There has been quite a bit of good research over the past 8 years on a dietary supplement called Sarcosine (or N-methyl Glycine). It is a natural amino acid that you have already in your body.
Sarcosine seems to be the only thing that has some good clinical research data showing that it can help people who have schizophrenia and who suffer from some negative symptoms (the cognitive/focus issues, lack of motivation, and negative mood/depression issues that are common with schizophrenia.
We have a new summary of this research here that we encourage you to read:
It is available from a number of online stores at different prices. BrainVitaminz and Profrontal are companies focused on brain vitamins and are run by scientists, medical people and PHDs. Smartpowders is primarily a supplement company for body builders. We would trust the companies that are focused on brain supplements more than a company focused on bodybuilders.
It shouldn’t stop working (and neither should Glycine - but Glycine is hard to take at the high dose needed for a long time.) I’ve never seen any research to suggest that it stops working for people. But of course - everyone is different, so you never know.
I think the research suggests that as long as you don’t feel like its hurting you - then just keep taking it and slowly increase from 1 gram per day to 2 grams per day over a week or two. Then keep taking it for a month or two to see how its working over a longer period of time.
I don’t expect it to cure anything. The chart shows pretty significant improvement in a lot of areas. This would make me feel a lot better at least for a while.
It sucks to be trapped in my head without anything to think about. I’m hoping this will put me in a better state of mind.
A huge part of my sz is feeling guilty for terrible thoughts. Thoughts I didn’t have before the illness. Every time I look at or hear someone if I’m even slightly afraid that they ‘say’(telepathically) this or that. Well they say that exact thing. I’m sitting inside the self trying to find solid ground when the only real solid ground is to escape self consciousness. This happens sometimes, but not very often. Sometimes I’m locked into psychosis other times it feels very controlled.
Something like sarcosine really could do a lot for me.
It’s an anxiety/ocd/depressive mess in here. None of it seizes me or slows me down to much. I still have to endure it though.
Thanks for posting this! I used to be a member here in the 90’s and active until I moved to San Diego from Philly in 2005. I was into orthomolecular psychiatry info yrs ago - still take supplements but just for physical health - had been tested at Brain Bio Ctr in Princeton (Dr Pfeiffer’s baby) and was at Huxley Institute for testing in NY (now located in Florida) BUT - it was all no go for me as were most meds - a kind of opposite biochemistry I was stuck with. Nonetheless ativan (lorazepam) has been helpful these last 15 yrs (2mg prn up to 3x) and I still take a small dose of stelazine (trifluorperazide) which oddly is the only anti-p that doesn’t give me more voices and hallucinations by taking it.
It takes getting used to, this new site arrangement lol,
Still, thanks to Brian for this site!!! and a hello to Jamesgirl, and other old dear friends here whose nicknames I forget rt now. Peace Up, Unk PS r.i.p.: Dugal, Rick, Moonlight … I hope non others!
If you take a look, there are your 21 amino acids. Some familiar names right. Basically your body needs all of them. Methyl is a synthesized glycine, I’d just go with the natural Glycine. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/now/gly.html
Synthesized forms like Red bull, and most energy drinks of caffeine scramble the brain, and tax your coronary. That is why I stay away from synthesized.
The issue is that most amino acids don’t do anything to help in schizophrenia - only a few do (according to the research).
Glycine is fine - but you have to take 60 grams a day (according to the research studies by experts on this) to see any benefit in schizophrenia. And - according to the researcher who did the GLycine studes with lot of people - the issue is that you frequently get upset stomach when you’re taking 60 grams of glycine a day.
You only have to take 1 or 2 grams of Sarcosine a day for the same affect - and no upset stomach (and probably much cheaper too)
Here is a meta study of all the studies of sarcosine and related supplements that focus on the NMDA receptor in the brain:
Results were based on a total sample size of 1253 cases from 29 trials that fulfilled the specified criteria.
Taking into consideration the number of trials and sample size in subgroup analyses, D-serine, NAC and sarcosine as adjuncts to non-clozapine antipsychotics have therapeutic benefit in the treatment of negative and total symptoms of chronic schizophrenia. While glycine improves positive and total symptoms as an adjuvant to non-clozapine antipsychotics, it worsens them when added to clozapine.
Who does these studies are they on rats? Do the researchers even have schizophrenia themselves? It’s like making a critique on cannabis when they haven’t even smoked some for themselves. I’m an expert in my own right, I found these amino acids to help me. The removal of nitrogen and ammonia from the body. I’m saying a person suffering SZ will notice what’s on the bottled powders of glycine for example. What you mentioned these researchers and their clinical research is bogus. I take these aminos in real like settings. And am discovering more each day. The amount of efficacy for glycine, and earlier lysine was way too high I experience benefits from those at the suggested serving amount marked on the bottle which is way less.
I don’t need a labcoat to make discoveries I’ve been doing them nutritionally for 13 years. These dudes if they really knew anything about schizophrenia or mental illness at all, there would be a cure.
I googled sarcosine and there also is a concern for causing prostate cancer. I, as is usual at my age, have an enlarged prostate and take a med to help my urinating be full stream. I guess also, I have to watch for possible future cancer there.
sooo, I am reluctant to try sarcosine unfortunately.
The doctor gave me the all clear to try it. Starting today. Will report back. Second what @SzAdmin said about the stuff sold by bodybuilding outfits – they all seem to come in crazy combinations that are packed with stimulants, not all of them safe for a person. Overloading on stimulants could do nasty things to positive symptoms (and have in my case in the past). If you are going to try sarcosine, go with the sources Brian is recommending as he tends to research this kind of stuff very deeply before making a recommendation.
Sarcosine Shows Promise As a New Way to Relieve Depression
In a brief, six-week trial on depressed patients, sarcosine even outperformed the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa).
Sarcosine is a derivative of glycine, the smallest of the amino acids. It has previously shown to help patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
It may be that by simply changing the level of activity of the NMDA receptor sarcosine enhances neuroplasticity, the ability to remodel nerve networks in the brain.
It’s been nearly three decades since the last truly new drugs to treat depression were developed. And while currently available antidepressants are the most common treatment for depression, they may increase the likelihood of depression recurring.
They also do not work for everyone, suggesting that drugs such as sarcosine, which affect different pathways, may have a role to play in helping ease the burden of depression.
“Sarcosine appears to be elevated in the urine of persons with prostate cancer and thus potentially useful as a biomarker”
in other words - if you have prostate cancer, one of the biomarkers might be elevated sarcosine - but there i don’t think any of the research is showing that sarcosine activates cancer cells.
Its like lots of green grass might be a “biomarker” for golf courses and suburban housing developments, but it doesn’t mean they “cause” golf courses and housing developments. They are just associated with them.
That said - if you are an older male (over the age of 50) and have not had a prostate cancer exam - I’d discuss it with your doctor.
Some people are born with very high sarcosine levels and its a benign (i.e. not very harmful) situation.