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Depression - re: 5-HTP and P5P

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by rydra_wong, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

    I thought this might be of interest. There were some on the other site asking what else besides 5HTP was needed to raise serotonin because it did not work for them (does not for me either). Looks like you can add P5P to that list.
    The neurochemical consequences of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency
    Allen, G.F.G. (2011) The neurochemical consequences of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

    Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) catalyses the conversion of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa) to the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine respectively. The inherited disorder AADC deficiency leads to a severe deficit of serotonin and dopamine as well as an accumulation of 5-HTP and L-dopa. This thesis investigated the potential role of 5-HTP/L-dopa accumulation in the pathogenesis of AADC deficiency. Treatment of human neuroblastoma cells with L-dopa or dopamine was found to increase intracellular levels of the antioxidant reduced glutathione (GSH). However inhibiting AADC prevented the GSH increase induced by L-dopa. Furthermore dopamine but not L-dopa, increased GSH release from human astrocytoma cells, which do not express AADC activity. GSH release is the first stage of GSH trafficking from astrocytes to neurons. This data indicates dopamine may play a role in controlling brain GSH levels and consequently antioxidant status. The inability of L-dopa to influence GSH concentrations in the absence of AADC or with AADC inhibited indicates GSH trafficking/metabolism may be compromised in AADC deficiency. 5-HTP was demonstrated to potentially be mildly toxic to human neuroblastoma cells but not astrocytoma cells; however the concentrations required for this response are likely to be higher than pathophysiological levels in AADC deficiency. These results indicate the need for investigations addressing the effects of chronic 5-HTP exposure as only acute effects were investigated in the current study. This thesis also investigated the effect of altered availability of the AADC coenzyme pyridoxal 5?-phosphate (PLP) on AADC activity, protein and expression. In two patients with inherited disorders of PLP metabolism reductions in plasma AADC activity were observed. Furthermore PLP-deficient human neuroblastoma cells were found to exhibit reduced levels of AADC activity and protein but not altered expression. These findings suggest maintaining adequate PLP availability may be important for optimal treatment of AADC deficiency.
  2. topaz

    topaz Senior Member


    Freddd just had this to say about 5-HTP in response to me asking him if he took it:

    Do you take 5HTP?

    No. It gave me terrible headaches. Further there is the caution listed below. I had come across this eslewhere. While it is a hypothetical problem and not proven to occur, somehow I always end up on the wrong side of these things and that if something can go wrong for me it will.
    However, the tryptophan derivative 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), used in the treatment of depression, raises blood serotonin level considerably[citation needed]. It has yet to be reported to be associated with valve disease or other fibrosis, but for the previous theoretical reasons, it has been suggested as a possible danger.

    When 5-HTP is used in medicine, it is generally administered along with carbidopa,[22][23] which prevents the peripheral decarboxylation of 5-HTP to serotonin and so ensures that only brain serotonin levels are increased without producing peripheral side effects, however 5-HTP is also sold without carbidopa as a dietary supplement, and may have increased risks when taken by itself without carbidopa."

    I then naively searched iHerb for carbidopa and couldnt find a product containing it (either with 5 HTP or without) but the Carlson's 5HTP Elite had this to say about P5P and 5 HTP "5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is normally produced within our body and converts into serotonin, a major neural transmitter in our brain. Vitamin B-6 supports this conversion."

    Wiki says carbidopa is a drug given to Parkinsons Disease patients who have dopamine deficient brains so I gave up that line of enquiry other than to wonder how they are able to measure levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Do you know? (
  3. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

    Upstate SC, USA
    I believe carbidopa is a pescription drug and as Fredd said for Parkindson's and it goes by the name of Ledosyn(?) and there is a Sinemet (that is levedopa and carbidopa already combined) and my undertanding is it is administered with L-Dopa to keep the tolerance from elevating rapidly as it normally does or it could bit an altered version of L-Dopa as well.
  4. Pea

    Pea Senior Member


    I take a 5-HTP in the morning. And an L-Theanine before dinner or bed.

    I took L-Tryptophan which worked for many months (after I got off of an antidepressant they gave me for hot flashes - I got migraines & eventually depressed as withdrawal symptoms after weaning off of the anti-d). Then the L-Tryptophan suddenly stopped working.

    Only clue was went on a trip to southern Spain & France, and after this it stopped working. Also after this trip, my friend's slurring started. My aunt also had terrible terrible confusion problems for a few weeks after this trip.
  5. Spring

    Spring Senior Member

    Vitamin B6 might help. I'm on a antidepressant. I got B6 prescribed in 18 mg in most effective form (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
    I took one at the same day I ate a piece of dark chocolate (which I eat rarely). Next day I had terrible serotonin effects: terrible unstoppable hungry. Very fast bowel movement, diarrhia, anxiety, fast hartbeat, high blood pressure, weird feeling in my head.

    These are all symptoms I have with starting ad or increasing ad.

    B6 helps tryptophan change to serotonin, so that must have been the cause of the increase. Such a strong reaction is unusual, but B6 can help as long as there is enough tryptophan according to the pharmacist. The pharmacist suggested I could take 5htp with this instead of taking my antidepressant.

  6. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

    You could look up Fava beans - they contain L-dopa. I think the OATS test by Metametrix has some - what do you call them? - functional test for dopamine. (I think I recall I have high HVA - homovanillic acid). Unfortunately I took that test on my own with no one to interpret the results. So now I think it might be telling me I have low dopamine or a neuroblastoma - anyway I had two neurochemical tests and came up with something like 11 of 13 measurements seriously out of whack. The first was under a doctor;s care but he had not a single suggestion of how to fix! (Go figure!). My genes say I am supposed to be high dopamine because I cant break it down easily (COMT +/+ - actually two COMT polymorphisms). So if I am low dopamine something is REALLY out of whack. Best I could figure so far is that allergies lower my dopamine for some reason and then I slowly recover until next allergy season. Dont know why.

    The neurochemical tests are urine tests and they surmise your neurotransmitter levels. I'm not so sure it is proven they work. but they DO know that some people are seriously deviant from others on these tests and so that must be saying something, anyway.
  7. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

    Posted by someone on Mombu:

    Fava bean (Vicia faba). These beans are one of Nature's best plant sources of a compound called
    L-dopa, the natural precursor of dopamine in the brain. In Parkinson's, an imbalance develops in the
    brain between two chemicals, dopamine and acetylcholine, usually due to degeneration of the cells
    that produce dopamine. If your brain makes less dopamine, taking L-dopa can help things along.
    L-dopa is a standard therapy for Parkinson's.

    The trouble with L-dopa is that as a pharmaceutical it's very expensive, and lots of people with
    Parkinson's can't afford it. But fava beans are cheap. According to my calculations, it takes about
    a 16-ounce can of fava beans to get enough L-dopa to have a physiological effect on Parkinson's. At
    my supermarket, a 16-ounce can costs $1.15. Try buying pharmaceutical L-dopa for anywhere near that.

    Even more intriguing, the latest news is that fava bean sprouts contain ten times more L-dopa than
    the unsprouted beans. That reduces the cost of a physiological dose to just over 10 cents--the cost
    of a handul of sprouts. Even though I've discussed the potential of fava beans with dozens of people
    over the last five years, I know of no one with Parkinson's disease who has taken the food approach

    If you'd like to add fava beans to your diet, it's vitally important that you let your doctor know
    that you are doing so, and why. (It might help to take along a copy of this book.) Most cases of
    Parkinson's get off to a slow, mild start, and doctors don't usually prescribe L-dopa until the
    disease is more
    advanced. I suspect that eating more fava beans at this early stage would be really helpful. If you
    are already taking L-dopa, however, do not start eating these beans unless you discuss it with your

    In addition to L-dopa, fava beans (and other legumes) also contain choline and lecithin. Some
    research suggests that these compounds might have positive effects in preventing Parkinson's or
    might help relieve some of its symptoms.

    Fava beans are also high in fiber, which helps prevent constipation, a common problem in
    Parkinson's. But as I mentioned, to get a physiologically meaningful dose of L-dopa from fava beans,
    you have to eat a pound of them (or about two ounces of sprouts).

    If you do decide to go with the beans, you have to deal with their notorious problem--gas.

    For some people, beans get easier to handle intestinally as you eat more of them. In preparation for
    the CBS morning show, I ate a 16-ounce can of fava beans one day at lunch. Within two hours, the
    expected side effect ensued. The next day, I ate a second can. Again I became gassy, but not until
    four hours later. By the third can, on day three, my gut seemed to have adjusted, and gas wasn't
    much of a problem.

    So, bean eaters, there is hope. And if your gut doesn't adjust, you can try Beano, an
    over-the-counter product that helps reduce flatulence from beans. It's available at most drugstores;
    just follow the directions on the label.

    Velvet bean (Mucuna, various species). Like fava beans, velvet beans contain a generous amount of
    L-dopa, around 50,000 parts per million. But unlike fava beans, velvet beans have actually been used
    in clinical trials to treat Parkinson's.

    The study with velvet beans was done by researchers at Southern Illinois University School of
    Medicine in Springfield under the leadership of B. V. Manyam, M.D. The researchers used a velvet
    bean preparation called HP-0, which is derived from the inner part of the bean. The HP-0 was
    standardized so that each gram of the preparation contained 33.33 milligrams of L-dopa.

    From the trials, researchers concluded that their bean preparation was effective. Unfortunately, as
    far as I know, this preparation is still proprietary and experimental, so it's not available. But
    plain old velvet beans are. Like fava beans, they are high in fiber.


    Schizophrenia Treatment Without Antipsychotic Drugs

    Rule of Thirds- of people with first active phase of schizophrenia, 1/3 will never come out of it
    (Chronic), 1/3 episodic (have it, then ok), and 1/3 that never are bothered again.
  8. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

    I also find fava beans listed on body-building sites as an ingredient to increase human growth hormone. I also find these cautions: ( Fava beans can raise blood pressure. They should be avoided by anyone taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOIs), a type of drug sometimes prescribed for depression. Also, fava beans contain vicine, a substance that can be toxic but that most people's bodies break down easily. However, Mediterranean people in particular seem to lack the necessary digestive enzyme to break down vicine. If the hydrogen peroxide isn't cleared out with the help of G6PD, it starts to attack your red blood cells, ultimately breaking them down. When that happens, the rest of the cell leaks out, resulting in hemolytic anemia, with potentially deadly effect. The gene that is responsible for G6PD protein productionor deficiencygoes by the same name, G6PD. This gene is carried on the X chromosome.)

    And this on its use to increase libido after menopause. (So based on this I can say I sure dont need it except possibly during allergy season):

    Studies show Fava Beans may increase Libido

    Review on October 23, 2008
    Menopause brings with it a host of unwanted symptoms, from hot flashes to fatigue to one that can spur further emotional issues such as depression or anxiety: loss of libido. A decline in libido can leave a woman feeling inadequate and her partner feeling frustrated, leading to relationship problems. While a number of dietary and exercise techniques may be utilized to try and help revive a lagging libido, recent studies suggest that the answer may be as simple as adding fava beans to a woman`s diet!

    The consumption of fava beans has been shown in several university studies, published in the British Medical Journal, to increase the level of a compound called L-dopa. A naturally occurring amino acid found in fava beans, and made from L-tyrosine in the human body, L-dopa is converted into dopamine in the brain and body. Sold as a dietary supplement or prescription drug in the United States, L-dopa is shown to be more effective when taken in a natural form, and at less risk as a boon to decrease the incidence of loss of libido.

    Dopamine is the substance at the core of all primary desires that women feel. The same pleasure-seeking urges that lead her to desire food or sexual intercourse. Dopamine is also responsible for addiction to narcotic substances. The desire to engage in sexual activity, desire heroin, or desire ice cream is all caused by dopamine.

    If a woman is experiencing a loss of libido, it is likely due to fluctuating hormones that occur during menopause. Dopamine naturally decreases, and so does her desire for sexual intercourse or ability to orgasm, leading to loss of libido.

    In a study conducted in 2007 and reported by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), 72% of a sample of pre-menopausal women noticed a definite decrease in the incidence of loss of libido upon eating fava beans regularly in their diets. One serving per day was added to their lunch and appeared to have a significant impact on this pesky symptom of menopause.

    SOURCES: Julia C. Rhodes, MS; Kristen H. Kjerulff, PhD; Patricia W. Langenberg, PhD; Gay M. Guzinski, MD. Hysterectomy and Sexual Functioning. JAMA. 1999;282:1934-1941.
  9. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

    Oregon State University's Micronutrient Information Center website states that levodopa interferes with your body's ability to metabolize vitamin B6. The high amounts of levodopa contained in fava beans can result in a vitamin B6 deficiency. The Micronutrient Information Center says that a deficiency in vitamin B6 may lead to depression because vitamin B6 aids in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine. Consuming fava beans may increase depressive symptoms due to a vitamin B6 deficiency.

    Read more:

    idk - I thought maybe I could find out something about fava beans and depression, but there is SOOOO much info about the need to AVOID fava beans if taking anti-depressants that it makes it very difficult to find any studies about just fava beans and their effect on depression.

    Ddifferent remedy - it says here that a clinical trial showed positive results for Rhodiola in ddepression:

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