5-HTP is a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. It is the direct precursor of the inhibitory neurotransmitter serotonin, the one associated with calm; it soothes and comforts us from worry and stress. Stress causes the heightened release of serotonin, and if the stress lasts too long; it leads to serotonin depletion. Research strongly implies that boosted brain resotonin serves as a "stress immunizer."
Serotonin seems to play the role of regulator to the ups and downs of mood disorders. Low serotonin levels associated with irritability, aggression, impatience, and anxiety. Evidence suggests serotonin inhibits aggressive behavior in experimental animals and humans. Abundant laboratory research suggests there is a deficiency of serotonin or serotonin activity in the brains of most depressed person. Suicidal patients show a significant decrease in serotonin levels. Most antidepressant drugs, including tricyclics, lithium, MAO inhibitors, and SSRI's (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Luvox), have this in common: they boost serotonin levels.
5-HTP differs from tryptophan in that it slightly increases the activity of an energizing neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, as well as the calming opne, serotonin in some clinical trial, 5-HTP outperformed tryptophan in treating mood disorders. It has also proved therapeutic for some who failed to respond to standard antidepressant drugs. The greater the agitation associated with depression, the more likely the response to 5-HTP.
The usual dosage range of 5-HTP is 150-300mg. per day in divided doses. A conservative starting dose is 50mg., then boosting by 50mg. every five days. A majority of responders notice a favorable mood effect within three days of beginning supplementation. In one study, of those who did respond, 80% did so within one week of therapy. Side effects are rare but may include mania, anxiety, and dermatitis.
For some people, 5-HTP has a very narrow therapeutic window; the proper dosage may lie within a range as small as 10-25mg. per day. If its antidepressant effects fade after a few weeks, it may be necessary to supplement 5-HTP at a different time of the day with a low dose of the complementary amino acide L-Tyrosine, to further raise the norepinephrine levels, or to eat more meat or other Tyrosine-rich foods.
5-HTP is able to pass the blood-brain barrier more easily than tryptophan, but to maximize its effectiveness it should not be taken along with protein food. One product manufacturer suggests taking it 45 minutes before or three hours after a protein meal.
Sizes: 50mg x 120 caps = $25