Protein Isolate for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

For those in Benzodiazepine withdrawal, such as those coming off Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, or other psychiatric medications, Dr Charles Popper, director of psychiatry at Harvard regularly uses protein isolate with patients interested in tapering off. He especially recommends protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Dr. Popper makes it clear that when patients are using specialized treatments, “psychiatric drug doses need to be gradually and carefully lowered,” and that “patients actually do better once the psychiatric medications are discontinued entirely.”

I gleaned most of the following information from S P Hancock, MS, CRC @PsychRecovery on Twitter. She told me about protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Isolate can be from any non-seed protein source that is unfermented, unsprouted, unsweetened, unflavored & unenriched so as not to agitate the Central Nervous System (i.e. Rice, Pea, Whey, etc.). However, many find Whey isolate too constipating because it’s required at such large amounts.

One Twitter user replied: “So grateful to find something that actually works! But it’s only effective until the body needs more enzymatic support.” Some (but not all) have found amino acid formulas helpful at this point. Protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal seems the safer route for some. If taken as described here, it is less likely to cause adverse reactions.

Naturally balanced amino acid profile of protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal helps support your body’s enzymatic process lessening withdrawal severity (A trick Dr. Charles Popper, head of psychiatry at Harvard teaches). Depending on deficit, it might initially require 4-6 shakes before you begin feeling relief but consistent use WORKS!

Pea protein is often mentioned but it doesn’t have to be pea protein; any protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal can work.

Dr. Charles Popper, director of psychiatry at Harvard regularly uses it w/ patients interested in titrating off psychiatric medications.

It doesn’t matter the brand, so long as it’s an isolated protein, unfermented, unsprouted, unflavored, unsweetened and unenriched. It must say “protein isolate” in the ingredients. It can be from any protein source so long as it meets this criteria.

protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal

The isolate cannot be sprouted, because sprouted seeds have naturally occurring malt which is a sugar that feeds the gut’s naturally occurring candida. As Candida grows it produces 20 alcohol byproducts which agitate the central nervous system. Receptors are essentially raw after having been damaged by psychoactive substances (prescribed or illicit) which makes them more susceptible to agitation–making withdrawal more severe.

Additionally many of the flavors are made from things which have been fermented (i.e. chocolate is made from fermented cacao beans & vanilla is made from fermented vanilla beans). Fermentation leaves behind fungal spores, Anything that feeds fungal spores will feed Candida–causing it to grow, generate those 20 alcohol byproducts, making withdrawal harder. Fruit flavorings are generally made from the fruit & have the same ability to feed Candida. Nut flavorings are made from nuts–which are inherently moldy–leaving behind microscopic spores which can…you guessed it…feed Candida.

The sweeteners usually harm the gut’s ability to absorb nutrition, which compromises the brain’s ability to get the nutrition it requires to sustain the person through benzo or psychiatric drug withdrawal.

In a pinch, a person can use flavored, sprouted, fermented, sweetened isolates, but understand that Candida grows exponentially slower than bacteria, so the isolate will seem to make the person feel better, but 72 hours later when the byproducts are released, the person will feel worse.

So, it’s best to be preventative and just get a non-sprouted, unflavored, unenriched, unfermented isolate from a cost-effective source you trust. It has to be unenriched, because Candida uses many of the same micronutrients that the human cell does–particularly B1, B3, B6 & Zinc, So you don’t want to feed the Candida because those 20 alcohol byproducts will light up the withdrawal akathisia nastiness like a firework show.

Note: Special thanks to S P Hancock, MS, CRC (@PsychRecovery on Twitter) for sharing this information about protein isolate for benzodiazepine withdrawal . Most of this info is directly from her and others in conversation with us and I put it all together and edited it to bring it to people who aren’t on Twitter.

Note 2: People with a certain genetic disorder have adverse reactions to protein powders. Those who are glutamine sensitive may experience anxiety when taking them and would do best using other withdrawal supports.

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15 thoughts on “Protein Isolate for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

  1. Julie says:

    Hi Chaya, My naturopath says to sprout grains. He explains why (complicated) but I find that sprouting just about anything before consuming it makes it easier to digest.I tried it and found it to be true for me. Some grains i won’t touch unless I sprout them. I’ve been making salt-free humus out of sprouted garbanzos even. He recommends certain seaweeds as a good basic protein source. For fun, sprinkle seaweed on popcorn.

  2. Chaya says:

    That’s awesome Julie. Perhaps if we aren’t in benzo withdrawal and/or don’t have major candida, spouted grains (and other things) can be really good.

  3. Matthew says:

    It makes sense that highly assimilable, low reactivity protein sources are found to be so supportive during benzo withdrawal.

    Close to maximal mercy provided to a likely compromised gut whilst providing the amino acids necessary to construct neurotransmitters, not to mention the majority of other body structures.

  4. Hal says:

    Hello and thanks for info and support. I’m looking for a protein Isolate that is NOT whey or rice. I have food intolerance both, have tried whey isolate with results of bad stomach cramping. Though the intolerances are considered “Very Low” by Geonova Lab results, I find the amount of ingestion required per day for Benzo quell is too much. I ‘rebooted’, tried less, still same result. Wondering if you knew of anything else on the market. Almond is okay for me, can’t find isolate. Same with hemp?
    Thank you!

    • Nancy Peden says:

      I have mthfr and other mutations. I am allergic to,all of these. They raise glutamate which is the opposite of the GABA we want.

      I will look again at why you are recommending theses shakes.

      Since mthfr detoxed 70 % slower than normal I would probably be on this for years.

      I appreciate the woman who mentions Genova may have genetic issues. Meditation is essential for me.

  5. Hal says:

    I’ve checked pretty thoroughly. Only isolate protein powder I’ve found is Whey. Not pea, Almond, Rice, Hemp. Maybe you can find one? People I’ve talked to recently say it doesn’t exist. Something about ‘certain Amino Acids are isolated from Milk’. Accessing my holistic Dr. today and will ask him. Too bad, all the Benzo withdrawal “experts” say use ONLY isolate powder for Benzo taper.
    Yesterday, a health food store employee suggested taking the Whey isolate with dairy digestive enzyme pillss. Interesting thought. My Dr will “Whey” in on that today. Meantime, I’m taking a mix of Almond and Hemp non-isolate powder 3 times/day in Almond milk to build up immune system. It turns out being a clean eating vegetarian for 45 of 65 years, (no meat, fish, eggs, and now off cheese as per Genova Lab results) and on Benzo – 1mg/day/10yrs, for Tinnitus, (now needing to get off as Klonopin (Benzos) now exacerbates T to unbearable degree), I need more protein in my system before I have another go at taper, which I have been trying for 5 straight years, from a peak of only 1.5mg Xanax/day!

    Yes, tried Ashton Method – 18 months of living hell (got down to 1mg! and couldn’t get off.) I finally discovered going through I am a slow metabolizer of Valium. The stuff was building up in my system the whole time and I was suffering from side effects symptoms rather than withdrawal symptoms (same thing). A long, confusing, horrific period. BTW -Metabolization – a huge component and subject neither Dr Ashton nor any of the 5 high end, LA psychotropic Drs I’ve seen failed to even mention.

    1 last…besides your expertise,, an internet non-profit, has a super excellent, very impressive, thoroughly researched, inexpensive, MD supported, program, co-designed and run by a nationally known woman who has “been there”, which does include their excellent Whey isolate protein powder, relax aids, intestinal wafer aids, and free phone counseling once you’re on board.

    That’s all. Thanks for your quick response. Any further input always appreciated.

  6. chayaleah says:

    I asked Sarah on Twitter and this was her response:

    I had multiple food intolerances & had to use pea protein isolate. I preferred the Now Sport bc I could get it from Amazon, 7lbs for $48


    Also I wondered if you might want to blog about your experiences for this site? You seem very knowledgeable about withdrawal.

  7. Hal says:

    Wow, thanks for the powder tip. Already ordered the soy version on Amazon to try. Very cool. Looks like they carry Now Sport at Wallmart too.
    I’d be up for blogging my experience. Not sure how that works, but once I’m shown the way I can type and share.

  8. Susan LeDonne says:

    Just wondering if Protein isolate would help with Effexor (antidepressant) withdrawal or just benzo. I’ve been weaning 10% a month, counting beads, for 22 months and some withdrawal hit me at 19 months. I’ve been holding since then.

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