Choline and Fish Odor Syndrome
Q I just got back from a “tour” as a Marine in Afghanistan, and on dramatically recovering my spirits (seven months of combat can really deplete one’s neurotransmitters) with your extraordinary products—particularly BLAST II, Memory Upgrade III, and Serene Tranquility Day with 5-HTP—I have developed a fishy smell. What is the cause, and can you suggest a remedy? My deep appreciations for the values your company offers and what you do.
BW, Baton Rouge, LA
A Choline, found in Memory Upgrade III, is a precursor to trimethylamine, which some persons are not able to break down due to a genetic disorder called trimethylaminuria. Persons suffering from this disorder may suffer from a strong fishy or otherwise unpleasant body odor, due to the body’s release of odorous trimethylamine. A body odor will occur even on a normal diet, i.e., one that is not particularly high in choline. Persons with trimethylaminuria are advised to restrict the intake of foods high in choline; this may help to reduce the sufferer’s body odor.
However, some studies have shown that activated charcoal along with copper chlorophyll supplements may help to eliminate or greatly reduce the unpleasant odor. For more details, see the Human National Genome Research Institute page for Trimethylaminuria at http://www.genome.gov/11508983. A good general probiotic may also be of value by helping to restore and/or maintain a healthy GI tract.
This is not a diagnosis; only a qualified doctor can do that. If this is a recent development, it may not be trimethylaminuria. See the recent Gene Reviews article on the subject at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1103/.
Thank you for your service to America.