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Tryptophan vs. 5-HTP

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by ttt, May 21, 2013.

  1. ttt

    ttt

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    I'm currently taking tryptophan (1,500mg/day), but I'm wondering if it would be better for me to take 5-HTP. My main concern is my insomnia, and I'm not sure which would be better for that. I've Googled the subject and seen conflicting opinions, but I figured this would be a better place to ask, since I've got more in common with y'all than with the average joe. Thanx! :)
     
  2. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    It is preferable to use 5-HTP over tryptophan if the intent is to increase serotonin levels. Tryptophan hydroxylase, the enzyme that converts tryptophan into 5-HTP, is the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of serotonin. Taking 5-HTP bypasses this step.
     
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  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    My experience with 5htp helps mood but not so much sleep. Tryptophan worked much bettef for sleep.i used 3000 to 4000mg away from cood and the next day wojld feel alot better. All u can do is try them.
    Good luck.
    Let us know how u go???
     
  4. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    NO! It is not preferable to take 5HTP over tryptophan over the long run and especially for insomnia, sleep n mood. That is just Bad advice. Don't post stuff like that if u r not sure of what you are saying.

    5HTP is just one step away from serotonin this also means that it can spontaneously convert to serotonin anywhere in the body. U do not want it to do that serotonin causes cardio health risks OUTSIDE of the brain. Remember Fen-phen and hypertension ? Caribbean cultures that eat alot of plantains or green bananas (lots of 5HTP) have cardio problems. Green bananas contains lots of 5HTP and serotonin.

    Limit your 5htp to 200mg about a day max. However u will need alot more tryp to help u sleep up to 4-5gm a nite. Take this away from a high protein meal, at least 3 hrs away so that your body can carry the tryp into the brain and not complete with other amino acids. Also take with 50-100mg of p5p to help your brain convert tryp to serotonin. The conversion is very efficient actually.
     
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  5. ttt

    ttt

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    Thanx, everyone. Undercvr, what you're saying makes sense, and I've read it elsewhere, too -- that if you take 5-HTP, it gets converted to serotonin too quickly, before it ever reaches the brain, and ends up hurting the rest of the body. But then you mentioned the P5P. I'm restricted on how much P5P I can take. I'm doing the Yasko protocol, and I've been told to restrict my P5P to 10mg/day. The trypto formula I'm taking has 3.4mg of P5P with 500mg of tryptophan. You think that's enough?.
     
  6. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Can you provide literature linking 5-HTP to cardiac problems?

    This paper here did not find any increase in blood serotonin after 5-HTP was given: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1365011/
     
  7. QoVedo

    QoVedo

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    Presumably, the idea behind taking either tryptophan or 5-HTP is to fight insomnia and that serotonin is highly beneficial for the brain. Yet, it appears that the gist of research studies on tryptophan show that it isn't all that effective for this purpose. Probably more worrisome, tryptophan, 5-HTP, and serotonin have been linked to brain dysfunction, inflammation, free radical generation, the restriction of blood flow in the brain (and body), metabolic tampering, the activation of stress hormones, cancer, etc. (read http://www.supplements-and-health.com/tryptophan-side-effects.html ).
     
  8. ttt

    ttt

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    Thanx, QoVedo. This is good information. Ray Peat is also very anti-serotonin. It's so hard to navigate my way around all the serotonin-related information when there's also so much literature saying how important it is, how deficiency of it causes all these problems, etc.
     
  9. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    This site is one big hatchet job. The arguments made are weak or nonexistant when the papers that are cited to support them are actually examined. And the website makes it annoying to actually find the titles of the papers it cites.

    For example the "high dose tryptophan causes liver damage" claims are false, the liver damage in previous studies was due to other factors: Rat liver is not damaged by high dose tryptophan treatment.

    Another example: I quote the website on its chapter "Tryptophan Side Effects: The Promotion Of Cardiovascular Events"

    Note how "cardiovascular events" suggest heart infarcts and the like.


    1. Mateos, et al showed a ~25% increase (guesstimation on my part, but it's roughly there) in plasma serotonin in rats fed 125 mg/kg tryptophan. For a human of 70kg that's 8.75g of tryptophan.

    2. Gaddum & Hameed: this is a study from the 50's on serotonin blocking drugs. I don't see how this paper is related to the arguments made. Maybe he believes intestinal motility to be a "side effect" of serotonin?

    3. Koren-Schwartzer, et al: They injected serotonin into rats at dosages that induced brain damage so they could study the protective effect of certain drugs.

    4. Mohammad-Zadeh, et al: This is a review of literature on serotonin. It describes serotonine syndrome, which is the result of combining multiple agents that increase serotonin (usually an antidepressant plus tryptophan or 5-HTP).

    5. Peat, Summer 2009: This is not a paper and I cannot find its source. I note that Peat is prominently featured throughout the website.

    6. Maclean & Dempsie, 2009 & 2010: Two papers [1][2] on serotonin involvement in pulmonary hypertension. This is a legitimate concern. Serotonin acts as vasoconstrictor specifically in pulmonary arteries, so serotonin agonists will increase the risk or severity of pulmonary hypertension. The argument is stupid though, it should be common sense to not take vasoconstrictors with a problem of hypertension, just as one wouldn't take vasodilators with a problem of hypotension.

    As you can see, the entire paragraph and argumentation falls apart when the papers that are cited are actually examined. The website uses weasel words to suggest that serotonin is harmful in vague terms. The papers refer mostly to the "other tryptophan side effects" part, and not the primary claim. There isn't even a shred of evidence that normal usage of tryptophan or 5-HTP will cause any problems.

    Of course, I haven't looked at everything but it seems pretty clear that this website is deliberately trying to scare readers and doesn't care at all about factual criticisms.


    Other times papers are simply misunderstood (like with the "serotonin causes heart damage" claim). It's not uncommon to overdose serotonin in animal studies for various purposes (for example for the study of serotonin-secreting carcinoid tumors), but that doesn't mean any of the observed negative effects are a real risk when taking sane doses of tryptophan or 5-HTP (because they actally don't increase blood serotonin much). To illustrate how wrong this logic is: everybody knows that you should drink 2 liters of a water per day, but if you drink 20 liters you'll get water intoxication and perhaps even die.
     
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  10. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Also 5htp and trypto help make melatonin which is the main reason it helps sleep. Serotonin is a calming neurotransmitters not necessarily sleeping neurotransmitters.
     
  11. john66

    john66 Senior Member

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    I can not provide a reference for this but I did read on Jack Kruse's site that 5-HTP can w.orsen insulin resistance. Jack Kruse is a nuerosurgeon who has a blog about diet, cold therapy and metabolic disease
     
  12. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    I like this guy's blog. I also searched for 5-HTP and it's not mentioned in relation to insulin resistance.
     
  13. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    Manchester UK
    Study Shows Increased Autoimmune Activity Against Serotonin in Patients With ME/CFS

    Note: Serotonin (5-HT) is a neurotransmitter found primarily in the brain and gut. In the brain, serotonin serves a variety of functions, among which are r...egulating sleep, appetite, and mood. However, roughly 90% of serotonin is found in the gut, where it serves to regulate intestinal contractions. The importance of this study is that it showed that autoimmunity against serotonin not only correlates with ME/CFS symptoms, but that it can be caused by inflammation due to the translocation of intestinal flora (bacteria) across the gut membrane. The role of the gut (e.g. alterations in flora and increased permeability of the intestinal lining) in chronic disease states is increasingly a subject of interest in the medical research community.

    Study title: In myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, increased autoimmune activity against 5-HT is associated with immuno-inflammatory pathways and bacterial translocation

    By Michael Maes, Karl Ringel, Marta Kubera, George Anderson, Gerwyn Morris, Piotr Galecki, Michel Geffard.

    Abstract

    Background: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is accompanied by activation of immuno-inflammatory pathways, increased bacterial translocation and autoimmune responses to serotonin (5-HT). Inflammation is known to damage 5-HT neurons while bacterial translocation may drive autoimmune responses. This study has been carried out to examine the autoimmune responses to 5-HT in ME/CFS in relation to inflammation and bacterial translocation.

    Methods: We examined 5-HT antibodies in 117 patients with ME/CFS (diagnosed according to the centers for disease control and prevention criteria, CDC) as compared with 43 patients suffering from chronic fatigue (CF) but not fulfilling the CDC criteria and 35 normal controls. Plasma interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, neopterin and the IgA responses to Gram-negative bacteria were measured. Severity of physio-somatic symptoms was measured using the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome rating scale (FF scale).

    Results: The incidence of positive autoimmune activity against 5-HT was significantly higher (p<0.001) in ME/CFS (61.5%) than in patients with CF (13.9%) and controls (5.7%). ME/CFS patients with 5-HT autoimmune activity displayed higher TNF alpha, IL-1 and neopterin and increased IgA responses against LPS of commensal bacteria than those without 5-HT autoimmune activity. Anti-5-HT antibody positivity was significantly associated with increased scores on hyperalgesia, fatigue, neurocognitive and autonomic symptoms, sadness and a flu-like malaise.

    Discussion: The results show that, in ME/CFS, increased 5-HT autoimmune activity is associated with activation of immuno-inflammatory pathways and increased bacterial translocation, factors which are known to play a role in the onset of autoimmune reactions. 5-HT autoimmune activity could play a role in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS and the onset of physio-somatic symptoms. These results provide mechanistic support for the notion that ME/CFS is a neuro-immune disorder.

    Source: Journal of Affective Disorders, May, 2013See More
     
  14. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    Sry but personally i think that Yasko's treatments are a joke and while we are on that subject RickVank's too. CFS is too multifactorial to be approached so one dimensionally.

    Especially when it comes to P5P. I stand by the dosage that I take and having it enteric-coated. P5P pushes sooo many enzymatic reactions thru, so many reactions that the body just cannot do by itself. You might even have already noticed this if you chronically always have a lower body temperature than 98.6.

    CFS is always marked by a lower stress point than healthy pple and for that B vitamins will always help.
     

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