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5HTP - Maybe a big Natural HELP for Depression, Insomnia and Fibromyalgia, etc.
September 29, 2003
4:37 pm
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I had heard of 5HTP and kept wanting to go back and research it. Finally got around to it and have a bottle reserved for me at the health food store now. It was on sale and they are all gone but one bottle.

It sounds like good stuff and is "natural". I've just been looking for things that help the seratonin levels, which is vital for those in depression.

I also found out that turkey and chocolate are "your friends", along with selenium! Selenium is great stuff. Research it. But if you've got depression - it's a must.

Here's the link on the 5HTP, but do your own research. I'm still at it.


September 29, 2003
4:41 pm
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1. What is 5-HTP?

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living. The lifestyle and dietary practices of many people living in this stress-filled era results in lowered levels of serotonin within the brain. As a result, many people are overweight, crave sugar and other carbohydrates, experience bouts of depression, get frequent headaches, and have vague muscle aches and pain. All of these maladies are correctable by raising brain serotonin levels. The primary therapeutic applications for 5-HTP are low serotonin states as listed in Table 1.
Table 1. Conditions associated with low serotonin levels helped by 5-HTP

Carbohydrate craving
Sleep apnea
Migraine headaches
Tension headaches
Chronic daily headaches
Premenstrual syndrome

Although 5-HTP may be relatively new to the United States health food industry, it has been available through pharmacies for several years and has been intensely researched for the past three decades. It has been available in several European countries as a medicine since the 1970s.


September 29, 2003
4:50 pm
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Have you been peeping through my window at night? You just described me down to the last leg hair! Is this stuff expensive? Do you know anything about how it might interact with other medications such as celexa, phentermine, and/or xanax? These are the meds that I'm prescribed, and when I behave and don't let myself run out of any of them, I would almost qualify myself as "sane".


September 29, 2003
4:58 pm
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You can't take it with other antidepressant meds, Arwen. I think it's like anything else, you either take this or that. But from what I've read - you don't mix it with things. I just found this on it, too...

If 5-HTP is such a good antidepressant, why have most physicians
never heard of it, while the use of SSRIs continues to explode?

Pöldinger and his colleagues wondered why as well. "With all due
deference to scientific scepticism," they wrote, "the reluctance by some
authors of recent textbooks on the subject and by others to concede 5-
HTP its place among acknowledged pharmacotherapeutics routinely
applied against depression does not seem warranted, neither on
empirical nor theoretical grounds."10

The reason 5-HTP has been largely ignored by most conventional
physicians can be summed up in one word -- patentability. Like all
commercial drugs, SSRIs are patented compounds that can be marketed
exclusively by the companies that own the patent. This gives them an
sole right to market the drug until the patent expires, usually after 17
years. Exclusivity offers pharmaceutical companies a huge financial
incentive to develop patentable products, and it justifies the enormous
expenditures required to gain FDA approval for the product. Once the
patent expires, though, anyone can market the product generically. The
added competition inevitably forces prices, and consequently profit
margins, straight down.

As a naturally occurring substance -- like water, table salt, or vitamin E
-- 5-HTP cannot be patented. Anyone can market 5-HTP, just as
anyone can market vitamins or generic drugs, provided the product
meets accepted standards of quality and purity.

With no guarantee of exclusivity, it is rare for a pharmaceutical
company to absorb the hundreds of millions of dollars in development
costs involved in years of laboratory and clinical trials, not to mention
millions more for promotion once the product is "launched.' When
faced with a natural product such as 5-HTP, a pharmaceutical
company's typical response is to study how it works and then try to
create/synthesize a brand new -- and patentable -- molecule that does
approximately the same thing. It matters little whether the synthetic
product is as good as or as safe as the natural one. The only relevant
conditions, as far as FDA is concerned, are that the new product is
significantly better than an inactive placebo and that it does not present
an unacceptable risk to the patient. This is an unfortunate fact of life in
the pharmaceutical industry, and we cannot blame pharmaceutical
companies for acting this way. Given the way patent laws and FDA
drug regulations are written, this is the only way they can maximize

One unfortunate consequence of this system is that safe, effective,
natural products such as 5-HTP are rarely evaluated in the large, well-
controlled clinical trials required to gain acceptance by the
medical/government regulatory establishment. The fact that drugs are
always evaluated this way makes it easy to dismiss 5-HTP or other
such products as having "insufficient" support to recommend their use,
compared with the Prozacs of the world.

In light of these facts, the only conclusion we can usually draw about
whether the drugs are actually better than the natural products is, "We
don't know," because the relevant comparative studies are almost never
done. Pöldinger's comparison of 5-HTP and fluvoxamine was indeed a
rare event in pharmaceutical research.

With the deck stacked against 5-HTP, it should come as no surprise that
few physicians have ever heard of it, and fewer still are willing to
recommend it. Nevertheless, Pöldinger's results demonstrate that 5-
HTP may be every bit as good as the SSRIs and probably safer and
more tolerable. Although it would certainly be useful to confirm these
results in a large-scale US clinical trial, given 5-HTP's "generic" nature,
the enormous costs of such a trial make it highly unlikely that anyone
will ever run one.


The bottle I just got reserved for me was $20 something and I got it on sale for $13.

September 29, 2003
5:08 pm
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Here's another website about it..

5HTP Info

September 29, 2003
8:42 pm
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And some more info:

5-HTP Precautions & Side Effects

5-HTP is available without prescription and is generally considered safe and may be beneficial to many individuals. Contraindications to 5-HTP use or conditions under which 5-HTP use should only be under the supervision of a physician are:

Cardiovascular Diseases (high blood pressure, post-stroke, post-heart attack)
Extremely Elderly Persons
those with Parkinsons Disease, Cancer or Autoimmune Diseases (Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus)
Lung Diseases
Chronic Alcoholism
Liver diseases (hepatitis or cirrhosis)
parasitic infection
Anorexia Nervosa
Low protein Diets
Allergies (severe)
Myalgia (persistent pain and weakness of the muscles)
Peripheral Neuropathy (pain weakness of the muscles)
Rash or Flushing
Sickle cell anemia

Concurrent drug use: 5-HTP should not be used if taking:

Anti-depressant drugs
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's e.g., Prozac)
Tricyclic medications
Weight Loss medications (i.e., dextenfluramine)
Anti-parkinson medications (e.g., L-dopa)
Barbiturates and other tranquilizing drugs
Antihistamines and cold medications
Alcoholic beverages
Intravenous (illegal I.V.) drugs
Cancer chemotherapy or
antibiotic medications

Alcohol and 5-HTP should not be taken together. Allow at least six hours between use of alcohol and 5-HTP.

Warning: 5-HTP can increase the effect of some tranquilizing drugs.

September 30, 2003
4:11 am
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Dear Ladeska,

If anyone can market it, would you have suggestions to offer with regard to how one might be ensured that they are getting the highest quality supplement? Are there specific brand names/companies you are famliar with and trust?



September 30, 2003
1:26 pm
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September 27, 2010
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I don't know about that. The one I got was Jarro brand I think. The health food store carries this brand alot and seems to be very trusted. They can make it either naturally or synthetically, read that yesterday. I did take one last night, 50 mg., and I slept very well. Not going to up it anymore than that for now.

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