Biotin -> Collagen -> Glycine -> BCAA
This post is an update on my journey healing myself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. In some ways this post is a continuation of the post I wrote called “My Nutrigenomic Analysis“, 11 years ago. A lot of the methylation support supplements I was taking didn’t pan out as having long lasting beneficial impact as I had hoped. Since that time I had mostly given up, and quit experimenting. I had experimentation and health research burn out. I even quit taking virtually all supplements. Then a couple of years ago I started experimenting again, and over that time I have had success’s and failures I would like to document and report on, for record purposes and in case it helps anyone else out their suffering form something similar.
A couple years ago, I was kiteboarding in the Turks & Caicos, and I was having real issues with my skin, coming apart in my hands from all the water exposure. A fellow kiteboarder recommended I try supplementing with Biotin. She said she used high doses for her horses to help regenerate their hooves. I said I already take Biotin in my multivitamin, and she insisted I take a significantly higher dose. So this is what I did, not only did my skin dramatically improve in it’s integrity many of the tension headaches I was suffering from on a regular basis diminished in frequency greatly.
It got to the point where if I felt a tension headache coming on I could pop a biotin pill and the oncoming headache would just never arrive. Biotin thus greatly reduced much of the fibromyalgia tension I felt specifically around my spine. It worked most of the time, I started taking it daily but not always.
Great slide deck on Biotin’s biochemical mechanism of action here
After much somatic psychology training I have learned to sense fascia and muscles in my body and be able to differentiate them somewhat. When the fibromyalgia tension was at it’s worst in the past I assumed it was always muscle pain, but now I felt perhaps it was the fascia themselves that were in pain and perhaps nutrient deprived. So I went on a mission to support my fascia.
I started with Biotin, but then also experimented with taking several tablespoons a day of Gelatin and then Collagen as this is what fascia are primarily composed of. In fact taking a large heaping tbsp of collagen, seemed to be as effective as Biotin. Taking this one step further, the primary amino acid in Collagen is glycine, so I began taking mega doses of glycine 5 -10 grams a day. It seemed to have a similar beneficial effect.
It had been said that consuming 10 grams of glycine per day can increase collagen synthesis by up to 200%. So this got me excited.
The problem I then ran into however was that glycine primarily acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, particularly in the spinal cord and brainstem, and so I started feeling very drowsy and groggy taking it. This made the whole CFS thing worse, while my Fibromyalgia got better, so it just did not become worth it going this way.
For some reason I tried switching to taking large doses of BCAA’s instead. 10g -20g a day. This worked very well. Most of the fibromyalgia symptoms greatly diminished, and tensions headaches were very infrequent. To this day I still take my 10-20g of BCAA daily. It has dramatically improved my recovery in the gym and considerably improved my strength gains as well when it comes to weight training.
While I seem to have gotten rid of the majority of my Fibromyalgia, the Chronic Fatigue still remained. I had wrongly assumed my fatigue came from all the pain the fibromyalgia induced but that simply seemed not to be the case. I was mostly pain free, still some residual spine tension, but not oppressing tension headaches on a daily basis which are extremely fatiguing in their own right.