Antioxidant Supplement Worsened General PEM

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Hi everyone.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the Solgar Antioxidant Formula for at least 4-5 days, and what I have noticed is that it has made my general PEM symptoms worse and it's also lowered the threshold too. Before I started taking the antioxidant formula, I could walk for about 30 minutes with little to next to no pain but, now, when I walk for less than a minute, I feel excruciating pain. In fact, my whole back feels extremely painful whereas before, it would not hurt like this and for it to hurt at least like how I'm feeling now, I would have needed to go skateboarding and it would not even be as bad.

Whenever I would experience PEM before, it would be just muscle stiffness, I would still be bedbound but, I wouldn't be in any particular; if not, any at all, but now, the pain is almost unbearable. I am sorry if this doesn't come as coherent enough, as I'm also dealing with annoying brain fog.

Does anyone have any idea as to why this is happening? I'm scared that I may have caused irreversible damage
 
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The ingredient list is long!

  • Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate): 500 mg
  • Vitamin E (200 IU as d-alpha tocopheryl succinate): 134 mg α-TE
  • L-Cysteine (as hydrochloride): 100 mg
  • Natural Source Beta-carotene (as prep.): 4.5 mg
    • Providing other carotenoids: 12 µg
  • Zinc (as bisglycinate): 10 mg
  • Taurine: 50 mg
  • Food Based Antioxidants: 50 mg
    • powdered extracts of green tea [15 mg polyphenols]
    • red wine [4.5 mg polyphenols]
    • Pycnogenol [3 mg procyanidins])
  • Powdered Plant Base (Spirulina, Ginkgo biloba extract, Milk thistle extract, Gotu kola extract): 50 mg
  • L-Glutathione: 25 mg
  • Manganese (as bisglycinate): 4 mg
  • Powdered Rose Hips Extract (4;1) and rose hips: 26 mg
  • Mixed tocopherols (as prep.): 20 mg
  • Vitamin A (2500 IU, as palmitate prep.): 751 µg RE
  • Selenium (as L-selenomethionine): 50 µg
  • Copper (as bisglycinate): 1000 µg
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2 as riboflavin-5-phosphate): 6 mg
I guess you're reacting to one of those but it's hard to know which. Taking anti-oxidants is smart but sounds like you may need to test them one at a time, unfortunately.
 
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The ingredient list is long!

  • Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate): 500 mg
  • Vitamin E (200 IU as d-alpha tocopheryl succinate): 134 mg α-TE
  • L-Cysteine (as hydrochloride): 100 mg
  • Natural Source Beta-carotene (as prep.): 4.5 mg
    • Providing other carotenoids: 12 µg
  • Zinc (as bisglycinate): 10 mg
  • Taurine: 50 mg
  • Food Based Antioxidants: 50 mg
    • powdered extracts of green tea [15 mg polyphenols]
    • red wine [4.5 mg polyphenols]
    • Pycnogenol [3 mg procyanidins])
  • Powdered Plant Base (Spirulina, Ginkgo biloba extract, Milk thistle extract, Gotu kola extract): 50 mg
  • L-Glutathione: 25 mg
  • Manganese (as bisglycinate): 4 mg
  • Powdered Rose Hips Extract (4;1) and rose hips: 26 mg
  • Mixed tocopherols (as prep.): 20 mg
  • Vitamin A (2500 IU, as palmitate prep.): 751 µg RE
  • Selenium (as L-selenomethionine): 50 µg
  • Copper (as bisglycinate): 1000 µg
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2 as riboflavin-5-phosphate): 6 mg
I guess you're reacting to one of those but it's hard to know which. Taking anti-oxidants is smart but sounds like you may need to test them one at a time, unfortunately.
You're right about that, Murph!

I just hope that I get better because it's been at least 2 weeks since I stopped and I have barely noticed any improvements on the side effects that I have been experiencing from it
 
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You're right about that, Murph!

I just hope that I get better because it's been at least 2 weeks since I stopped and I have barely noticed any improvements on the side effects that I have been experiencing from it
I am very sorry to hear that. I hope things turn soon. I don't see anything on that list that is a known risk so hopefully it is transient.
 

pamojja

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Difficult situation. In long term use 4 mg of Manganese or 1 mg of Copper (also Iron, not in this formula) can get problematic, if one isn't monitoring it's levels in the body in any way. But in such a short time its so very unlikely. All other ingredients aren't particularly high dose, therefore really difficult to know to which you could have reacted that sensitive. Sensitivity could also be triggered by any binders or fillers. Have you taken some of the ingredients before, so that you could exclude them as possible triggers? Have you been in the past sensitive to blood thinners?

Also consider the possibility, that this was just one of those worsening just by change happening 2 weeks ago. When I reflect on my supplement-intake in the past, I can find a clear pattern of increasing doses just before something, like bronchitis, hits me. So I intuitively take more feeling something coming, and in my case in retrospect I always find that it couldn't possibly be caused by the supplement increase.
 

Wishful

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I agree with Murph, too many ingredients to know which one is the problem. You'll have to try them individually to figure out which you should be avoiding. While I can't guarantee that taking something can't cause permanent worsening of symptoms, my experience is that none of the things I've tried have caused permanent worsening. Negative effects generally last only a few days at most for me. Others suffer longer. Only you can figure out how long things will affect you.

My standard recommendation is keeping a journal of food/activity/symptoms. It's very helpful for figuring out what might have made you feel worse--or better--on a given day. Memory is too unreliable for that.

BTW, some antioxidants make my symptoms worse. Vitamin C used to do that. Resveratol (red wine antioxidant) definitely makes them worse.
 
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Difficult situation. In long term use 4 mg of Manganese or 1 mg of Copper (also Iron, not in this formula) can get problematic, if one isn't monitoring it's levels in the body in any way. But in such a short time its so very unlikely. All other ingredients aren't particularly high dose, therefore really difficult to know to which you could have reacted that sensitive. Sensitivity could also be triggered by any binders or fillers. Have you taken some of the ingredients before, so that you could exclude them as possible triggers? Have you been in the past sensitive to blood thinners?

Also consider the possibility, that this was just one of those worsening just by change happening 2 weeks ago. When I reflect on my supplement-intake in the past, I can find a clear pattern of increasing doses just before something, like bronchitis, hits me. So I intuitively take more feeling something coming, and in my case in retrospect I always find that it couldn't possibly be caused by the supplement increase.
Hi Pamoja. I had briefly taken Vitamin C, L-Cysteine, Zinc, Taurine, Manganese, and Riboflavin-5-Phosphate (R5P) years ago, but I could only somewhat tolerate R5P at the time, though, for the others that I mentioned, I stopped taking them as soon as I started experiencing side-effects.

I am not too sure if I am sensitive blood thinners to be honest? Do you know what supplements can act as blood thinner?

Thank you for your input
 
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I agree with Murph, too many ingredients to know which one is the problem. You'll have to try them individually to figure out which you should be avoiding. While I can't guarantee that taking something can't cause permanent worsening of symptoms, my experience is that none of the things I've tried have caused permanent worsening. Negative effects generally last only a few days at most for me. Others suffer longer. Only you can figure out how long things will affect you.

My standard recommendation is keeping a journal of food/activity/symptoms. It's very helpful for figuring out what might have made you feel worse--or better--on a given day. Memory is too unreliable for that.

BTW, some antioxidants make my symptoms worse. Vitamin C used to do that. Resveratol (red wine antioxidant) definitely makes them worse.
Thank you, Wishful, that's reassuring. Ah, I also do keep a (not so well structured) journal for symptoms and whatnot, which allowed me to somewhat point out that these symptoms only started happening shortly after supplementing the the antioxidants.

At the moment I have extremely bad trapezoid and latissimus dorsi pain, and it's so painful that it's really difficult to sleep on my side, twist my body, even just slightly, hurts like crazy. I am so confused on what I can do to rectify this.
 

pamojja

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Hi Pamoja. I had briefly taken Vitamin C, L-Cysteine, Zinc, Taurine, Manganese, and Riboflavin-5-Phosphate (R5P) years ago, but I could only somewhat tolerate R5P at the time, though, for the others that I mentioned, I stopped taking them as soon as I started experiencing side-effects.
Do I understand that right, that you formerly had to stop vitamin C, cystein, zinc, taurine and manganese all because each individually gave you side-effects? In this case you already knew you're sensitive to a number of ingredients of this product, and still took them all at once? Now I don't understand it anymore :oops:

Does anyone have any idea as to why this is happening?
I am not too sure if I am sensitive blood thinners to be honest?
Don't think you have to search any further. But the main one would be vitamin E.

I am so confused on what I can do to rectify this.
Wouldn't worry additionally to the serious pain you experience, it will pass just as before when you had sensitivity to the ingredients and therefore quit. It might take longer this time, because you got them all at once. But they all get washed out again.
 

Wishful

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At the moment I have extremely bad trapezoid and latissimus dorsi pain, and it's so painful that it's really difficult to sleep on my side, twist my body, even just slightly, hurts like crazy. I am so confused on what I can do to rectify this.
At times (still haven't figured out what triggers them) I get sharp pains on the sides of my hips. I did figure out that flexing my spine/hip joint stops the pain (temporarily). I think it's some neural pathway getting oversensitive. The problem eventually goes away, and will probably continue to return occasionally.

Don't panic. As pamojja said, it will likely pass as your body removes whatever triggered it. Add whatever it is to your 'Things to really, really avoid' list. :rolleyes: My list keeps growing.
 
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Do I understand that right, that you formerly had to stop vitamin C, cystein, zinc, taurine and manganese all because each individually gave you side-effects? In this case you already knew you're sensitive to a number of ingredients of this product, and still took them all at once? Now I don't understand it anymore :oops:





Don't think you have to search any further. But the main one would be vitamin E.



Wouldn't worry additionally to the serious pain you experience, it will pass just as before when you had sensitivity to the ingredients and therefore quit. It might take longer this time, because you got them all at once. But they all get washed out again.
Yup, I genuinely thought I would be able to tolerate it as the dosage were significantly lower than each of the ones I had supplemented in the past. Boy, was I wrong haha.

I had no idea Vitamin E is a blood thinner, thank you for that.

Ah, I really do hope so. Fingers crossed :)
 
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At times (still haven't figured out what triggers them) I get sharp pains on the sides of my hips. I did figure out that flexing my spine/hip joint stops the pain (temporarily). I think it's some neural pathway getting oversensitive. The problem eventually goes away, and will probably continue to return occasionally.

Don't panic. As pamojja said, it will likely pass as your body removes whatever triggered it. Add whatever it is to your 'Things to really, really avoid' list. :rolleyes: My list keeps growing.
Ah, I am sorry to hear that but, I am glad that flexing your spine/hip hop joint stops the pain temporarily. I do hope it gets better for you and that you find out how to stop the pain for good.

I really do hope so, and I definitely will do. I probably should also throwaway the remainder of the bottle haha.
 
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@topghetto
Let me start by saying that I agree with @pamojja, @Wishful, and @Murph ..... this will pass as soon as your body eliminates it and the systems affected can return to base. So know that it's extremely doubtful that you've done any permanent damage.

Natural Source Beta-carotene (as prep.): 4.5 mg
  • Providing other carotenoids: 12 µg
The body often has a hard time converting carotenoids to Vit A, and carotenoids can also cause various unpleasant side-effects

Taurine is a sulfuric supplement. I know that since the more severe onset of my ME, my tolerance for anything sulfur is nil.

Food Based Antioxidants: 50 mg
  • powdered extracts of green tea [15 mg polyphenols]
  • red wine [4.5 mg polyphenols]
  • Pycnogenol [3 mg procyanidins])
I tend to avoid anything powdered, tho the biggest problems generally come from powdered aminos. On the other hand, plants have amino acids, too. I don't think the pycnogenol would be problematic, but the extracts of green tea and red wine, no so sure.

  • Powdered Plant Base (Spirulina, Ginkgo biloba extract, Milk thistle extract, Gotu kola extract): 50 mg
  • L-Glutathione: 25 mg
Spirulina is fairly high in amino acids, and the powdered form would have to be hydrolized in some way, either by low heat or acids. This holds true for almost all powdered anything ... they most all go thru a process of hydrolization to convert them to powder forms. Many hydrolized aminos are little glutamate bombs. In a damaged system, their conversion into GABA is unlikely, and they tend to bypass glutathione conversion as well. So they only have one place left to go, and that's straight to glutamate receptors, which is excitotoxic and neurally damaging. Not to mention having a singularly unpleasant potential for anxiety, tight chest pressure, heart palps, head pressure, blurry eyes. A whole cornucopia of ..... well, definitely not goodness.

Gingko and Gota kola are adaptogens, and I find that all adaptogens are unwelcome, at least to my system, at least for now.

Oral glutathione is somewhat controversial, with some proponents saying that it is bioavailable, others saying that it's useless taken orally. Who knows. There'll be exciting new contradictory opinions by lunchtime tomorrow. I just find that my system seems to turn it into glutamate, and it trots down a well-traveled and not particularly fun road.

Milk Thistle is another sulfuric supplement (I think I see a pattern emerging), and I react to sulfur with PEMs-like fatigue, muscle and joint pain, thick head, muscle weakness along with a kind of jerky spasticity.

Selenium (as L-selenomethionine): 50 µg
L-Selenomethionine is another sulfur-based supplement (Yup, definitely picking up a theme here), and not very much of it goes a long way. I know 50 mcg's doesn't sound like a lot, but it represents 25% of the recommended daily intake, and if your system is sensitive (and whose among us isn't), a very small amount of sulfur-anything taken repeatedly can go a long way, and who knows how much more selenomethionine you're getting from other sources, or for that matter, sulfur. And there's a lot of sulfuric components in this compound, which may be what's affecting you so harshly.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2 as riboflavin-5-phosphate): 6 mg
And again (feeling like the Grinch here) my tolerance to all B-vits is zero right now, especially the highly bioavailable ones like the 5-Ps

L-Cysteine (as hydrochloride): 100 mg
L-Cysteine is almost invariably a precursor for glutamate, at least in my limping system. I avoid it like plague and ticks.

I also generally avoid complex combos of multiple suspects. For one, if you do react, you have no idea what to, and for two, there's no telling whether the synergy of the multiple contents will be good or deadly bad. It's hard, I know, not to reach for something so chock full of everything you believe is good for you, but that was for the you before ME/CFS. The new rule is "low and slow".

And I'd add, simple.

This is just based on my own experience and observation of what does which to my body. It may or may not bear any resemblance to what goes on in yours, but it could provide a jumping off point for more research and/or experimentation.
 
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Wishful

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L-Selenomethionine is another sulfur-based supplement.
Nope. It's a selenium supplement. No sulfur. However, selenium is chemically similar to sulfur (one level down on the periodic table), so it might bind the same way in some reactions.

Good thing you're not also sensitive to the similar element one level above sulfur: oxygen. :)
 
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@topghetto
Let me start by saying that I agree with @pamojja, @Wishful, and @Murph ..... this will pass as soon as your body eliminates it and the systems affected can return to base. So know that it's extremely doubtful that you've done any permanent damage.


The body often has a hard time converting carotenoids to Vit A, and carotenoids can also cause various unpleasant side-effects


Taurine is a sulfuric supplement. I know that since the more severe onset of my ME, my tolerance for anything sulfur is nil.


I tend to avoid anything powdered, tho the biggest problems generally come from powdered aminos. On the other hand, plants have amino acids, too. I don't think the pycnogenol would be problematic, but the extracts of green tea and red wine, no so sure.


Spirulina is fairly high in amino acids, and the powdered form would have to be hydrolized in some way, either by low heat or acids. This holds true for almost all powdered anything ... they most all go thru a process of hydrolization to convert them to powder forms. Many hydrolized aminos are little glutamate bombs. In a damaged system, their conversion into GABA is unlikely, and they tend to bypass glutathione conversion as well. So they only have one place left to go, and that's straight to glutamate receptors, which is excitotoxic and neurally damaging. Not to mention having a singularly unpleasant potential for anxiety, tight chest pressure, heart palps, head pressure, blurry eyes. A whole cornucopia of ..... well, definitely not goodness.

Gingko and Gota kola are adaptogens, and I find that all adaptogens are unwelcome, at least to my system, at least for now.

Oral glutathione is somewhat controversial, with some proponents saying that it is bioavailable, others saying that it's useless taken orally. Who knows. There'll be exciting new contradictory opinions by lunchtime tomorrow. I just find that my system seems to turn it into glutamate, and it trots down a well-traveled and not particularly fun road.

Milk Thistle is another sulfuric supplement (I think I see a pattern emerging), and I react to sulfur with PEMs-like fatigue, muscle and joint pain, thick head, muscle weakness along with a kind of jerky spasticity.


L-Selenomethionine is another sulfur-based supplement (Yup, definitely picking up a theme here), and not very much of it goes a long way. I know 50 mcg's doesn't sound like a lot, but it represents 25% of the recommended daily intake, and if your system is sensitive (and whose among us isn't), a very small amount of sulfur-anything taken repeatedly can go a long way, and who knows how much more selenomethionine you're getting from other sources, or for that matter, sulfur. And there's a lot of sulfuric components in this compound, which may be what's affecting you so harshly.


And again (feeling like the Grinch here) my tolerance to all B-vits is zero right now, especially the highly bioavailable ones like the 5-Ps


L-Cysteine is almost invariably a precursor for glutamate, at least in my limping system. I avoid it like plague and ticks.

I also generally avoid complex combos of multiple suspects. For one, if you do react, you have no idea what to, and for two, there's no telling whether the synergy of the multiple contents will be good or deadly bad. It's hard, I know, not to reach for something so chock full of everything you believe is good for you, but that was for the you before ME/CFS. The new rule is "low and slow".

And I'd add, simple.

This is just based on my own experience and observation of what does which to my body. It may or may not bear any resemblance to what goes on in yours, but it could provide a jumping off point for more research and/or experimentation.
Thank you for so much for your very detailed and informative post. I did not realise that there were so many sulfur producing products in the antioxidants formula until now, and I also had no idea that they could cause those kind of side-effects.

I definitely need to be more careful in the future. Thanks again!
 
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Nope. It's a selenium supplement. No sulfur. However, selenium is chemically similar to sulfur (one level down on the periodic table), so it might bind the same way in some reactions.
And nope, again. It’s not a simple selenium supplement. That would be selenium dioxide. We’re talking about L-Selenomethionine, which is selenium bound to the sulfuric amino acid methionine.

Methionine is a sulfur-containing amino acid, and is an essential nutrient for all animals, including humans. It’s necessary for the synthesis of body proteins, and along with cysteine, methionine is one of two sulfur-containing proteinogenic amino acids. L-selenomethionine is selenium, attached to the sulfur of methionine.

Selenium is found in metal sulfide ores, where it partially replaces the sulfur, and is produced commercially as a byproduct in the refining of those ores. So, selenium itself is born in sulfur, then bound, in L-Selenomethionine, to a sulfuric amino acid. How much more sulfur do you need ;)?
 
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Thank you for so much
I did not realise that there were so many sulfur producing products in the antioxidants formula until now, and I also had no idea that they could cause those kind of side-effects.
You're very, very, welcome :) :thumbsup:.

I had to learn to do this kind of careful breakdown early on in my ME/CFS, when I started reacting to absolutely every-effing-thing I was taking, and didn't know why. I'm still reactive to sulfur, which means I can't take B-Comp compounds, or Taurine :(, which is so useful for the anxiety/panic attacks and for sleep, which I also have biiiiig problems with, or several other really helpful and useful things. Damn.

I can't guarantee that you're as reactive to sulfur as I am, but your PEMs made me think of how absolutely wretched I felt early on in all this.... uh.....frolic, after taking my usual morning dose of MSM crystals mixed with warm water, which I'd been taking for years and years, and your reaction seemed really similar. It took several more years for me to slowly start connecting the dots on a lot of things, not just sulfur.

I know (at least I hope I know) that this is transitory, and eventually, we'll be able to add stuff back, slowly and carefully, until finally, we'll be totally tickity-boo.

Keep on punchin', and onward and upward :rocket:!!! And thank you for the thanks, much appreciated :) :thumbsup:.
 
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Wishful

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Battle of the science facts! :) Methionine is C5H11NO2S. Selenomethionine is C5H11NO2Se, created with a selenium atom instead of a sulfur atom. So, no sulfur in it.

Selenium isn't 'born in' sulfur. It's just chemically similar, so the same process that concentrated the sulfur as metallic compounds did the same for the selenium compounds. The biological processes that create methionine can use selenium or sulfur, so in nature, you'll get a mix of the two types of methionine. Likewise, I expect that many of the processes that use that amino acid can use either form. If that process leaves the S or Se ion floating around, whatever process you're sensitive to will likely be reacting with either element.

So, selenomethonine doesn't contain sulfur, but for your body it doesn't make much of a difference. I'm imagining your body razzing the argument. :p