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Old February 6th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #1
happylynngilmer
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Default 5 htp supplement

A few years ago Dh was on zoloft for depression, and after being on it a few months, he became a completely different person. He quit zoloft cold turkey (against doctor's orders) and has been trying to cope using natural methods (mostly through meditation & diet-eating tryptophan rich foods). However, I stumbled across an article the other day on 5htp.
A few semesters ago I did a research project on the effects of tryptophan rich foods on depression (which is the time we made these types of food abundant in our household) but no where in my research did I come across 5htp supplements! I feel like I've found a gold mine! Dh and I both have been looking online for articles and studies yesterday and today, and I think we've found something to really help. It's almost too good to be true.

Does anyone here take 5htp supplements? Are there any drawbacks or side effects that you expierience? If you have taken SSRI's before and now take 5htp, is it better?

Thanks for your input & expierience!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #2
darian moone
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I wish to delete this post as it is searchable on Google :-(

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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #3
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I DO know that Dr. Don Colbert recommends 5HTP in his book "The Bible Cure for Anxiety and Depression". I'm in the midst of reading it and researching the same thing you are right now.

Do you like the book? Er, should I say, is it helpful? I just looked it up on half and it's only $2! I think I might get it...
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Old February 6th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #4
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You might want to check out Sam-e also. I take it for joint support, but it is also mood enhancing and supports liver function. Google it and see what you think. You can't take it if you are taking any other meds for depression, though. I have 5 htp, but it never did much except make me dizzy. Dr. Weil recommends Sam-e and I respect his opinions on most things, so I gave it a try and I don't regret it at all. I think it is amazing.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #5
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I'm also glad you posted this! I was just told that I have "chronic anxiety" by my doctor and he tried to prescribe me Prozac after I told him no meds. My DBF works for a health food chain and he recommended 5htp for me. The kind I have DOES NOT have St. Johns Wort. I seem to be less easily driven to the edge when I take it. Though I do notice that I can be sort of shaky and do have a loss of appetite. I'd be interested to see what others have experienced as I've only been taking it rather inconsistenly for about two weeks. Hope it works for your hubby!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #6
darian moone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happylynngilmer
Do you like the book? Er, should I say, is it helpful? I just looked it up on half and it's only $2! I think I might get it...


To be honest, it seems as though he's over simplifying the depths that depression can go to, although I think it's got some good advice. I'm not finished with it so I can't give it a complete review, but what I've gathered so far is that he's recommending no sugar, no refined starches, B complex, magnesium, calcium, fish oil, 5htp, eating foods that raise seratonin levels such as turkey, almonds, eggs, chicken, soybeans and milk products. I flipped ahead and can see there's stuff coming up on excerise and rest.

At the price I'd say it's worth the read even if just to gain the nutritional/lifestyle changes he recommends. Even if nothing else is followed, surely good nutritional and physical support can only help.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Copperhean
You might want to check out Sam-e also. I take it for joint support, but it is also mood enhancing and supports liver function. Google it and see what you think. You can't take it if you are taking any other meds for depression, though. I have 5 htp, but it never did much except make me dizzy. Dr. Weil recommends Sam-e and I respect his opinions on most things, so I gave it a try and I don't regret it at all. I think it is amazing.

I've heard of this recently myself. Copperhean, when you say it's mood enhancing, what do you mean? Does it calm you down, perk you up, or what? The reason I ask is depression and anxiety often go together. I'm hoping to find something natural that can help with both anxiety and depression. I'm so glad you brought this other alternative up. Dr. Weil can have some good advice so I'm interested in your experiences.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:47 PM   #8
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I used to take an SSRI (Paxil). I took if for about a year, also turned into a different person, also quit cold turkey (which was the single worst month of my entire life, literally).

I haven't taken 5HTP because I don't understand that if it increases seratonin as do SSRIs, why wouldn't a person experience the same negative effects? I'm seriously too afraid to try it.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #9
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That's a very good question terriej I'm going to do a little brain picking and see what I can find out.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #10
happylynngilmer
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Quote:
I haven't taken 5HTP because I don't understand that if it increases seratonin as do SSRIs, why wouldn't a person experience the same negative effects? I'm seriously too afraid to try it.

SSRI's work at the dendrite site: they keep the dendrite from reuptaking the serotonin so it stays in the synapse longer, therefore giving the person the sensation of satiation, happiness, etc., longer.

5htp is a precursor to serotonin. That means, it isnt serotonin yet-once it gets through the blood brain barrier, it will BECOME serotonin. More serotonin levels in the brain means that when it's done in the synapse it can be reuptaken without issues, because there are plenty more in the brain. It's more natural, because the dendrite wants to reuptake-which SSRI's block. It's the "blockingness" and the "forcefulness" of keeping the serotonin in the synapse that causes most side-effects of SSRI's-but not all of them.

I did some research on SAM-e last night as well. It does look like another great alternative to SSRI's. They sell both at GNC, and they are around the same price, too. SAM-e not only helps mood and appetite but it also helps restore/grow joint tissue and bones.
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