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Thread: 5-HTP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    96

    5-HTP

    Has anyone had any success with taking 5-HTP for anxiety?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2017
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    Re: 5-HTP

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole0134 View Post
    Has anyone had any success with taking 5-HTP for anxiety?
    Sorry, but this is snake oil, as is another serotonin precursor L-Tryptophan.

    Firstly, anxiety and depression are not the result of too little serotonin, nor do antidepressants work by increasing the amount in the brain. They do increase serotonin synthesis and expression for the first few weeks, this is what causes most of the initial SSRI/SNRI/some TCA side-effects, but the brain responds to this by down-regulating synthesis and expression back to at least baseline and in areas of the brain linked to anxiety/depression to well below baseline. See my: Serotonin - The 'chemical imbalance' myth

    The second issue is that serotonin isn't only a brain neurotransmitter. It has many roles in the body including in blood vessel tone, constriction and dilation and wound/burn repair. Nor is the brain the biggest producer and user. The enteric nervous system, the mini brain which controls the gut makes and uses about 95% of the body's serotonin. The brain less than 2%, about as much as the skin. 5-HTP taken orally will just be scavenged by the enterochromaffin cells of the gut which synthesise serotonin. Any excess is drained from the gut and bound in blood platelets for use in wound/burn repair.

    And the third issue is that oral 5-HTP has been linked to Peak-X contamination which can cause Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome. See the chemical imbalance myth link above for more on this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    96

    Re: 5-HTP

    Thanks for your response - I'll have to look a few things up to fully understand it. 5-HTP was a bit of a last resort to be honest. For other reasons, I can't take conventional ADs so was hoping this would be the answer....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    1,458

    Re: 5-HTP

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole0134 View Post
    For other reasons, I can't take conventional ADs so was hoping this would be the answer....
    Give it a try, but I doubt it will do much, though you may get a placebo response. There are many antidepressants targeting a large variety of receptor systems so there probably is one that you could take. And the cognitive, behavioural (CBT, REBT, etc) and mindfulness therapies work well too.

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