Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Insomnia Chemistry II: Low Melatonin in the Histadelic

Chemistry underlying histadelic insomnia
Due to the poor methylation, histadelics* rarely have enough SAMe (or serotonin) to create sufficient melatonin.**
Which would explain the chronic and often severe insomnia in histadelia, contribute to the general stimulation, and may, in somes cases, help trigger mania (despite the prevailing depression).
Ideally, such nutrients as magnesium and melatonin*** (and perhaps kava, inositol, B1, B3, B5, B6, C, zinc, etc.) will permit enough sleep, and reduce stimulation enough, so that methylation therapies can proceed, eventually enabling the body to create sufficient melatonin on its own.

Cautions about the degree of methylation support during histadelic mania 
As discussed in the previous post, SAMe is contraindicated for most bipolars, as it can trigger mania, and worsen cycling. Dr. Walsh, however, finds that for bipolars whose methylation activity is chronically low (histadelics), SAMe is often important in bringing methylation up to a more normal level. And that this more normal status of methylation function will generally go towards resolving the prevailing histadelic depression, rather than triggering mania. That is, as long as started conservatively enough, and gradually increased to relevant levels for the individual. 

However, with histadelic mania, further caution is imperative. For example, you don't want SAMe (or too much of other methylators)  increasing or overactivating promanic neurotransmitters.
So the histadelic regimen may be modified some, until symptoms permit stronger support toward a reasonable level of methylation.

Note: The sedative and stimulant actions of SAMe
Odd isn't it, that SAMe, a major antidepressant, is also critical in creating melatonin and sleep. (May be one of the reasons so many depressions are accompanied by insomnia.) 

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis or treatment recommendations for the individual. Even within the histadelic subgroup, each person's biochemical requirements tend to be unique. So if you need treatment for insomnia, mania, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician. 

* Note: We have switched our discussion to histadelia, which entails a very different chemistry than that of histapenics (discussed in recent posts). For more on histadelia, see entries from Dec 3 to Jan 27, 2011.

** The hormone responsible for initiation and maintenance of sleep. As per my previous post, methylation must occur to turn serotonin into melatonin:
       1. Methionine is created using  B1, B6, zinc, folate, methyl-B12, glutathione, + protein
       2. SAMe is created  from the methionine + magnesium
       3. B5 is used to acetylate serotonin; SAMe then methylates N-acetyl-serotonin into N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, otherwise known as melatonin.

*** If indicated, melatonin supplements, themselves, will bring more methyl into the system.


  1. Thank you so much for posting this information, and for your books. Absolute life savers.

  2. This blog is a great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much.


  3. Greetings,
    It is my understanding that histadelics/under-methylators, should avoid even the methylated versions of folic acid and B-12?

  4. Methyl B12 is often used for histadelia. However, folic acid is usually not indicated (and can be detrimental), since it is already over-abundant. In the great preponderance of cases, the focus will be other methylating nutrients, e.g., SAMe, methioninine, methyl-b12, etc. These will also help convert the stores of folic acid to methyl-folate and put it to use.