Managing symptoms with diet


My vegetarian girlfriend has trouble reaching REM sleep and is on some sort of antidepressant ( I can’t remember what its called) and has recently been put on diazepine. We where wondering if her symptoms could be at least partly managed by diet. I know that things like omega-3, MCT oil, choline, and lecithin are supposed to positively affect mood, brain function, and i believe sleep. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on these ingredients or suggestions on some other supplements that maybe of interest.


I use L-Theanine: Amazon L-Theanine

I got my real Soylent recently so didn’t take it daily for a couple days. I started having trouble sleeping. Started adding it again and sleep is good again. There’s lots of information on L-Theanine out there. Usually used with caffeine but I don’t and you don’t need to. In any case, it is used in some cases for an antidepressant. You only use 200mg a day so even the little 50 gram size will last for a long time.


Well, there are some vitamins that I heard can affect sleep/dreams, I believe it was B6 + B12 and some others?.. come to think of it… vegaterians have to supplement vitamin B12 normally or they become deficient… does she do this?


Is she under care and treatment from a sleep doctor(neurolgist)?
Usually being unable to reach REM is a side effect of another disease.


@Tetsuo Yes she is. He is the one that prescribed the diazepine and antidepressant. He also had her do a sleep study which showed she isn’t reaching REM sleep.

@Tordenskjold I texted her last night about B12 and she said “I don’t take anything”. I’m currently trying to get her to be more specific because if she isn’t supplementing B12 we could of just found part of her problem.


How old is she, and how long has she been a vegetarian? Most vegetarians are deficient on B12 because it is only available from eating animals and some algae or from supplements.

follow up question, is she a vegan or just vegetarian? (does she drink milk and eat eggs? if yes, then she should be getting some B12.) She should get a blood test to look for deficiencies. Does the doctor know she is vegan/vegetarian?


I am still trying to get ahold of her so I can ask her some of these very good questions. She is 33 and definitely not vegan. She is perfectly willing to consume dairy and eggs. Hopefully she eats enough of them to get enough B12.


Some B12 is much better than none :slight_smile: - Note that depression is among the symptoms of deficiency over a long period due to nerve damage. Does she have any of the other symptoms listed on that link?

“Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage. This may be permanent if you do not start treatment within 6 months of when your symptoms begin.”


Fatigue, lack of energy
Pale skin
Problems concentrating
very mild Confusion

The symptoms could also be from her difficulty in reaching REM sleep and not going outside during the day. She is a school librarian and is a little paranoid about skin cancer. I’m going to see if I can talk her into getting on a multivitamin if she isn’t already taking one.


I would assume she is not taking any multivitamins by the sound of it. Can’t tell you if the lack of REM sleep is because of B12 deficiency and that the symptoms are because of the lack of REM sleep… or if it is all symptoms of B12 deficiency :3

But I did find a blog post by someone that concluded they had been B12 deficient and lacked REM sleep. note that this isn’t a scientific post in any way.


Your right its not very scientific at all but it does sound familiar. She does twitch allot in her sleep. Sometimes she will yell and flail about. I always assume this is when she is dreaming. If so she does get to REM at least some of the time.

The part of the blog about the pills sounds like typical American doctoring. You have symptom A? There’s a pill for that. Symptom B? here’s your pill. Symptom C? pill. What’s that? All you had was a b12 deficiency? doh!


Yeah, treating symptoms instead of cause is bad doctoring indeed. Sadly sometimes the cause is incurable or is something only time cures (currently)


Agreed. If my girlfriend does indeed have brain damage from longterm B12 deficiency there isn’t much to be done about it except get her on B12 now and stop it from getting worse.


Jarrow’s Methyl B12 is pretty awesome. A few years ago it cured me of canker sores which I would get every few months for as long as I can remember. (Btw, it’s sublingual. This may have something to do with how well it cured the canker sores.)


B12 is only synthesized by herbivores and rare algae, so if she doesn’t eat meat or take supplements a deficiency is easy, as others have said.

There are two commercially available forms of vitamin b12, Cyancobalamin, and methylcobalamin. The methyl form is far more useful biologically and better for sleep and dreaming, cyancobalamin is the more common form found in supplements and isn’t anywhere near as good, or useful to the brain.

Indeed there are several meat-specific compounds that vegetarians should supplement with, lest they become deficient. ALCAR is another one of interest that plays a role in the brain.

As for achieving REM sleep, I’d recomment Picamilon, which is B6+GABA that crosses the blood brain barrier. The gaba encourages good sleep and dreaming and the B6 aids the brain. It is excellent stuff.

Most people are defficient in vitamin D just because we wear clothes and stay indoors, so when possible it is good to take some of that.

Some vegetarians also get excess carbs and low protein, low fats. When I’m on such a diet it makes me feel like crap, no energy, no focus, etc. That could be part of it. Eating more beans, tofu, dense vegetables might help with that over pasta, breads and excess fruits.

As a bonus, I’ve found that all of these substances (vit B, ALCAR, vit D, methyl B12) also cheer me up a great deal. They are a part of my nootropic stack and when I take it I find it almost impossible to be anything but happy, whereas when I end up with deficiencies after a month or two without them and on a poor diet I end up miserable all the time. So it could be worth it to look into those things.


What are your thoughts on the items I mentioned in my OP?

Here is what I have so far.


I doubt you will get your wife to eat all those pills and oils :slight_smile: try finding a multivitamin that covers the vitamins with 1 pill instead of 2? And not needing a seperate pill with D and B12

Can’t really comment on the other stuff except when you mentioned lechithin and choline in OP, lechithin is basically just a source for choline :slight_smile:


I know lecithin and choline are basically the same thing. :slight_smile: I was more interested in people’s opinion on one over the other.


Is she just a vegetarian, or also a vegan? If not a vegan, eggs are an excellent choline source, to the point I barely take any choline (if I do at all) on days I eat eggs.

Vita-lea contains plenty excess of C, D, E, so you could cut the D3 safely.

I’d have to look up MCT oils and do some research, ahven’t heard much on that.

it is rare for a multi-vit to have methyl B12 though, so good call on that, the vita-lea has cyan-B12, so good choice.


So talking about all these multivitamins, I went searching around on google for which had the best bioavailable vitamins and such… came across two suggestions which seemed very interresting ( ) and . Main thing I was searching for was quality and methylcobalamin (B12)

in this specific topic, which multivitamin would you guys say has the best quality in terms of bioavailablity? this guy does a good talk about his favorite multivitamins