-effects if my ammonia levels are too high.

You've listed "Step 1 Support to balance glutamate and GABA:"is this part of the ammonia support aswell?

So if I do my best to limit my glutamate intake and lower my ammonia levels and also supplement with the things listed above then I'll be ready for step 2?

Thanks a Million, Sean


New Member
Delia - good info on the metagenics products. We use a lot of metagenics products around here. I like the idea of putting our heads together to make this as affordable as possible.

I'll tell you the more I learn the more I want to have the genetic testing done on my daughters! Wouldn't it be wonderful to prevent our health issues as opposed to working like mad to cure them!

On Yasko's discussion group they refer to a lending library through her site, but I didn't see anything on the site. Maybe I'll send an email inquiring.

Swedeboy - Yasko does say that we can't avoid glutamate entirely and that we do need some glutamine, but that it is something it is a double edge sword. Also, you may want to avoid products containing copper. Seems zinc/copper imbalances go with methylation problems.


ALong with Yasko's Multi-Vitamin which is reccommended for the methylation protocol, are there any other mutli-vitamins that would work well with the protocol?

Is everyone who is doing the protocol on Yasko's Multi-Vitamin?

I just got Pro Health's "Super Multiple without Iron." But I just learned that its minerals are mostly from amino acid chelate sources, and they may not be good if you're on the protocol.

What Multi-Vitamins are ya'll taking?

Smiles, Sean


New Member
I just ordered a bucnh of stuff from holisticheal but one reason I don't like the site is the cost of shipping. It's huge compared to Vitacost....

But I thought I would try her B12 out and see if it's better than the other stuff I've been using. ditto the PS complex.



New Member
Lbconstable: Great info which I can just about take in - thank you!

Deliarose: Thanks for the tip on Metagenics products. I'm in the UK and have just received my supps from Holisticheal - $32 in shipping!! I wish someone could order for me over there and send it out at the correct shipping rate!

Swedeboy: I ordered the multi vits but not the Methylation support which was too expensive.

I won't be starting the protocol for a little while. I have some urgent chores to sort out when I get the energy - you know how it is only one little thing a day.

Then I want to clear out some time to start, in case I don't end up feeling too well.

I do keep up with all of your posts and wish you well on this journey.

Best wishes


New Member
this is just a thought.. but maybe there's some way we could put together a co-operative to lower the costs of ordering supps.

Perhaps members could pay in advance, and then 1 person would order all the stuff and ship it out ....

It's tricky.. but I thought I would float the idea.. and see if others had any ideas...

it seems like we could be at this a while....



New Member
Diva - Good luck to you. Let us know how you do, once you start!

Swedeboy - Here's info from Yasko's book on multivitamin...

"The program should begin with a really good general supplement that covers the vitamins and minerals, and is high in antioxidant supplements that will lay the groundwork for the more specialized supplements. Preferable this supplement will not contain iron, as iron can exacerbate neurological inflammation. Iron is also necessary for virulence of many bacteria, including streptococci, so limiting iron is useful in limiting bacterial infection, which could trigger additional inflammation.... Also, because of the inherent problem with zinc/copper ratios in many autistic children, any general suppement you choose should not contain copper."

"In addition, calcium should be included only in limited amounts, and should always be balanced by magnesium."


New Member
Hi, Delia.

If you're low in iron, I would suggest that you build it up to a normal level. It's important to have enough iron, especially for making hemoglobin and the cytochrome enzymes, which are important for oxidative metabolism and for detox. The best thing is to have the ferritin level measured and to do what you need to do to get it into the normal range.

It's true that iron in the gut encourages unhelpful bacteria. You can beat this by taking lactoferrin, which binds iron in the gut, but allows it to be absorbed and used by the body.

EXCESS iron is indeed undesirable, because it can lead to too much free ionic iron, and this acts as a catalyst for the Fenton reaction, which makes hydroxyl free radicals, thus making the oxidative stress in CFS even worse. But you do need to have enough iron, because it is an essential nutrient, and is the biggest nutritional deficiency worldwide, especially in women.

Copper is also an essential nutrient. I think that what Dr. Yasko means is that it's best not to just take it in a general nutritional supplement if you have a methylation cycle block, but to test for urine essential elements and then supplement it separately if you are low. It's important to have a proper balance of zinc and copper, and also there is a competition between copper and molybdenum, so that balance needs to be kept proper, also.

As with so many things, knowing whether to supplement iron or copper gets you into more testing and more expense and complexity. This may be unavoidable, and for people who can do it (financially and cognitively), I would agree that it is closer to optimum treatment, but for those who can't do it, for whatever reason, I'm still hoping that they will be able to do the simplified treatment and receive benefit from it.



I was researching the methylation cycle and found a site called Enzymestuff dot com. Even I can understand it! Interestingly enough, while it discusses autism, it could be talking about CFS patients. Verrrrrry interesting. It goes hand in hand with Richvank's information (of course ;>) Excellent site.

Such good stuff. I vote we make Rich our CFS Hero of the Year.

[This Message was Edited on 05/14/2007]