FAQ (2 of 5): Dietary Guidelines

9.  Why should I limit the intake of dietary glutamate?

When taking an anti-glucose drug to treat diabetes, no amount of such a drug can effectively lower blood glucose levels unless the patient also limits his/her intake of carbohydrates and sugar. Taking RaphaN+ to alleviate glutamate excitotoxicity is the same idea. Higher postprandial glutamate indicates that your ability to metabolize dietary glutamate is lower, so you will need to be more stringent in limiting the intake of dietary glutamate. Without limiting dietary glutamate, RaphaN+ will not be able to metabolize dietary glutamate faster than you are taking it in, making the supplement less effective, and in some extreme cases, not effective at all.

10.  Can I have protein shakes?

No. All protein supplements contain high amounts of glutamate, and should be avoided if your postprandial serum glutamate is high.

11.  Is it true that bound glutamate is safer than free glutamate?

Not true. Several websites claim that bound glutamate is bound within protein, and therefore is not bioavailable and is safe to take. This claim is misleading considering the following facts:

1) Proteins are made up of combinations of 22 amino acids; glutamate is the most abundant among them.

2) Proteins are polypeptides, or chains of multiple amino acids. During the digestion process, proteins will be broken down into individual amino acids. This is how the protein form or “bound glutamate” from food becomes converted into the free amino acids form, or “free glutamate.”

3) Free glutamate such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) can enter the blood circulation more quickly than bound glutamate, but all bound glutamate will eventually be broken down into free glutamate.

4) Since many foods contain a lot more bound glutamate than free glutamate, what is important is the amount of glutamate being consumed rather than the form.

12.  What type of diet do you recommend?

We strongly recommend switching to a vegetarian diet. This is because animal proteins generally contain high amounts of glutamate, which will reduce or even ruin the effectiveness of the RaphaN+ regimen the same way excessive intake of carbohydrates undermines diabetes treatment.

However, certain vegetarian food items also have a very high glutamate content. Even within vegetarian diet, these foods must consumed in limited amounts (less than 30 grams per meal):

1) Walnuts (2,720 mg/100 g)

2) Fennel seeds (2,956 mg/100 g)

3) Soybeans (3,047 mg/100 g)

4) Caraway seeds (3,169 mg/100 g)

5) Sesame seeds (3,500 mg/100 g)

6) Oats (3,712 mg/100 g)

7) Flaxseeds (3,714 mg/100 g)

8) Cashews (4,116 mg/100 g)

9) Sunflower seeds (4,629 mg/100 g)

10) Mustard seeds (5,000 mg/100 g)

11) Almonds (5,188 mg/100 g)

12) Peanuts (5,342 mg/100 g)

13) Pumpkins seeds (5,581 mg/100 g)

14) Sweet peas (5,583 mg/100 g)

15) Cheese of all kinds (5,000–9,836 mg/100 g)

13.  Which animal products are safe for me?

Animal products with a lower glutamate content include:

1) Scallops (140 mg/100 g)

2) Goat milk (627 mg/100 g)

3) Cow milk (631 mg/100 g)

4) Yogurt (939 mg/100 g)

5) Egg (1,640 mg/100 g) (one per meal)

6) Pork (2,325 mg/100 g) (60 g per meal)

There may be other animal products that are safe for you; always check with the USDA National Nutrient Database for the glutamate content of any food item. If you type the name of the food into the PDF’s Search feature, you will find it instantly.

14.  Is there a meal plan you suggest?

No. It is nearly impossible to develop a meal plan for all individuals. Each person’s dietary glutamate tolerance level is greatly affected by his/her diet preferences and level of glutamate toxicity. Therefore, we suggest these general guidelines:

1) If your fasting glutamate is less than 30 µmol/L, you may not need to limit dietary glutamate.

2) The higher your fasting glutamate, the more you need to restrict glutamate intake.

3) The greater the difference between postprandial and fasting serum glutamate, the more strictly you should limit the intake of dietary glutamate.

4) In general, limit your total dietary glutamate to less than 5 grams per meal.

5) Check each food item against the USDA National Nutrient Database on food glutamate content and do your own calculations.

6) Develop 7 to 14 meal plans specifically to suit your unique situation and preferences, and then stick to your customized meal plans throughout the duration of the RaphaN+ regimen.

7) We recommend doing the fasting glutamate test monthly. If your dietary control goes well, control, you will see your fasting glutamate go down.

8) Adjust your meal planning accordingly.

We understand that dietary restrictions are hard, but they are vitally important for the maximum effectiveness of the RaphaN+ regimen.

15.  Why can’t I take anti-microbial products?

Anti-microbial herbs such as olive leaf extract, tea tree oil, oregano oil, uva ursi, grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver or mild silver protein CANNOT distinguish between good bacteria and pathogenic ones. These products will kill both types of bacteria the same way broad spectrum antibiotics do: essentially sterilizing the intestines and leaving behind a small amount of the toughest bacteria. Pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae may take over the entire intestine soon after you stop using these anti-microbial products. This situation will make it next to impossible for the RaphaN+ regimen to work.

16.  Is olive oil an antimicrobial too?

Yes, to the new gut bacteria. Therefore, it is not safe for you to consume olive oil when you are on the RaphaN+ regimen. Olive oil contains oleic acid, which can inhibit or kill harmful bacteria (a). One of these bacteria is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that lives in the stomach and can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. Test-tube studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil fights eight strains of this bacterium, three of which are resistant to antibiotics (b). A study in humans suggested that 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil, taken daily, can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in 10–40% of people in as little as two weeks (c). However, olive oil does not distinguish between good and bad bacteria and can interfere with the action of RaphaN+.

(a) Phenolic compounds in olive oil: antioxidant, health and organoleptic activities according to their chemical structure. Inflammopharmacology. 2009 Apr;17(2):76-84. Servili M1, Esposto S, Fabiani R, Urbani S, Taticchi A, Mariucci F, Selvaggini R, Montedoro GF.

(b) In vitro activity of olive oil polyphenols against Helicobacter pylori. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 7;55(3):680-6. Romero C1, Medina E, Vargas J, Brenes M, De Castro A.

(c) Assessment of Helicobacter pylori eradication by virgin olive oil. Manuel Castro, Concepción Romero, Antonio de Castro, Julio Vargas, Eduardo Medina, Raquel Millán, Manuel Brenes, First published: 17 April 2012, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-5378.2012.00949.x

17.  Why can’t I drink alkaline water?

The bacteria in RaphaN+ thrive at an intestinal pH of 6.0 to 6.5, and can only survive at pH 8.0 for 2 hours. The pH of most alkaline water is at least 9.5, which is about 5,000 times more alkaline than a pH of 6.0. This alkalinity will destroy all acid-loving bacteria.

18.  Is there a window of time in which sodium bicarbonate water can be consumed if it is not mixed with RaphaN+? Or should I avoid it completely?

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is a common ingredient of alkaline bottled water. When dissolved in water, sodium bicarbonate tends to form solutions with a pH of 11 to 12. Sodium bicarbonate is also commonly used in city water to prevent dissipation of chlorine, a chemical used to inhibit the growth of bacteria on hot days. These are the primary reasons individuals with elevated serum glutamate must not drink city water, even with the use of portable water filters of any brand. Portable filters do not lower water pH and have limited ability to remove chlorine from city water.

Good gut bacteria thrive at a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. At pH 7.0 the bacteria stop growing; at pH 8.0, they only live for about 2 to 3 hours; and at pH 8.6 or higher, the bacteria are killed instantly. This is why we recommend people avoid drinking alkaline water in general. The only exceptions are individuals with acidosis, in which the blood pH is lower than 7.0, but even these individuals must not use alkaline water for longer than 3 days, as it will shift the pH of the intestine from 6.0 toward 8.4. When this happens, the beneficial gut bacteria will be destroyed, leaving pathogenic bacteria to overgrow in the gut. This condition will be reflected in large postprandial increases in serum glutamate—reaching levels as high as 340 µM. This type of condition could take years to reverse.

19.   Will D-serine affect the effectiveness of RaphaN+?

Yes, it will neutralize the effect of RaphaN+. In 2007, a group of Japanese researchers led by Junpei Sasabe studied how D-serine affects glutamate excitotoxicity in ALS patients, and found that overproduction of D-serine in glia could enhance glutamate excitotoxicity. In other words, while RaphaN+ reduces glutamate excitotoxicity to protect motor neurons, D-serine does the exact opposite: it enhances glutamate excitotoxicity and accelerates the death of motor neurons.

*D-Serine is a key determinant of glutamate toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The EMBO Journal (2007) 26, 4149–4159. Jumpei Sasabe, Tomohiro Chiba, Marina Yamada, Koichi Okamoto, Ikuo Nishimoto, Masaaki Matsuoka, & Sadakazu Aiso.


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