BRAIN FOG: UREA CYCLE / HIGH AMMONIA ISSUES ? (ASS1, ASL Mutations)
Some of us struggle with clearing ammonia due to genetic mutations in the ASS1 and or ASL genes - which are rare - but can cause a build up of ammonia in the blood, which causes brain fog, and a depletion of glutathione (see other blog post on "Headaches Anyone ?").
Mutations on the ASS1 and or ASL genes can leave us with lower levels of arginine in our body, and thus susceptible to a build up of ammonia. Exogenous forms of arginine in the diet, are simply nuts. However, the common amino acid L-Lysine competes for the same genetic transporter as arginine, so often arginine is shoved to the side.
A simple effective way to lower levels of Lysine (found in many foods and all animal protein) is to create a mix of all 9 essential amino acids, except, L-Lysine. Based on a simple yet powerful concept in the paper referenced below here, i have found that supplementing between meals with an essential amino acid mix, minus L-Lysine effective at clearing excess L-Lysine and giving arginine a chance to enter the Urea Cycle to do its job in clearing ammonia.
The simple formulae i have found helpful in lowering dopamine is a mix of : Leucine (3g), Iso-Leucine (1.5g), Valine (1.5g), Phenylalinine (1.0-1.25 g), Histadine (1g), Threonine (1g), Methionine (0.5g), and Tryptophan (0.5g).
The thesis is essentially that when the body is given all the Essential Amino Acids (9) except for 1 or 2, it will begin to scavenge the missing 1-2 amino acids from existing stores. I have found this effective for lowering any one of the 9 particular amino acids. The study referenced here, was focused on lowering neurotransmitter levels by reducing the pre-cursors: Phenylalinine, Tryptophan and Tyrosine - the results speak to its effectiveness and speed.
 A new method for rapidly and simultaneously decreasing serotonin and catecholamine synthesis in humans. Marco Leyton, PhD; Valerie Kwai Pun, BSc; Chawki Benkelfat, MD, DERBH; Simon N. Young, PhD Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montréal, Que. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2003;28(6):464-7. Submitted Oct. 23, 2002 Revised Jan. 15 2003; Mar. 6, 2003 Accepted Mar. 21, 2003. 2003 Canadian Medical Association.