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A Low Glutamate Diet Improves Cognitive Functioning in Veterans with Gulf War Illness, 2020, Kirkland et al.

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by mariovitali, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. mariovitali

    mariovitali Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Objectives
    The objective of this research was to investigate a novel low glutamate dietary intervention for Gulf War Illness (GWI), a chronic multi-symptom disorder that includes cognitive dysfunction.

    Methods
    Forty GW veterans with GWI were recruited from across the US. As part of a larger clinical trial, participants completed computerized cognitive testing and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) using CNS Vital Signs® (CNSVS) software. Before diet initiation, subjects received intensive dietary counseling. Post-diet assessments were completed after 1 month on the diet, and then participants were randomized to a 2-week double-blind placebo-controlled crossover challenge with glutamate (MSG)/placebo administered over 3 days of each week. The CNSVS battery was administered again on the 3rd day of each challenge week. The challenge data have not yet been un-blinded, and therefore will not be included in this abstract. Pre-post testing (t-test or Wilcoxon Signed Rank test) was conducted for each domain in the CNSVS battery, including an overall marker of neurocognitive function (NCI) and the ASRS.

    Results
    Several cognitive domains were significantly improved after 1-month on the low glutamate diet, including NCI (P < 0.01), executive functioning (P = 0.01), cognitive flexibility (P < 0.05), motor speed (P < 0.01), processing speed (P < 0.05), and psychomotor speed (P = 0.001). However, reaction time was slower at post-diet testing (P = 0.01). ADHD symptoms were also significantly improved at post-diet (P < 0.0001).


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258392/
     
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  2. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    Seems only the abstract is currently available. I'm not so sure about using MSG as a way to increase diet glutamate content in this setting, and I would very much like to know what the "reduced glutamate" diet actually looked like. In any case, I am pretty certain glutamate can be reduced without counting glutamate content in the diet.
     
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  3. mariovitali

    mariovitali Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I believe it is available on Scihub but currently there appears to be a problem with the verification system that a user is not a robot. Despite using the correct word, i cannot proceed.


    I would immediately get unilateral tinnitus ( a commonly occuring symptom to ME patients) upon ingestion of Glutamine, MSG and any foods with a very high content such as Whey protein, protein bars (hydrolysed protein), parmezan cheese etc. Moreover, i wonder if the body of certain people cannot tolerate glutamine and glutamine being a cofactor of Glutathione production, what the implications would be (e.g low Glutathione?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  4. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Completely agree.

    The use of MSG is curious given how badly some react to it.

    In the early years if being ill my husband and I went for a rare meal out. He wasn't as knowledgeable and involved in helping back then. He knew I had to be careful about what I ate.

    Anyway, I had my back to the kitchen and so didn't see the chefs chucking white powder into some of the pots and pans. He saw but didn't say anything.

    We skipped a starter and just had a main course. I considered having a mint tea afterwards but before the dessert menu could be placed in front of us the agony started & I could literally see my stomach puffing up.

    We lived about 5 minutes (by car) away & I barely made it to the loo and had to stay there for at least an hour.

    This was the effect of one meal with MSG. I know I had severe gut trouble but I'm sure there are plenty of folk who had much worse. I thought gut issues were associated with GWI?

    Anyway, a very odd choice to increase glutamine.
     
  5. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    oh.

    I get that from time to time, from chinese dishes, most often from buffets (I used to occasionally go to such things).

    I've always assumed it was down to the toxic stuff produced by something in poorly stored cooked rice i.e. left out too long at room temperature after cooking.

    That I was just more sensitive to it than the others I was with, who did not display similar symptoms (which is fortunate, neither I nor they having multiple toilets available lol)

    I was not aware it was a symptom of MSG issues.
     
  6. mariovitali

    mariovitali Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    ...Also known as the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome
     
  7. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Interesting as glutamate is an issue in cancer. Cancerous cells use it as an alternative fuel when glucose is not sufficient.

    There have been comments in the past re similarities to cancer cell behaviour ( probably re glucose ?).
     
  8. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    I have access through my university to the paper without using scihub, and I'm still only getting the abstract. It's the same as the pdf abstract available on pubmed.
    Ingestion of glutamine or glutamate? Glutamate/glutamine metabolism is closely linked as one can be turned into the other.
    Low glutamine levels in blood can be seen together with high glutamate levels in diabetes patients (I don't think this is an established finding as such, but there is an interest of finding "metabolic patterns" of diseases, and this is one I remember reading about recently. High glutamate is linked to a lot of other things as well, but you don't necessarily need to eat MSG for it to occur. There could be other components of your diet/lifestyle/genetic makeup that changes your metabolism in such a way that shifts the glutamate/glutamine ratio towards higher glutamate).

    Regarding glutathione, I'm not sure. It could be some cells thrive with increased glutamate in the blood, while others don't. Glutamate is used for much more than glutathione synthesis (but it has to get into cells first, and some cells have more glutamate transport proteins than others). The net effect on the body could be positive for all we know. But eating MSG is not the same as eating food that contains glutamate naturally, but it's a long time since I read about MSG so I can't explain why at the moment ;)

    @Invisible Woman I wish more research was done on MSG.. like with so many other things.
     
  9. butter.

    butter. Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Glutamate is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain.
     
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  10. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had read somewhere that glutamate does not cross BBB easily and most glutamate is made from pools of glutamine in brain as neurons can't directly make it from glucose?

    EtA this was probably 3am reading so could well be wrong
     
  11. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds about right :)
     
  12. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  13. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    If the diet used in this study is the same as here: https://www.clinexprheumatol.org/abstract.asp?a=5359 I'd say they changed a lot more in their diets than glutamate.. Participants were asked to limit consumption of items high in glutamate, and the list of "high glutamate" food is mostly low nutrient quality junk. They say that these foods were substituted with similar foods without added glutamate (presumably with the same nutrient quality, which I am not so sure of. If you add glutamate to enhance taste you could mask lower quality ingredients, and there could be other things added like salt).

    Also, participants received nutrition counseling, they could have changed their diet in more ways than just substituting the items the authors were interested in. Despite being told to keep dietary patterns as close to normal as possible. From the methods I am unsure if they only recorded change in the 33 "high glutamate" foods, or if they also looked at potential changes in the rest of the diet.
     
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  14. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yeah, I wondered how you could separate out the effects of removing high-glutamate foods from the effects of removing other ingredients and compounds also found in those foods.
     
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  15. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Stored, cooked rice can certainly make you sick. Not sure if it triggers vomiting too?

    These are classic MSG symptoms for people who don't get on with MSG. I'm not a big fan of chinese food and am very, very careful about where we get it on the rare occasions we do have it.
     
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  16. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    From personal experience even quite small changes in what, how much and when we eat can produce a significant effect. Especially, if we don't usually make conscious decisions about food and consider what suits our bodies. Let's face it, few do.

    For example - if the flavour of your favourite food has changed, you might find you don't eat quite as much of it quite as often. If the food also happens to be one that you don't realize you have a mild allergy to, it can make a huge difference. This was me with peanuts - I love peanuts and peanut butter but didn't realize I was mildly allergic. So no anaphylaxis, but gut problems, headaches etc. Bizarrely, when I ate them regularly I used to crave them.

    Diet is an extremely complex issue. Depending on what you change, just one thing can make a massive difference.
     
  17. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't understand the connection or the relationship between glutamine, glutamate, and glutathione. People have tried to explain it to me before but it just doesn't penetrate. I took L-glutamine powder for quite a long time (a couple of years) and found it very helpful for reducing apparent inflammation in my gut.
     
  18. mariovitali

    mariovitali Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    From what i read, L-Glutamine converts to Glutamate.


    I actually was expecting to find patients commenting here that they found Glutamine beneficial. I think that Glutamine (along with Cysteine) are the "Love or Hate" supplements. See below two snapshots from a presentation i gave recently to the CureME team :

    Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 16.39.40.png






    Unfortunately, having spoken to ME patients , i found some of them using Whey Protein as a cheap alternative to putting protein in their diet (...) I do not know whether this is beneficial to all of them. More importantly, here is more about the "Love or Hate" supplements. I believe that these can be used to identify ME patient subtypes :

    lh.png
     
  19. butter.

    butter. Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    glutamate has been shown to act as an „energy substitute“ in tissues where tca cycle was „broken“ in multiple metabolic diseases.
     
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  20. mariovitali

    mariovitali Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What if this tca cycle energy substitute cannot be tolerated by some individuals?
     

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