How TMAO Fooled Us

Insights and discussion from the cutting edge with reference to journal articles and other research papers.
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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby Plumster » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:20 am

For the betaine, I take it in the morning. Do you think that would help me digest protein all day, or does one need to take it with the protein? (If you know or have a thought.)


Betaine with pepsin stays in your stomach for about an hour or so, I believe, and helps you digest the protein you just ate. Take it right after meals that contain protein.
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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby TheBrain » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:59 am

So Sarah Ballantyne recommends moderate carbohydrate intake, 30 to 60% of total calories, from whole food sources. That has to nix any possibility of being on even a mild ketogenic diet. Do we have to choose between feeding our brains ketones vs. feeding our gut microbiomes carbs, including starchy carbs?

I plan to read this article next: How Ketogenic Diet Wreaks Havoc on Your Gut (https://www.thepaleomom.com/how-ketogen ... n-your-gut).
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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby Julie G » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:54 am

So Sarah Ballantyne recommends moderate carbohydrate intake, 30 to 60% of total calories, from whole food sources. That has to nix any possibility of being on even a mild ketogenic diet. Do we have to choose between feeding our brains ketones vs. feeding our gut microbiomes carbs, including starchy carbs?

I don't think that's necessarily true. I think it's possible to get fiber intake around 40-50g and still keep carbs low enough to achieve mild ketosis especially when combined with fasting and exercise. Without doing the math on Cronometer and concurrently checking BHB, it's hard to know for sure and I suspect that there will be a lot of individualization.
For the betaine, I take it in the morning. Do you think that would help me digest protein all day, or does one need to take it with the protein? (If you know or have a thought.)

It's extraordinarily common (especially for anyone taking an antacid or PPI- 3rd most common OTC) to have low stomach acid. Betaine is meant to be taken right before meals, especially important if you're eating animal protein. To find the correct dosage, see the instructions from my FMP:
Instructions: Begin with one capsule just before meals. Increase by one capsule at each meal (i.e., take two capsules before the next meal, three capsules before the following meal, etc.) until you feel a mild burning sensation in your upper abdomen. Then decrease back to the number of capsules you took prior to experiencing the burning sensation, and maintain that dose. You may notice that after a while, even that dose produces a burning sensation. If this happens, continue reducing the dose until you no longer feeling a burning sensation.

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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby circular » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:05 am

I was taking betaine for high homocysteine so it's betaine anhydrous (TMG). I guess that won't help much with digestion. I'll stick with bitters for now. Aren't they supposed to help with digestion when taken before meals by stimulating digestive enzymes?

FWIW, WebMD says, "... betaine hydrochloride ... delivers hydrochloric acid but does not itself alter stomach acidity." What say the functional medicine people?
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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby Julie G » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:10 pm

Might be a different kind of betaine, HCL. Here's a study talking about the effect on stomach acidification. My understanding is that animal protein, especially, needs acid to be appropriately metabolized. Given that it's largely animal protein driving TMAO, I figure it might be helpful... along with the bitters to stimulate bile (?)

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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby Plumster » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:45 pm

Might be a different kind of betaine, HCI. Here's a study talking about the effect on stomach acidification. My understanding is that animal protein, especially, needs acid to be appropriately metabolized. Given that it's largely animal protein driving TMAO, I figure it might be helpful... along with the bitters to stimulate bile (?)


Yes, bitters, ginger (fresh, tea, etc), lemon, apple cider, sea salt--these all help improve stomach acidity. From what I've read, only Betaine HCL can help you regain normal acidity over time.

I've read many articles suggesting that Betaine HCL be taken before a meal. My own experience with it caused pain in my stomach.
I'm attaching Isabella Wentz's booklet (available online) on low stomach acid (due to underactive thyroid). She recommends taking Betaine HCL after meals with protein, which has worked better for me.
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Last edited by Plumster on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby Julie G » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:03 pm

I've read many articles suggesting that Betaine HCL be taken before a meal. My own experience with it caused pain in my stomach.

Interesting, Plumster. It kind of makes me wonder if you don't need it. Perhaps that pain is a signal that your stomach is acidic enough? Regardless, taking it after a meal should also help while protecting your stomach lining from the acidity.

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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby Plumster » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

[quote]Perhaps that pain is a signal that your stomach is acidic enough?/quote]

I wish, but I was taking 6 of them after a meal without feeling a stomach burn. Now I'm down to 4, so it's going in the right direction . . .
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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby zc_hl » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:49 am

Apparently, vasopressin/antidiuretic hormone can increase bile flow (in rats): The effect of desmopressin on changes of bile acids specter in rats (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20201389/)

"We studied the effect of the synthetic analogue of antidiuretic hormone-desmopressin on the level of choleresis and the bile acids spectrum in acute experiments in bile duct-cannulated rats. It is shown that desmopressin increases bile flow and concentration of taurin-conjugated bile acids."

If it holds true for humans, might mean that you do not want to drink too much during digestion for maximal bile flow?

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Re: How TMAO Fooled Us

Postby TheBrain » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:54 am

Julie G wrote:
So Sarah Ballantyne recommends moderate carbohydrate intake, 30 to 60% of total calories, from whole food sources. That has to nix any possibility of being on even a mild ketogenic diet. Do we have to choose between feeding our brains ketones vs. feeding our gut microbiomes carbs, including starchy carbs?


I don't think that's necessarily true. I think it's possible to get fiber intake around 40-50g and still keep carbs low enough to achieve mild ketosis especially when combined with fasting and exercise. Without doing the math on Cronometer and concurrently checking BHB, it's hard to know for sure and I suspect that there will be a lot of individualization.


I certainly hope you’re right. I can’t eat that much food to begin with, given my suboptimal “digestive fire,” and I suspect that will get in my way. More n=1...
ApoE 4/4 - When I was in 7th grade, my fellow students in history class called me "The Brain" because I had such a memory for detail. I excelled at memorization and aced tests. This childhood memory helps me cope!


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