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my 5-htp dont work anymore.. why?

#1
Hi everybody..

im from denmark so pleace forgive me if my spelling is "out of order"

does anybody in here know why my 5- htp stop working..
i take it for muscheltensions, headacke and migrene...
it worked fine the first month or so, but suddenly it dont work anymore..
has anyone here tryed the same.. i take diffrent vitamines also.(at least two houers before or after 5-htp...
dos anybody know if something can work aginst 5-htp.. i have taken the same vitamins when it worked though... the only thing new i have done is stardet taking garlic also... can that affect 5-htp i any way?
can anybody tell me?

lymegirl
 

maddog

Regular Member
#2
I have no idea why 5-htp _should_ work for muscle tensions, headache and migraine. I am definitely not an advocate of 5-htp, I think it's an useless supplement and it should be banned, but hey that's just me, don't shoot me.

If you have a tryptophan/serotonin deficiency you shoulds try L-tryptophan. You can buy L-tryptophan from Amazon if its sale is banned in your country.
 
#3
Click here for a good list of FAQs about 5HTP.

It's generally taken to boost low serotonin (the feel good brain hormone) levels. Can also reduce appetite and thus help with weight loss. Can also a deeper sleep if taken half an hour before bed. It's not meant to be taken for other purposes. Must be taken on an empty stomach. Use should be discontinued after three months for a few weeks.
 

maddog

Regular Member
#4
What's the difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan?

Munchee,

the link you provided is just marketing stuff. The 5-htp you find on the market is not directly produced in the body from Tryptophan but it is extracted from the plant Griffonia simplicifolia. There's a difference from this kind of 5-htp and the one your body makes naturally from Tryptophan. There's a lot of intermediate reactions that cannot be replicated in your body.

What's the difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan?
http://vitamins.vitanetonline.com/index.php/5htp-tryptophan

L-Tryptophan is the amino acid from which the body produces 5-HTP, Melatonin, Serotonin and other essential proteins and enzymes that the body greatly needs. L-Tryptophan is an irreplaceable amino acid. This means that there are no other herbs, vitamins, and other synthetic chemicals that could replace L-Tryptophan with the jobs and functions that it is capable of performing for the body.

...

5-HTP have fewer functions when compared to that of L-Tryptophan therefore, it could never replace L-Tryptophan in whatever angle we look at the situation

...

5-HTP is not vital except in few cases when a person is no longer capable to produce the rate limiting enzyme that makes it possible for L-Tryptophan to 5-HTP. On the other note, because of the fact that supplements of 5-HTP sidestep this rate-limiting step, the body will have lesser capacity to control Serotonin levels. Hence, it is very essential to monitor the level of 5-HTP in the body.

Even though 5-HTP is widely prescribed in Europe to address Serotonin deficiency symptoms that L-Tryptophan usually corrects so as to keep mood, anxiety and appetite normal, 5-HTP is still not capable of correcting L-Tryptophan deficiency because as what has been said earlier, 5-HTP is not L-Tryptophan therefore will never perform the whole function of the amino acid.
I don't know of one single study that proves that 5-htp supplementation is effective for depression or anxiety but there are hundreds of study that prove that proves that SJW supplementation is effective for depression instead. There is one syudy that says that 5-htp is "A Clinically-Effective Serotonin Precursor", but this doesn't mean anything really. Saying that serotonin is "the feel good brain hormone" is a gross oversimplification.

As I have said if one wants the supposed beneficial effects of tryptophan then they should buy L-Tryptophan.

As a term of comparison, in UK L-Tryptophan is cheaper that 5-htp. If you buy form Amazon uk you pay ?17.99 for a bottle of 90 Capsules 500mg of L-tryptophan and ?14.44 for 60 Capsules of 5-HTP; it's probably cheaper if you import it from the USA.
 
#5
Maddog
I clicked on the link, and I did not see any studies behind the claims. (I am trying to double-check, but now my computer won't let me open that link).
I am just surprised to hear this since so many people, mysef included, have benefited from 5-htp. Julia Ross recommends either 5 htp or Tryptophan, depending on what works for the individual.
Do you have any links of studies backing up what you say? I would be interested to read a valid study.
thanks
SG
 

maddog

Regular Member
#6
SkulkyGirl;12011 said:
Maddog
I clicked on the link, and I did not see any studies behind the claims. (I am trying to double-check, but now my computer won't let me open that link).
I am just surprised to hear this since so many people, mysef included, have benefited from 5-htp. Julia Ross recommends either 5 htp or Tryptophan, depending on what works for the individual.
Do you have any links of studies backing up what you say? I would be interested to read a valid study.
thanks
SG
I beg your pardon, which part of my claims should be backed up by a scientific study? That 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan are different? This doesn't require any scientific papers, any good biochemistry book can explain that and even wikipedia. I don't know about Julia Ross and quite frankly I don't care. There's not one single scientific study with volunteers, placebos and all that stuff that proves that 5-htp is effective against depression, but this doesn't mean it is not effective, simply that at the moment it has not been tested intensively. I am happy that it works for you. A Cochrane Review of the efficacy of oral tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HT) supplementation as treatments for depression concluded that there was insufficient evidence that either is more effective than placebo in unipolar depression:
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD003198.
Tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan for depression.
Shaw K, Turner J, Del Mar C.
Source

School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Public Health Building, Herston Rd, Herston, Queensland, Australia, 4006. k.shaw@sph.uq.edu.au
Abstract
BACKGROUND:

5 Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and tryptophan are so-called natural alternatives to traditional antidepressants, used to treat unipolar depression and dysthymia.
OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether 5-HTP and tryptophan are more effective than placebo, and whether they are safe to use to treat depressive disorders in adults.
SEARCH STRATEGY:

Trials were searched in computerized general (Medline, Psychlit, and Embase) and specialized databases (Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials Register, Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Controlled Trial Register); by checking reference lists of relevant articles; by handsearching relevant specialist journals; and by contacting relevant authors where appropriate. Publications in all languages were sought.
SELECTION CRITERIA:

Trials were included if they were randomized, included patients with unipolar depression or dysthymia, compared preparations of 5-HTP or tryptophan with placebo, and included clinical outcomes assessed by scales assessing depressive symptoms.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Data was extracted independently by the three reviewers, onto data collection forms. Inclusion criteria were applied to all potential studies independently and a coefficient of agreement (Kappa) was calculated for them. Disagreement was resolved by reaching consensus. Trial quality was scored according to risk of bias. Analysis for 5-HTP and tryptophan were combined due to the small number of included trials.
MAIN RESULTS:

108 trials were located using the specified search strategy. Of these, only two trials, involving a total of 64 patients, were of sufficient quality to meet inclusion criteria. The available evidence suggests these substances were better than placebo at alleviating depression (Peto Odds Ratio 4.10; 95% confidence interval 1.28-13.15; RD 0.36; NNT 2.78). However, the evidence was of insufficient quality to be conclusive.
REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

A large number of studies appear to address the research questions, but few are of sufficient quality to be reliable. Available evidence does suggest these substances are better than placebo at alleviating depression. Further studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 5-HTP and tryptophan before their widespread use can be recommended. The possible association between these substances and the potentially fatal Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome has not been elucidated. Because alternative antidepressants exist which have been proven to be effective and safe the clinical usefulness of 5-HTP and tryptophan is limited at present.
 

florana

Regular Member
#7
lymegirl;12004 said:
Hi everybody..

im from denmark so pleace forgive me if my spelling is "out of order"

does anybody in here know why my 5- htp stop working..
i take it for muscheltensions, headacke and migrene...
it worked fine the first month or so, but suddenly it dont work anymore..
has anyone here tryed the same.. i take diffrent vitamines also.(at least two houers before or after 5-htp...
dos anybody know if something can work aginst 5-htp.. i have taken the same vitamins when it worked though... the only thing new i have done is stardet taking garlic also... can that affect 5-htp i any way?
can anybody tell me?

lymegirl
Hi,

It can be better for some to take short regular breaks from herbal serotonin boosters like 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan etc. to prevent a tolerance buildup. Such as taking weekends off or 1 week off a month. Here's a page with reccomendations regarding dosage/timing etc.
http://www.raysahelian.com/5-htp.html

Some have also successfully combined 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan with L-Tryosine to reduce tolerance. Here is a thread which discusses this:
http://www.sjwinfo.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2850

If its not already one of the vitamins you take then Magnesium may also be good for muscle tension and headaches. It works by relaxing muscles etc. Preferably in a form thats easier to absorb such as Magnesium Citrate.

Best of luck.
 
#8
actually, I thought you were implying it was dangerous, and if so, any links?
My question was answered, however. Yesterday morning I woke up very ill after drinking one glass of wine and having 200 or 300 mgs of 5 htp. My head was spinning, and I couldn't do anything all day.
5 hpt got me off sleeping pills, which I didn't think was possible, but if I wanted a serotonin booster again, I would do tryptophan.
I have taken 5 htp with alcohol before and been fine, but I think this potential really bad reaction should be more publicized. Of course, I knew it might be bad, but thought it was okay since I had done it before.
Lymegirl, didn't mean to spin your thread in another direction...you could try tryptophan. But I have read if you don't need the aminos, you might get a headache. I read Kudzu is good for migraines and cluster headaches.
I am done with 5 htp, however!
 

florana

Regular Member
#9
SkulkyGirl;12047 said:
Yesterday morning I woke up very ill after drinking one glass of wine and having 200 or 300 mgs of 5 htp. My head was spinning, and I couldn't do anything all day.
5 hpt got me off sleeping pills, which I didn't think was possible, but if I wanted a serotonin booster again, I would do tryptophan.
200 - 300 is quite a big dose at once, pretty much double the usual upper end suggestion of 100 mg on most pill bottles. You might find the same effect whilst taking a double dose of L-Tryptophan. Of course everyone is different and some are less sensitive than others or don't absorb things as well. For example most reccomend a maximum of 400mg a day of Magnesium but I have seen some take megadoses to get the same effect of 400mg due to the way their body works. However its usually best to start at the lowest dose and work your way up. Some liken serotonin to a gas tank where they might need a higher dose at first but then taper it down to a low maintenance dose (with regular breaks e.g. weekends to avoid tolerance).

Dizziness or vertigo (where there is a feeling of motion when one is stationary) etc. can happen with SSRIs that boost serotonin so it can also happen with the herbals 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan which also boost serotonin. Just a theory but it may also of been that the 5-HTP was amplifying the effects of the alcohol which also can cause vertigo/dizziness/etc. Though primarily only in an excess of alcohol, amplifying the potential effect could theoritcally make it appear at a lower dose (just a theory though, and as said serotonin by itself in any form - SSRI, 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan - can cause dizziness without alcohol)
Excessive consumption of ethanol (alcoholic beverages) can also cause notorious symptoms of vertigo. (For more information see Short term effects of alcohol).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo

actually, I thought you were implying it was dangerous, and if so, any links?
The general rule is: "Anything is dangerous in excess". Including seemingly harmless vitamins etc. This is not isolated to things that boost serotonin so its always a good idea to try to work with the lowest dosages you find a benefit at. Both 5-HTp and L-tryptophan in large doses could lead to side effects. Also it's always reccomended not to take 2 serotonin boosting things together (SSRI and a herbal, or 2 herbals together) due to serotonin syndrome (too much serotonin). I reccomend the links I posted above regarding side effects, though the guy does sell products (which I've never personally bought) his info is usually non-biased and very cautious. He doesn't play up the benefits and will point out any risks.

Here are some key excerpts from the pages linked above (but I do reccomend reading the whole page if someone wishes to be more informed):


Safety and toxicity
I am not aware of any reports in the medical literature of anyone who has encountered a life threatening, toxic, or other serious adverse effect. 5 HTP has been sold over the counter since 1995 and no incidents of toxicity have been reported in medical journals that I know of.

Short term 5-HTP side effects, risks, safety and caution, danger
5-HTP side effects from high doses (which could be 70 to 100 mg and greater) include nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, nightmares, and decreased sex drive. Tiredness and sleepiness can occur after several days or weeks of use which may indicate that a break should be taken.

Dosage for depression, appetite control, and other health issues
Some studies have used dosages of 300 mg a day, or more, for depression but I consider any dose above 100 mg to be high. Most products are sold in 50 and 100 mg capsules. Some people do well with 20 to 50 mg, while others may temporarily require 100 mg or more. Those who do well with small doses can open a capsule by pulling on each end and take a portion mixed with water. 5-HTP is best absorbed on an empty stomach. Some users have tried taking a smaller amount sublingually, that is, under the tongue.
5 HTP was introduced to the over the counter market in 1994. We don't know as much as we should about the side effects of chronic 5-HTP use. Therefore, until we learn more, the idea is to take it in the minimum effective dosage and to avoid its prolonged continuous use. I tell my patients to take frequent breaks (the frequency and length of breaks varies since each person is unique).
One of the shortcomings of 5-HTP is that it may, in many individuals, not have a consistent effect. This may depend on the time of day it is taken, with or without food, other supplements taken at the same time, the alertness level of the individual taking it, the dosage, etc.
I have been asked about 5HTP spray that supposed to be sprayed sublingually. There are also 5HTP lozenges dissolvable sublingually. I don't have much experience with the use of a spray or lozenge.

Alcohol, wine
Can I take 5 htp and still have a glass or two of alcohol in the form of wine or beer?
Alcohol is a drug that has unpredictable effects when combined with certain herbs, nutrients, and medicines. A small amount of alcohol, such as an ounce or two of wine should not be a danger with a 5-HTP supplement, but we caution against drinking too much.


Tryptophan side effects, caution, safety, toxicity
A common tryptophan side effect from high dose use is drowsiness so it may be a good idea to take this amino acid supplement in the evening and not while driving or operating heavy machinery. Dry mouth is a less common tryptophan side effect. Other less common l-tryptophan side effects include nausea, dizziness, and loss of appetite.

Dosage
What is generally the dose of tryptophan that is taken to see the positive effects?
Most people find 500 mg or 1000 mg taken in the evening to be helpful.


Combination with St. John's wort
Is St John's wort herb okay to take with tryptophan pill? I read these interact.
Much depends on the dosage used and the person taking them. It is best to learn how each one works by itself before combining. Some people take the St. John's wort in the morning and the tryptophan pill in the evening. Use low dosages at first to know how your body reacts.


I saw your response on your web site about stopping the tryptophan frequently, and need more info: What happens if you don't stop periodically? How long should it be stopped for? I have never been told this before and wonder if that is why the tryptophan has stopped working for me?
As with many supplements, particularly amino acids, somehow the body and brain get used to the effects, so that is one reason to take breaks. Another reason is that we don't know too well what the long term effects are of taking a particular amino acid in high amounts. They may be beneficial, or harmful. As to the frequency of breaks or length of a break from tryptophan, this depends on each person and their individual physiology, but as a rough guideline a week off per month seems reasonable.
 
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#10
florana;12046 said:
Hi,

It can be better for some to take short regular breaks from herbal serotonin boosters like 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan etc. to prevent a tolerance buildup. Such as taking weekends off or 1 week off a month. Here's a page with reccomendations regarding dosage/timing etc.
http://www.raysahelian.com/5-htp.html

Some have also successfully combined 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan with L-Tryosine to reduce tolerance. Here is a thread which discusses this:
http://www.sjwinfo.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2850

If its not already one of the vitamins you take then Magnesium may also be good for muscle tension and headaches. It works by relaxing muscles etc. Preferably in a form thats easier to absorb such as Magnesium Citrate.

Best of luck.


thanks...

i was afraide that that was the answer... i have so mush headace and migrene that i whis that i could take it the whole time... but i wiil just have to settle then..
thank you for the links.. i havent been able to find anything on the internet about it my selv,, i will deffently read them.. thank you;-)

lymegirl
 
#11
Florana,
thanks for the info. I might take a much smaller dose of 5 htp in the future, then. It has been good, I don't need a sleeping pill at night, and I don't like sweets or alcohol anymore. I think that is because of 5 htp.
SG
 

florana

Regular Member
#12
SkulkyGirl;12055 said:
Florana,
thanks for the info. I might take a much smaller dose of 5 htp in the future, then. It has been good, I don't need a sleeping pill at night, and I don't like sweets or alcohol anymore. I think that is because of 5 htp.
SG
Good to hear you've had such a positive effect boosting serotonin. I think if in the end you do find it difficult to balance the 5-HTP then L-tryptophan is worth a shot, they have similar ends/effects and some find they get on better with one than the other. 5-HTP (and L-Tryptophan) has had some study to say it may help insomnia in some people at a certain dose.The dose probably depends on the person as always. The above links suggest some may only need very little e.g. less than 50mg (for 5-HTP), others might need more, but they may find too much gives a bigger feeling of alertness than sleepfulness or have other unpleasant symptomns.

It can also depend on when you take it. Serotonin converts to Melatonin (the sleep hormone) when its dark (e.g. at night, or during dark winter/fall days which can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder in some). So taking 5-HTP (or L-Tryptophan) at night can help people sleep. You can also take Melatonin by itself as a supplement if only better sleep is desired, but the 5-HTP (or L-Tryptophan) is useful for the serotonin aspect.

You've probably not got as much cravings since your brain is feeling more satisfied quicker after having achieved a bit more balance which is great to hear. L-Theanine from Green Tea is also supposed to be good apparently for the whole cravings thing due to it potentially achieveing the same dopamine release that sugar/alcohol/etc. give. Also if someone is craving lots of chocolate they may want to try Magnesium, as chocolate is very high in Magnesium so the body may be trying to fulfill a need. Especially in Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (which can also cause or exasberate depression and anxiety as hormones can effect serotonin), the chocolate craving and Magnesium thing seems to have a link.
 
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