Part 2: Testing & Supplementation for Anxiety
I am still pretty amazed that supplementing zinc, vitamin B6, and Gamma-linolenic acid can alleviate symptoms of social anxiety for some people.
“Low levels of the mineral zinc and vitamin B6 are frequently associated with a type of anxiety characterized by social anxiety… and bouts of depression.” – Trudy Scott
However, there are a few things I wish I had known before I took a trip down the rabbit hole:
- It is possible to overdose on some B vitamins and cause low copper with too much zinc.
- Serum testing can be helpful in determining what the body needs.
- What is actually causing a lot of anxiety and depression is electromagnetic radiation from the proliferation of the internet of things!
In this post, I share my notes on how I supplemented for mild anxiety. This post is my supplement protocol for mercury poisoning. And if you missed it, Part 1 covers copper toxicity & zinc deficiency, the science of pyroluria, and diagnosing — or rather mis-diagnosing — pyroluria.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of supplements, none of this is a brand endorsement or recommendation, and all of it is subject to change as my body heals.
1. Zinc is an essential trace element that activates several hundred enzymatic reactions fundamental to life and biological activity. (1) A deficiency can increase intestinal permeability.
a. Zinc Tests and Indicators
- Zinc status test using Designs For Health Liquid Zinc. The zinc tastes terrible right away if zinc levels are sufficient.
- Genova Essential Fatty Acids Test. Zinc is necessary for the action of an enzyme involved in the fatty acid conversion. So if LA:DGLA is high, there may be a zinc deficiency. (~Yes.)
- Serum alkaline phosphatase less than 50, or 70, possibly low zinc. (<70.)
- Serum copper & ceruloplasmin. Serum zinc is not a good indicator.
- Doctor’s Data Heavy Metal & Essential Elements Hair Test.
- White spots on nails. (~No)
- Copper color hair if normally black. (~Yes)
b. Zinc Supplements: Finding the right type of zinc, without copper, for bio-individuality is important. e.g. The wrong form may not be absorbable or cause nausea. Monomethionine or Picolinate may be more easily absorbed for pyroluria.
Pure Encapsulation Zinc Citrate.(~Did not help increase zinc.) Solaray OptiZinc®(as Zinc Monomethionine 30 mg 200% + B6 Pyridoxine HCl, 20 mg 1000%; Additives: magnesium stearate and whole rice concentrate.) Based on Trudy’s recs. (~Worked well, however, I can no longer supplement with it because it also has vitamin B6 – see below).
- Another Optizinc brand. (~Accidentally purchased, nauseating. Copper?)
- Metabolic Maintenance Zinc Picolinate 30 mg. (~TBD. Currently using in rotation several times a month and not daily.)
- Douglas Labs Opti-Zinc 30 mg. (~TBD. Currently using in rotation.)
- Pure Encapsulation Zinc Picolinate 30 mg. (~TBD. Currently using in rotation.)
- Zinc is also in my multi-vitamin.
c. Other Notes
- Zinc taken at the high levels for treating pyroluria can deplete manganese which is necessary for protein metabolism, joint development, and neurotransmitter production. (~Have not supplemented manganese and blood tests do not indicate a need so far.)
- Food sources: oysters, shellfish such as shrimps and crab, red meat, fish, poultry, and some cheese.
- Depleters: eating refined sugar, honey, exercise, sweating, and stress. Also many plant sources contain phytic acid which binds to zinc and prevents absorption. And excess copper from vitamins, nut flour, organic farming, IUDs, pots, amalgams, and crowns. Copper is grandfathered into organic farming — a very popular California-made EVOO, sold at stores and farmer’s markets, sprays copper on their crops, as do some avocado growers.
2. Vitamin B-6 plays a critical role in the synthesis of 5 essential neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, GABA. B-6 deficiency may alter the expression of genes. This may be due to the essential role that B-6 plays in a biochemical pathway referred to as methylation, which greatly affects DNA and RNA activities. (2)
a. B6 Tests
- Blood work marker gamma-glutamyl transferas (GGTP) may be used to determine the cause of elevated alkaline phosphatase. If less than 10 may need B6. (~Yes.)
- Organic Acid Test. “elevated levels of xanthurenate in the urine can indicate an insufficiency of vitamin B6, as can elevated levels of kynurenate” (~Wish-list.)
- Serum blood test. (~Tested out of range from taking too much.)
b. Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine (not methylated) or active form, Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (100 mg pyridoxine is equivalent to 25 mg P5P). Trudy recommends 100 mg (pyridoxine) and then working up to 500 mg as needed using dream recall. “I often add in P5P 25 mg and may go up to 75 mg or 100 mg and then reduce the B6 – some people seem to do well on a combo on B6 and P5P, some just need B6 and some just need P5P.”
- Pure Encapsulation Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate 50 mg. (~Split caps in 2-4 portions taking 1 daily for around a month. No longer taking.)
- Optizinc by Solaray zinc with B6 Pyridoxine HCl 20 mg 1000%. (~No longer taking, see below).
- Thorne & Pure Encapsulation B complex Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate 10 mg 500%. (~Split caps into 4 portion sizes and took daily for a few months. No longer taking, see below).
c. Other Notes
- Supplementing B6 in large amounts can deplete magnesium levels. (~I was already magnesium deficient and supplementing).
- Do not over-supplement vitamin B6 or B3! Too much B6 can give you peripheral neuropathy – tingling symptoms. (~I did not have tingling but my central nervous system felt stressed, had pain in my spine, etc., and a strange skin discoloration on my left hand and left ankle. Tested B6 on my annual blood test and even though I had reduced supplementation a few months back, levels were twice as high as the normal range / HIGH. Read it takes 6 months to clear!?)
We used to think that B vitamins were harmless because, like vitamin C, they’re water soluble and therefore can’t accumulate in the body as can the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). However, we now know that too high an intake of certain of the “B’s” can present problems. For example, vitamin B6 can cause nerve toxicity although it usually doesn’t cause problems in doses lower than 300 mg per day.
“High doses of niacin (vitamin B3) can also cause problems, but you’re not likely to run into trouble unless you’re taking a total of 2000 to 3000 mg per day to lower cholesterol.”
“However, if you’re taking two of the B-50 Complex…the levels of B vitamins you’ll be getting won’t be high enough to cause you trouble, even when combined, as recommended, with a multivitamin and the antioxidant formula. You’ll be getting only an additional 100 mg of B6 and 100 mg of B3.” (3)
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adult males between 19 and 50 years of age is 1.3 mg, and those over the age of 50 need 1.7 mg. Women between 19 and 50 years of age should take 1.3 mg, and those over 50 should take 1.5 mg. Dr. Weil recommends 50 mg as part of a daily B-complex supplement that contains a full spectrum of B vitamins, including thiamin, B12, riboflavin and niacin. (4)
3. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) improves the absorption of zinc. It also helps with “skin conditions like eczema, PMS, and inflammation”.
a. GLA Tests. Those with pyroluria often show low levels of GLA, as well as low DGLA, and adequate levels of EPA and DHA. (~This was true in my case except DHA was also on the low-side. Tested Essential Fatty Acids through my holistic doctor with Genova.)
b. GLA Supplements: Evening Primrose Oil (may be most effective for pyroluria), Black Currant Seed, and Borage Oil. Make sure non-GMO and hexane-free.
- Pure Encapsulation EPO (~Take it two weeks out of monthly cycle with breakfast with zinc).
- Pure Encapsulation Black Current Seed Oil (~In the afternoon sometimes).
- May try BodyBio/E-Lyte or Now Brand Super Primrose.
c. Other Notes
- EPO may increase estrogen levels. (~Need to research more).
- Avoid fish oil supplementation. Trudy said that many people with pyroluria need omega-6 fatty acid supplementation and can get omega-3 from food like oily fish, walnuts, green veggies, and grass-fed red meat. “For people with pyroluria who are getting enough omega-3s from food, it’s important not to take them as supplements, because this can worsen symptoms if you aren’t deficient.” (~Yes, stopped taking fish oil because EPA is high on Genova test.)
- Arachidonic acid from omega-6 deficiency may “lead to the impairment of white blood cell function, primarily the leukocytes which may lead to one being more vulnerable to infection”, neuropathy, skin eruptions, dry skin and hair, slow wound healing, hair loss, kidney dysfunction, etc. (5)
4. Iron is needed to make red blood cells, etc. “HPL also inhibits synthesis of heme explaining why people with pyroluria often also have low levels of iron or ferritin (the body’s storage form of iron and the first indicator of decreased iron levels)”. Trudy
a. Iron Tests – Serum Ferritin. And Iron.
b. Iron Supplements – Controversial to supplement iron. Taken only if low levels, well-tolerated, and helps as identified by monitored testing.
- Thorne Research Iron Bisglycinate prescribed with vitamin C and taken two weeks out of the month (~Have not taken yet due to ).
- Floradix is another brand often recommended. (~Tried a sample size once. No nausea but decided not to take for now.)
c. Other Notes
- Heavy metals can contribute to anemia. They cause oxidative stress as does iron. The body may dump iron stores to try to lower this and protect itself. Chelating and increasing antioxidants, especially vitamin C helps lower oxidative stress and help increase ferritin levels.
- Per Cutler: Ferritin will come up as soon as you detox them enough that the body doesn’t have to dump iron to protect itself from the mercury. Often iron goes up on its own if you use antioxidants properly. Hair iron does not reflect body stores. The most absorbable iron is the clear red juice from cooking beef roasts. Many people like eating this soaked up into a piece of bread.
- With the help of my holistic doctor and supplemental digestive enzymes, I have been able to digest pastured red meat and pork again after 20 years!
5. Other Micronutrients
a. Manganese: deficiency may be associated with joint pain, inflammation, and arthritis. It is essential for normal growth, glucose utilization, lipid metabolism, and production of thyroid hormone. (6)
- Not currently supplementing.
b. Biotin: is essential for healthy brain and nervous system and “is an important factor in the production of energy in the mitochondria.” It may be associated with “depression, lethargy, hearing loss, fungal infections, muscle pain, and abnormal skin sensations such as tingling.” and ” may be evidenced by rashes, dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, brittle nails, fine or brittle hair, and hair loss.” Biotin is an important factor in the production of energy in the mitochondria. (4)
- ~Supplemented periodically with methylated B-complexes (see above): 400 mcg, 133%
c. Niacinamide (vitamin B3): necessary for the production of tryptophan, which in turn is necessary for the production of serotonin. Helps to speed pyroluria recovery process. (3)
- Methylated B-complexes: 130 mg as Niacinamide & 10 mg as Niacin 700%.
- Supplementing B3 requires a fine balance like B6 or it can be toxic.
d. Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5): helps weakness and fatigue and re-building adrenal glands that have been exhausted from the tension caused by pyroluria (7)
- Methylated B-complexes: 110 mg 1,100% as Calcium Panthothenate
e. Avoid gluten?: “pyroluria and gluten sensitivity often co-occur in people with anxiety, depression, autism, alcoholism and other addictions, bipolar disorder” etc.
f. Avoid histamines?: Pyroluria may occur along with other imbalances like histapenia (low histamine), histadelia (high histamine).
g. Avoid amino acid supplementation: From my brief trial, I am NOT a proponent of taking amino acids to support making neurotransmitters so do not take tryptophan, 5HTP GABA, etc.
6. Vegan / Vegetarian diets often lack iron and other nutrients. Below are some of the nutrients that may be missing if one is not consuming animal protein. The deficiency can impact the body and brain. I worked with my holistic doctor to get my body to be able to digest grass-fed red meat again after being mostly vegetarian for years and share that experience in my upcoming book.
a. Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is the one nutrient that must be supplemented if not eating animal products. (Are lost fingernail orbs a sign of B-12 deficiency because I pretty much only have them on my thumbs?) Since I ate a mostly vegetarian diet for years, at the beginning of my healing crisis I supplemented quite a bit of liquid vitamin B-12 from Pure Encapsulation. It is a red color (not sure why?), had stevia, natural glycerin, sodium benzoate, and citric acid, which I did not like, but I took the trade-off until my blood levels showed improvement. I no longer supplement liquid B12 orally but I B12 is in my multi-vitamin which I take a few times a week in children size doses.
b. Choline – there are high amounts in meat, pork and eggs. So for vegetarians who eat eggs they might not have a deficiency. I was never really a fan and recently learned that I have a slight IgE allergy to eggs. So I usually only eat pastured eggs in cooked dishes and baked goods.
c. Creatine – creatine phosphate helps the mitochondria recycle ATP (energy contributor to body). It is so essential that the body will make it itself if it is not consumed, however producing it in the body uses a lot of methyl groups. Creatine is very important for methylation so this may be one reason I crave red meat more now.
d. Carnitine is important for mitochondria function — it shuttles essential fatty acids in to the mitochondria as fuel and removes them as waste. Red meat and pork are the only food source. Moving the good fat into the brain is important for making neurotransmitters, so without it one can be more depressed, anxious, have poor memory and unmotivated.
Healing Naturally = Nutrients In + Toxins Out
1. Nutrients In
- Nutrition: Microbiome, Healing Food & Probiotics
- Tests: Gut Bacteria, Nutrients & Metals
- Supplements: Vitamins, Minerals & More
- Sleep: Training For Mercurial Night Owls
- Support: Anxiety+Depression
2. Toxins Out
- Dental Revision: Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal
- Detoxing: Saunas and Rebounding
- Cleansing: Parasites, Candida, & Humaworm
- Chelating: Frequent, Low-Dose ALA
- Avoiding: EMF, Travel, and Beauty Products
♥ Be Gutsy!