Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bipolar Aminos: Taurine or GABA?

Taurine and/or GABA?
Both are held to support mood and neurological stability, relaxation and sleep, and generally reduce neurotransmitter overstimulation in many individuals. So how does one choose?

Taurine: some of the physical considerations
1 Heart issues (common in bipolar mania) or eye problems may be additional indications of need for taurine. (Note: Taurine is concentrated in the heart and eye (as well as the brain)).
2 Taurine may be especially needed if the diet is high in fats or if having problems handling fats due to insufficient bile.

What to watch out for:
1 Taurine in some cases, counterintuitively, contributes to agitation, irritability, and mania, perhaps related to a need for more zinc (as in histapenia, pyroluria, and metal metabolism dysfunction).
2 High doses of taurine (and magnesium, and very high doses of vitamin C) may contribute to diarrhea.
3 Taurine may be less than useful in some persons with significant low blood pressure or hypoglycemia.

With such problems, and especially if chronic pain is involved, GABA may be a better choice.

On the other hand, for many bipolars, a particular pattern of GABA, taurine, and glycine (or magnesium glycinate) over the day (one example might be: one amino AM, a different one at lunch, all three PM) may optimize benefit. The physician and patient can work together, over time, to fine tune amino acid choices and dosage.

See posts from June 21 to August 24 for more on inhibitory aminos. And, for fuller coverage, including studies, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

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