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THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR THE USE OF PHYSICIANS AND OTHER LICENSED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS ONLY. THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED FOR PHYSICIANS ANDOTHER LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO USE AS A BASIS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT TO RECOMMEND THESE PRODUCTS TO THEIR PATIENTS. THIS MEDICAL AND SCI-ENTIFIC INFORMATION IS NOT FOR USE BY CONSUMERS. THE DIETARY SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS OFFERED BY DESIGNS FOR HEALTH ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY CONSUMERS AS AMEANS TO CURE, TREAT, PREVENT, DIAGNOSE, OR MITIGATE ANY DISEASE OR OTHER MEDICAL CONDITION.
WHAT IS-5 HTP?
5-Hydroxytryptophan, made from the amino acid L-tryptophan with the help of Vitamin B6,is a precursor to serotonin production. The amino acid tryptophan can be found naturally in
protein foods such as turkey and milk. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter known
as "the feel good hormone". In the Central Nervous System (CNS), serotonin has been
implicated in the regulation of sleep, depression, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature,sexual behavior, and pain sensation.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER 5-HTP SUPPLEMENTATION?
All serotonin used by brain cells must be made within the neurons, since serotonin cannot
cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, the synthesis of serotonin is heavily dependent uponthe availability of L-tryptophan within the CNS.
The production and transport of L-Tryptophan from the bloodstream into the CNS can becompromised by several factors including stress, elevated cortisol levels, vitamin B6 deficiency,
and even high dosages (above 2,000 mg) of L-Tryptophan, which all stimulate the conversion
of L-Tryptophan to kynurenine, lowering serum tryptophan levels.1-3o
According to research, 5-HTP allows for weight loss without dieting, reduces appetite,reduces cravings for carbohydrates, improves mood, helps diabetics to stay on their diets,
improves fibromyalgia symptoms, frequency and severity of headaches and even helps protein digestion.
HOW DOES 5-HTP HELP THOSE WITH DIABETES MELLITUS?
Diabetes is associated with depressed tryptophan levels and as a result, higher incidence of depression. Diabetics also suffer from
hyperphagia and carbohydrate cravings. In a study where 20 overweight patients with NIDDM were given 750 mg/day of 5-HTP or
placebo for two weeks, daily energy intake decreased considerably. Carbohydrate and fat intake were both reduced. Body weight
reduced as well without dietary restriction.5 The conclusion of this study was: "These data confirm the role of the serotonergic
system in reducing energy intake, by predominantly inhibiting carbohydrate intake, and suggest that 5-HTP may be safely utilized to
improve the compliance to dietary prescriptions in NIDDM."
5 Int J Obes Relat Metab Disor 1998 July;22(7):648-54
Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients.
IS 5-HTP SAFE?
5-HTP is available OTC, whereas the FDA no longer allows L-tryptophan to be sold OTC. Where L-Tryptophan is synthesized from
bacteria, allowing for contamination, 5-HTP is made from a plant from the seeds of the African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia. L-
Tryptophan supplements have been available only by prescription since the 1989 contamination catastrophe.
5-HTP IS WELL ABSORBED
5-HTP is well absorbed from an oral dose, with about 70 percent ending up in the bloodstream.5,6 Absorption of 5-HTP is not
affected by the presence of other amino acids; therefore, it may be taken with meals without reducing its effectiveness. Unlike LT, 5-
HTP cannot be shunted into niacin or protein production.
Other neurotransmitters and CNS chemicals, such as melatonin, dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and beta-endorphin have also beenshown to increase following oral administration of 5-HTP. This ability to increase not only serotonin levels in the brain, but alsodopamine and norepinephrine, allows 5-HTP to produce some significant and unique effects on brain chemistry and on serotonin-related conditions which other substances, including LT, cannot duplicate.
41. Anderson IM, Parry-Billings M, Newsholme EA, et al. Dieting reduces plasma tryptophan and alters brain 5-HTP function in women. Psychol Med 1990;20:785-791.
The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects.
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1998 Jul;22(7):648-54
19 obese females with BMI's between 30-40Double-blind crossover studAimed to evaluate the effects of 5 HTP on feeding behavior, mood state and weight loss.
Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan.
Am J Clin Nutr 1992;56:863-867.Purpose of study:
To verify whether adherence to dietary restriction could be improved by 5-HTP (900 mg/day) vs. a placebo.
Double-blinded - 2 consecutive 6 week periods
No dietary restriction first 6 weeks
Calories were controlled in the second period
Studies show that 5 HTP's effectiveness is comparable to SSRI's like Prozac
Also gets results similar to the tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil.
Primary fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by general musculo-skeletal aching, multiple tender points, fatigue, morning stiffness, and
Fibromyalgia patients have been found to have low serotonin and tryptophan levels, and some studies have shown symptomatic improve-
ment with the use of tricyclic and SSRI antidepressants.
These findings suggest 5-HTP might be useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
3 clinical trials have demonstrated significant improvement in symptoms, including pain, morning stiffness, anxiety, and fatigue
5-HTP has been shown to be beneficial in treating insomnia, especially in improving sleep quality by increasing REM sleep.
o1. Soulairac A, Lambinet H. Effect of 5-hydroxytryptophan, a serotonin precursor, on sleep disorders. Ann Med Psychol 1977;1:792-
798.2. Guilleminault C, Cathala JP, Castaigne P. Effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan on sleep of a patient with a brain-stem lesion.
Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 1973;34:177-184. 3. Wyatt RJ, Zarcone V, Engelman K, et al. Effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan on
the sleep of normal human subjects. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 1971;30:505-509.
5-HTP has been used successfully in the prevention of chronic headaches of various types, including migraine, tension headaches, andjuvenile headaches Ann Surg 1977 Aug;186(2):130-5 The effect of serotonin on pepsin inhibition by duodenal fat. The purpose was to evaluate the possible role of serotonin on pepsin secre-tion. The results of our study suggest that serotonin increases pepsin production as follows:1. Reserpine is a drug that depletes serotonin stores and
Pretreatment with reserpine abolished the stimulatory effect of histamine on pepsin secretion.
2. Pretreatment with a serotonin blocking agent augmented the pepsin inhibition induced by the intraduodenal infusion of fat.
3. 5-hydroxytryptophan (serotonin precursor) caused a significant stimulation of pepsin secretion. The mode of action of serotonin is probably by a direct hormonal action on the gastric chief cells.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1996 May;6(2):103-10
Behavioral, neuroendocrine and biochemical effects of different doses of 5-HTP in panic disorderPurpose: To investigate the role of serotonin in the pathophysiology of panic disorder (PD)7 patients suffering from PD and 7 healthy controlsReceived an IV challenge with 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg 5-HTP and placebo in random order on 4 different occasionsConclusion: "Stimulation of the serotonergic neuronal system by three different dosages of 5 HTP did not induce panic or anxiety in PDpts and healthy controls."
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