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.
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.