Amino Acids and CFS /FM /IBS

Recently I came across some articles dealing with how some amino acids influences bacteria growth. This is a exploratory post.

I will be examining 4 aspects using PubMed:

  1. Has this been measured in CFS patients and reported? It may have been measured and found in the normal range and not reported —
  2. Have supplementation been tried with CFS patients? If so, what are the results
  3. Do we know any impact on the microbiome (specifically probiotics) with supplementation (not CFS specific)

As a general finding, we see a reduction of amino acid — which could be attributed to reduce appropriat bacteria to make these amino acids.

  • “The overnight urine output and rate of amino acid excretion were both reduced in the CFS group (P < 0.01).” [2007]
Role Names CFS Labs results Supplementation Comments
Essentiial Histidine (H) increased [2007] . .
Essentiial Isoleucine (I) . . .
Essentiial Leucine (L) . . .
Essentiial Lysine (K) . . .
Essentiial Methionine (M) . . .
Essentiial Phenylalanine (F) decreased [2007]

higher [2006]

Patients improved [2002] .
Essentiial Threonine (T) . . .
Essentiial Tryptophan (W) higher in urine[2006]

lower [2012]

no improvement [2010] [2014] .
Essentiial Valine (V) . . .
Alanine (A) low [2016]

low and decreases with symptom severity [1996]

helps [2016] .
Arginine* (R) higher in urine[2006]

low [1993]

. .
Asparagine* (N) decreased [2007] low [2016] helps [2016] .
Aspartic acid (D) . . .
Cysteine* (C) “homocysteine (HCY) levels were increased in the cerebrospinal fluid” [1997]

higher [2006]

. .
Glutamic acid (E) . . .
Glutamine* (Q) low [2016]

low [2012]

Likely harms, see this post .
Glycine* (G) . . .
Proline* (P) . . .
Pyrrolysine** (O) or CFSUM1 increased[1996]
CSFUM1 – low and decreases with symptom severity [1996]
. .
Selenocysteine (U) . . .
Serine* (S) . . .
Tyrosine* (Y) increased [2007] . .


  • “The level of L-carnitine was 6.4336 +/- 3.4225, significantly lower than that of the control group (7.6666 +/- 3.5819, t = 2.025, P = 0.045) and the L-carnitine level was increased 2 weeks after supplementary treatment, together with improvement of symptoms.” [2005]
  • “Results from this study indicated that supplemental guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can positively affect creatine metabolism and work capacity in women with CFS, yet GAA had no effect on main clinical outcomes” [2016]

Amino Acids and Probiotics

  • “Most microorganisms such as E. coli can synthesize the entire basic set of 20 amino acids, whereas human beings cannot make 9 of them.” [2002] With low or no E.Coli being found in CFS — a shift of Amino acid production levels would be expected.
  • “The most abundant amino acid fermenting bacteria in the human small intestine are bacteria belonging to the Clostridium clusters, the Bacillus-Lactobacillus-Streptococcus groups, and Proteobacteria [32]. In the large intestine of healthy humans, bacteria belonging to the Clostridia and Peptostreptococci appear to be the most prevalent species involved in amino acid fermentation [23,32,33]. ” [2015]
  • “consumption of the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum (which decarboxylates ornithine to produce putrescine) resulted in a reduced body mass index and lower arterial blood pressure [46].”[2015]
  • “Though the causes of the amino acid derangements within T2DM still have to be elucidated, gut microbiota have been shown to be important factors for the supply of both aromatic amino acids and BCAAs including leucine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, and valine to mammalian hosts [28].”[2015]

Bottom Line

The following supplements improved symptoms for many CFS patients according to the above studies:

  • Carnitine – Available alone: Yes, i.e. Amazon as low as 5 cents/gram
  • Glutamine – Available alone: Yes, i.e. Amazon as low as 3 cents/gram
  • Asparagine – Available alone: Yes — (Thanks Barb for the reference)  – 22 cents/gram
  • Alanine – Available alone:  Yes, i.e. Amazon as low as 3 cents/gram
  • Phenylalanine – Available alone:  Yes, i.e. Amazon as low as 6 cents/gram

“Complete Amino Acid” products contains Histidine (i.e. converts to histamine) and should be avoided.

It would be sweet if someone started to produce “Amino Acids for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” as a product…