Over the years I’ve tried to fix my leaky gut, dislodge pathogens, improve digestion, correct methylation and balance neurotransmitters for better sleep. In the process, I had to experiment with a ton of supplements and most of the time had negative reactions. This is a list of the particularly bad boys that caused wacky, mysterious, paradoxical reactions.
Interestingly, every single one of these are reported to help sleep in one way or another but not for me. I’ll update this list as I go along on my quest to recovery. If you see a link then I’ve either written about it or created a video.
Glycine – initial experience was good: felt rather relaxed, a bit tired (not fatigued) but eventually worsened my insomnia. I learned later that glycine can actually make things much worse. Being attractive as a GABA precursor it can rapidly turn nasty in ceratin people and convert to Glutamate – a neuroexcitatory neurotransmitter.
L-Glutamine – this one a real devil. First, I felt very relaxed from it but then a day later very alert at night, slight buzzing sound in my head. Insomnia was much worse and lasted quite a few nights. Will never touch it again. My guess is this was due to GABA/Glutamine imbalance and my body being sympathetic dominant.
NAC – buzzy feeling, alert, makes insomnia worse. Had high hopes for it because many people report improved methylation and liver detox function, however it didn’t work out for me.
Molybdenum – is somewhat helpful in digestion process by supporting the liver detox but recommended doses cause fatigue. Even half a dose every other day causes unpleasant levels of fatigue. Yet another supplement that helps the liver but creates another imbalance.
Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) – gives me more energy but again makes me more alert and sleepless at night.
Biotine – holy cow, what madness is this? I took a regular dose and had massive alertness from it that lasted several days. Even a tiny dose will make me feel ampped up day and night. Can not take as it makes me very alert at night.
Inositol – suppose to be calming and help liver detox but made insomnia worse by increasing body heat.
Milk Thistle – very promising at first as I felt less heat at night and more energy during the day. This is due to improved liver detox. Three days later it causes massive fatigue and I can hardly drag my feet. What’s up with this?
Licorice – supposedly helps with adrenal fatigue but actually caused massive fatigue as soon as I take it. Tried it a few times and had same reaction.
Pantothenic Acid – touted as the No. 1 supplement to prop up the adrenals. The first day I took it I had a great night’s sleep and thought I had found my cure. Second night was about the same but things came back to “normal” the third night. Never worked afterwards.
Maca root – another popular adaptogen for adrenal fatigue that backfired. Initially, I felt more energetic and really thought I had found my perfect herb. I had increased stamina and mood for a total of….. two days. Then I crashed. Had I known Maca is actually a “Peruvian ginseng” I would have stayed away from it. With advanced stages of adrenal fatigue any heating stimulants like ginseng are a total ‘no no’.
I know, for a fact, all these reaction are pointing into some underlying health issues that have to do with toxicity, methylation issues and mineral imbalance. Problem is only a very experienced physician would be able to tell what all these reactions are indicative of.
If you’ve had your share of bad experiences with supplements I’d love to hear about them, especially the worst types!
I have used many of above mentioned supplements with varying degrees of success and failure. I would love to connect with you via skype, if you do that. I am almost 64 and have been on very similar journey for past 20+ years.
Hi Cynthia, this is a long time to suffer. What have you tested for? Any ideas as to what’s been causing all this for you? I’m 99% sure this is all due to mercury toxicity for me.
Very interested in your list of worst supplements. NB I have an insomniac son, technically I am a good sleeper however…
If I take iron supements (at any time of day) I cannot sleep, if I take the same iron supplements with a cup of black tea (in the hour before or after) I can sleep!!!! Interesting as the tannin interferes with the iron absorption I believe! This may help someone.
B12 -liposomal is the only way I can take it, but must be taken before 10am or interferes with sleep badly.
Phosphotidylcholeine-put me on a wired up high for 4 days also little sleep in that time.
I believe there are snp’s in my DNA which wreak havoc with detoxification and expect there are variations which cause my sons insomnia to be extreme. I am interested in your experiences because they reflect a lot of what i’ve done but with the goal of reducing allergies. I’m actually wondering if the comments in your Qi Gong post are spot on….it’s about correcting an imbalance, not necessarily finding any one perfect supplement to solve the problem.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Your reaction to milk thistle, maca root and licorice could be salicylate intolerance. it takes sometime to build up like thiols that’s why you may not feel right away when you take them. try with ginger, if you get similar reaction like milk thistle, it is definitely salicylate intolerance. it is due to sulphate pathway in the liver and adrenals. if you do epsom salt (mag sulphate) bath or foot soaks, it helps liver to clear the salicylates. other sulphates should help like glucosamine sulphate but it didnt work for me.
You’re right on with salicylates. This is what seem to be the culprit. Took me a while to figure out that they add to the load that the liver needs to process via impaired pathways. I’ve done numerous epsom salt baths but not if they help, perhaps somewhat. Thank you for your insight, every bit helps. What are you dealing with, yourself?