A link between tau build up and the neurotoxin BMAA. And a possible preventative treatment using L-Serine Amino Acid

*I am not a doctor, plz research everything for yourself. Consult your doctor before taking anything mentioned in this thread*

Ok, so I bought a nice big bag of Spirulina after speaking to someone with MSA. I've done my research and my findings are that (some?) Spirulina contains BMAA that can cause tau tangles in the brain. They gave a monkey a dose of BMAA the equivalent of someone from Guam would have in their lifetime and the monkeys presented tau tangles. 20% of ppl in Guam die from a neurological disease similar to Parkinsonisms.

So, the interesting bit was about the L-Serine which I have also been looking into. They are saying they think the l-serine prevents the build tau in the monkeys! (If I find their research that led to this belief I'll post it here) They think there may be a link between the algae growing in reservoirs around the uk and the prevalence of new neurological conditions.


I guess I better throw out this Spirulina and buy some l-serine (amino acid) I'm reading that certain Companies say they don't have the neurotoxin BMAA in their Spirulina and they have had theirs tested. Something to do with the methods of growing the stuff. Well I'm not going to take that risk unless someone has some insight into this and can show me how certain brands won't have BMAA.


I found this website with some links to current research.


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49 Replies

  • Before your throw out your spirulina... ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/230...

  • Thanks Christine. I'm contacting the soil association uk. They certified the Spirulina as organic. Hopefully they will have some answers.

    The response I got from the sevenhills was...

    "Thank you for your enquiry. We have looked into this for you. You will find that BMAA is only produced by certain kinds of Spirulina grown in natural lakes and unregulated water sources. Our Spirulina is of the Arthropsira Platensis variety, and is not related to the BMAA-producing strain. Sevenhills Wholefoods' Spirulina is actually grown in carefully monitored cultivation ponds, where conditions are constantly observed. In addition to this, our spirulina is spray-dried during production, in which no cell capable of producing BMAA can survive. I cannot provide you with a medical opinion, as unfortunately we are not trained to do so, therefore for further specific medical information I would recommend consulting your GP"

    Although there's some info in this, there isn't enough to ease my concern. I'll ask for more info about the toxic strain.


  • I'll be buying my Spirulina/Chlorella from southern Taiwan. They have the cleanest.

  • Danged if you do danged if you don't, right MndO? I haven't used that stuff in years, Good luck with it and thanks for another interesting read!


  • Ikr, I'll get to the bottom of it though.

  • Dude, why do they keep kicking you off this site? I don't take offense at the fact that you are looking at everything you can to help your dad. You have not tried to sell me any particular herb drug supplement activity way of life or anything else. All I see you doing is looking and then posting what you see! Maybe you should have a disclaimer on everything you post; "Due to my dads own issues with PSP, I have been searching various ways that might help him conquer or at least slow the progress of this horrible disease. I only post my findings that I think may be of interest to the readers on this site. I do not ask for any compensation from these findings"

    Mndovermnky, would that be correct? you are only putting on this site things of interest....you are not a big corporation trying to steer us one way or another right? Talk to me.


  • To be fair, I left (wasn't kicked) bcos I was researching something called MMS. Basically snake oil. And I didn't want the hassle of explaining myself and didn't want to post anything that might be considered dangerous.

    Remember the b complex guy? I'm starting to believe there may have been something in that. From my looking at other forums for mnd and ALS etc. There are ppl who are surviving. They are using lots of supplements, antioxidants etc. It's an accumulative thing apparently. If only we had got his supplement list off him we may have learned something.

    But if you mean the mushroom thing I posted earlier and then deleted. Here's the link. The one we want is essential 6. It contains all the mushrooms that were listed.


    I plan on making a medicinal plants thread as soon as I have my ducks in a row. My friend works for a company that makes organic plant foods in Estonia. He gave me this info and is sending me a box of medicinal plant seeds in the post. When it arrives I will make a new thread and list everything in there as well as the mushrooms.

    *Essential 6 -A pure adaptogenic medicinal mushroom powder. An organic blend of Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lions Mane, Turkey Tail, and Agarikon. These are the 6 most potent mushrooms joined together to make the ultimate immune boosting medicine. This powder is easily assimilable and can be used to enhance any juices, smoothies, soups, baked goods, edibles, oils, topical creams, and even tictures. It is best when heated with fats or oils, the heat unlocks the medicinal compounds and the oil delivers the medicine to the body. Using these mushrooms in a tincture or alcohol decoction also unlocks powerful medicinal compounds. Our world is full of toxins and our body is always fighting them, Essential 6 is a crucial ally to your immune system, ridding yourself of free radicals and promoting natural killer cells. Having a healthy immune system is the most empowering thing you can do to promote health in your body.

  • Here is what health Canada had to say about it.

    Natural health products (NHPs) containing the cyanobacterium (blue-green alga, BGA), Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, have a history of contamination with a group of hepatotoxic compounds called microcystins (MCs) so testing for microcystins is necessary.

    The Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) has adopted a finished product tolerance limit of 0.02 µg MC-LR/kg body weight/day or a raw material tolerance limit of 1 ppm, provided that the total consumption per day remains less than 0.02 µg MC-LR/kg body weight when calculated for the finished product.

    Applicants should test other cyanobacterial products for microcystins if there is a history of contamination. Health Canada tests for microcystins on a significant number of marketed Spirulina products have not detected such contamination so microcystin testing for Spirulina products is usually not necessary.

  • We may be onto something here guys.


  • This is a quote from a chap on the alstdi forum.

    How, why and when does beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) become incorporated into protein?

    This involves other discoveries I have made when evaluating the possible causes of ALS. During cellular injury, repair or replacement, there is a requirement to assemble new protein from amino acids. The normal healthy functioning body usually uses threonine amino acids in the protein it requires. During periods of cell injury, repair or replacement the threonine is replaced by serine amino acids during the first phase of repair. The make-up of BMAA is very similar to serine residues; this allows the BMAA to substitute itself in place of serine. The more free levels of BMAA there is, the more new protein will have serine substituted by BMAA.

    During the first phase of cellular repair, protein folds to serine residues, but if BMAA has taken the place of serine, the protein folds to BMAA instead. This causes misfolded protein, and in high concentration may help stall the first stage of cellular regeneration. The BMAA benefits from this as apoptosis is switched off during the first phase of regeneration, and the host allows the toxin to stay in the stalled cell as it thinks it is serine. This allows toxin levels to increase in further new unfinished cells. These toxins would normally be removed by apoptosis during the second phase of regeneration. If the human host is over the age of 40 years and suffers a chronic injury or insult, the toxin levels can increase unabated as there will be no second phase regeneration and no apoptosis to eliminate the toxin. This is why some people will get ALS-PDC and others in the same family that eat the same things will not get ALS-PDC.

    The toxin will converge on any type of cell undergoing first phase regeneration, so muscles as well as neurons should be investigated.

    In a young healthy host, (with no current chronic cell regeneration), there is no requirement for serine, and therefore no opportunity for BMAA to flourish or survive in the host. This is very important to know if there is an intention to run a trial using healthy primates or mice. This explains why previous trials on primates and mice gave misleading results.

  • Did you see this as well? clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show... It seems there have been another of studies initiated for ALS. Fingers are crossed.

  • Ah, we have completed the circle. That is where I found the clinical trials link. Great job of sleuthing.

  • These mnd and ALS forums are gold mines. And it appears they may all be the same problem presenting differently for each disease.

  • Absolutely...and more. (e.g. Huntington's, prion disease, PD, PD with Lewy Body, CBD, MSA, FTD, etc. etc. Now about the TED talk. I realize it was done in 2012, but I haven't found what happened to his trials of L-Serine. I am planning to contact them, but am really intrigued in giving more L-Serine to my husband...but how much.

  • I read the safety test was 2 grams a day at the top end. But I could be wrong. ill see if I can find it again.

    The reason I've not ran to buy some already is that I read it can cause acid re-flux at anything over 3grams, so beware. This is something my dad has in spades so we're gonna have to change his diet first. Which he won't like.

  • I read somewhere the first run was for safety and was successful. If you speak to them tell them we have hundreds of Psp ppl. Hell, I've seen the ppl on the other forums organise their own trials so why shouldn't we.

  • I tried to email them but got a email from gmail saying unable to deliver... :(

  • I like that last thought. Why shouldn't we start our own trials? What ARE you doing with your dad?

  • I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row first.

    L-serine would be top of the list. But it can cause acid re-flux. So we need to change his diet etc. I have yet to start him on anything of real interest though, I'll get a copy of his current meds and post it here.

    And tbh I'm still a bit dazed from what I've learned the past few days. I've been sticking everything I've read about in my basket on Amazon and saving all the web pages about them in a folder. I need to get organised. It may take a few days...

  • A record of treatment of CFS with l-serine

    Take note, it advises you to check serine lvls before starting treatment.


    *I am not a doctor, plz research everything you read here and consult your doctor before taking anything mentioned in this thread.


    get yourself checked for serine deficiency before taking any.


    I've been advised to get a copy of my dads blood and urine tests before I start my him on anything. And I will speak to his doctor to check for anything that may effect current meds.

  • a good homeopath. B's neurologist is a homeopath. And I'm sure that he would be willing to script tests as long as it was for patients personal reference. hmmmmm


  • I don't think there are any tests for BMAA or even serine.

  • I spoke to my dads doctor and he said what I was talking about was above his pay grade. He doesn't think any of the tests they've run check for serine. :(

    Next step is to get him tested for serine deficiency privately I suppose.

    I found this as well.


  • Did your dr refer any drs or labs that would do serine test?

  • We'll probably go to the guy who gave us our diagnosis. We had to go private for that too. He's a neurologist. I forget his name.

  • My friends dad is a doctor and he thinks it's possible the ppl at ethnomedicine are the only ones who know how to test for it.

  • I like your disclaimer!!!! :)


  • 59. BMAA is a potent chelator of zinc, so if increasing zinc concentrations absorbs more of the free (unbound) BMAA, which leaves less available for misincorporation into proteins.

    Found this on the last page of one of the reports.

  • FYI -"Cox does not advocate patients taking L-serine at this time. “The FDA has not approved its use for the treatment of neurodegenerative illness, and much more research is needed,” he said. “However, this new animal model may prove useful in evaluating other potential new Alzheimer’s drugs.”

    The Institute has sponsored FDA-approved human clinical trials to study the effects of the naturally-occurring amino acid L-serine in people with ALS, and is working with Dartmouth Medical School to begin a Phase I human clinical trial of L-serine for patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early stage Alzheimer’s disease" neurosciencenews.com/bmaa-n...

    Also, in the patent I did not see any zinc. Interesting.

    PS Spoke to my husband's nutritionist. She said the first step is to have serine level tested., as you said. You can get too much which can have negative implications.

  • rspb.royalsocietypublishing...


    Damn, I was hoping they were further along. A consult and serine deficiency test is still on the cards me thinks. What do you think Christine?

    Do you think treating with l-serine could have a negative Inpact?

  • All current trials involving serine


  • Boy who was paralysed for 5 years can now talk and move his arms after serine treatment...


  • Im reading a book about colloidal silver and there's a page about chelation therapy. I'm just gonna copy it word for word.

    *if you choose chelation therapy, the following supplements are recommended:

    Cilantro with garlic mix, alfalfa, iron, kelp, selenium, zinc and vitamins C and E.

    Additional chelating agents include

    Alfalfa, (detoxifies the liver, alkalizes the body)

    CO-Q10, (improves circulation and lowers blood pressure)

    Garlic, (detoxifier)

    Ruthin/Apple pectin, (binds with unwanted toxic metals and carries them out via the digestive tract)

    Selenium, (free radical scavenger)

    Vitamin A, (helps excrete toxic substances)

    Vitamin B complex, (especially B5 - ppantothenic acid, B3 - niacin and B6 - pyridoxine: protects from harmful substances)

    Vitamin C plus bioflavonoids, (immunostimulants)

    Vitamin E, (removes toxic substances and destroys free radicals)

    I am not a doctor, do your own research and come to your own conclusions, and always speak to your doctor before taking anything.

  • I spoke to my friends dad (doctor) and he thinks we'll need to find a specialist to get tested for serine def.

    H also turned me on to this info.


  • Hey Mnd0vr (and everyone else) Happy Lunar New Year.....Year of the monkey ....maybe you will find what you are looking for this year........God bless you for the search!


  • I found some real science about colloidal silver.


  • I'd been worried about giving my dad magnesium so I researched the antacids that he's been taking for decades, they're made of magnesium! So I stopped his mag straight away. We went to the doc today as he's having been having a bad spell the last few days. He wants stronger antidepressants. Turns out his omneprazole can cause magnesium deficiency. 😡 I am not a happy bunny. This could be the source of his high blood pressure/hypertension. So in a way this is great news.

    My mum will be looking forward to reading the magnesium miracle now me thinks. They're away on holiday in just over a week. A cruise up to Norway and back. They're gonna see the northern lights 😊 And I guess I get a break too. And I had a dream about seeing the northern lights the other day so I'm good. may have been the colloidal gold I've started to take. I read the Chinese give it to their children before school.

  • Previous studies into the Guamian ALS-Parkinson's Dementia complex has identified β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), as a potential neurotoxin responsible for this disease. BMAA is a non-essential amino acid and is produced by a cyanobacterium which is present in all ecosystems. Subsequently several groups have identified high concentrations of BMAA in brain tissues of patients from North America and Europe with several neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Diseases. It has been hypothesized that chronic intake of BMAA in the diet leads to mis-incorporation of the amino acid into brain proteins, where it produces slow neuronal damage and recent evidence has shown that BMAA is mis-incorporated into proteins in neuronal cell lines via seryl tRNA synthetase, thereby producing protein mis-folding and protein aggregates, leading to cell death. It has been demonstrated in mammalian neuronal cell cultures that exogenous L-serine could prevent the BMAA neurotoxin from being mis-incorporated into proteins, thereby preventing cell death and that very high doses of L-serine may compete with the transport of a number of non-essential amino acids across the blood-brain barrier via the y+ transporter. These findings have led us to believe that high doses of L-serine could possibly stop the mis-incorporation of BMAA into brain proteins which in turn would slow or even abate the progression of ALS. This study will determine the safety of different doses of L-serine given to ALS subjects at 0.5 gm twice daily (BID), 2.5gm BID, 7.5g BID or 15 grams BID for six months.

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