trytophan vs 5htp

Sexual Reboot Forum trytophan vs 5htp

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    iv been doing some research and aparently alot of 5htp never makes it to the brain because it gets metabolized in the gut and instead of making it to the brain ends up floating around in our blood and does us little good. Iv read ways to avoid this is to take it alongside carbidopa(prescription drug unfortunatly) which helps it on its way to the brain. however iv also read taking trytophan which is the precursor to 5htp and therefore serotonin is effective to because it dosnt get converted in the gut as readily as 5htp and more makes it to the brain. This could be crucial does anyone have any expericence with trytophan vs 5htp?

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    Now 5htp…with a caution:

    A Word of Caution About

    5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP

    Taken from the Life Extension Foundation newsletter

    The reasons for the potential risks of 5-HT were brought to our attention by Steven B Harris, M.D. He explained that: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HT) is one step closer to serotonin than tryptophan. The sequence is as follows.

    Tryptophan > 5-Hydroxytryptophan > Serotonin

    Based on the above metabolic sequence it would appear desirable to use 5-HT instead of tryptophan since 5-HT more readily converts to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is often deficient in the brains of depressed people. Boosting serotonin can alleviate depression in some people and reduce carbohydrate cravings in others, thus inducing weight loss.

    Here’s why 5-HT will not work for most Americans, and could be lethal to some people: The blood-brain barrier does not allow significant absorption of serotonin from the blood. The brain does have a large neutral amino acid pump that freely allows tryptophan and 5-HT into the brain for conversion into serotonin. The process by which 5-H is converted into serotonin is called decarboxylation. If decarboxylation occurs before 5-HT is absorbed by the brain, than blood levels of serotonin will elevate significantly, but very little serotonin will enter the brain.

    When Europeans take 5-HT, they are often prescribed the dopa decarboxylase inhibitor carbidopa that prevents 5-HT from being converted into serotonin until it reaches the brain. Americans do not take carbidopa with 5-HT and the result is possible serotonin overload in the blood, with virtually no serotonin reaching the brain. We will describe later the dangers of overloading the blood with serotonin. Americans taking 5-HT are more vulnerable to blood serotonin overload because, unlike most Europeans who are vitamin deficient, Americans who use 5-HT usually take large doses of vitamin B6 as well. Vitamin B6 rapidly converts 5-HT into serotonin before it can reach the brain. Even when combined with carbidopa, high levels of vitamin B6 will break through the carbidopa barrier and insure that 5-HT converts into serotonin in the blood before the it can reach the brain.

    The multiple health benefits of vitamin B6 are too important, we believe, to recommend that people avoid taking vitamin B6 just to enable them to try using 5-HT to boost brain serotonin levels. This may be difficult anyway without also taking carbidopa, which is available in the US only as a prescription drug. At the very best, those who take vitamin B6 with 5-HT are probably wasting their money. Unfortunately, high serotonin in the blood in not benign. Anyone suffering from heart disease should avoid 5-HT because the elevation in blood serotonin could cause coronary artery spasm an/or abnormal platelet aggregation, which are risk factors for sudden death heart attack.

    Here is the real frightening aspect of serotonin overload, as described by Dr. Harris: “Serotonin causes not only harmless flushing and diarrhea, but people with serotonin secreting tumors (hindgut carcinoids) also have problems with fibrosis of the endocardium and valves of their right hearts with can cause heart failure. The effect can also be seen with dietary intake of only modest amounts of serotonin, and there has actually been described in the medical literature, a tribe of South Sea islanders with right heart fibrosis as a result of eating green banana mush, which poisons them with its serotonin content” Dr. Harris goes on to state that people who ingest several hundred milligrams a day of 5-HT with B6 and without a decarboxylase inhibitor would expect to see urinary excretion of a serotonin metabolite in the same range as a person with a serotonin secreting tumor.

    Based upon Dr. Harris’ report the Foundation had its analysts conduct an extensive review of the medical literature and have come to the following preliminary conclusions:

    1) For 5-HT to boost serotonin levels in the brain it is necessary to: a)Take 50 mg of carbidopa before each 5-HT dose. Carbidopa is a prescription drug. b)Limit vitamin B6 supplementation to a small dose taken at least six hours before or after 5-HT carbidopa dosing. c) Have a urinary test to measure a metabolite of serotonin called 5-hydroxy indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) on a regular basis. As long as 5-HIAA levels are normal, than 5-HT intake would be safe.

    2) Those with existing cardiovascular disease, including atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, valvular disease or pulmonary hypertension may want to avoid 5-HT completely. One Foundation analyst felt that 81 mg a day of aspirin and 500 mg a day of magnesium would reduce the risk of 5-HT inducing a heart attack.

    3)The effects of 5-HT by itself elevating blood serotonin levels are extremely individualistic. Some people may not experience any blood serotonin increase, while others could suffer from a lethal serotonin peripheral overload.

    4) Despite the potential dangers of 5-HT, most FDA-approved drugs to treat depression and obesity appear to be more toxic.

    5) At the time of this printing, we have not been able to verify whether 5-HT induced serotonin overload would cause fibrosis of the aortic valve and destruction of the heart muscle. Based on the potential health risks of ingesting 5-HIT, Bio Recovery has decided not to offer it tat this time. we encourage anyone seeking to use 5-HT to follow strictly the above protocol for safe 5-HT supplementation. We’ll post further evidence regarding 5-HTP as soon as it becomes available. This warning applies only to 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HT), not tryptophan itself. Published studies show that tryptophan does not readily convert into serotonin in the blood, but that 5-HT does, since 5-HT can convert directly into serotonin while tryptophan has to go through one additional metabolic step which protects against blood serotonin overload.



    If you look around, you will find a few companies now selling

    tryptophan supplements to doctors in the US. The molecular

    structure is slightly different, basically just the immediate

    precursor molecule. I checked with my FDA contact, and he said

    yes, it’s true.<

    >>You can also buy 5-hydroxytryptophan from at least 2 mail-order

    outlets that I know of. 5-HTP is the next step in metabolism from

    trypophan on its way to become serotonin.



    Comment: Yes, and in fact 5-HTP needs only one more step to

    become serotonin– a decarboxylation. The sequence is:

    Tryptophan –> 5-HTP –> Serotonin.

    An exactly analogous sequence is:

    Tyrosine –> L-DOPA –> Dopamine

    In both cases the end product neurotransmitter does not get

    across the blood brain barrier very well, but all of the

    precursor molecules above are transported by the brain’s large

    neutral amino acid pump, and they get into the brain fine. Thus,

    if you are a Parkinson’s patient who wants to raise dopamine

    levels, you must take L-DOPA, not dopamine. Similarly, it would

    do you no good to take serotonin– you must take tryptophan or

    5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).

    Now for the complications. (Aren’t there always complications

    in life?) The final reaction to the neurotransmitter in both the

    case of dopamine and serotonin, is decarboxylation, and the same

    enzyme (the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) is involved in

    both conversions. This decarboxylase enzyme is present in the

    liver, and it acts in the case of L-DOPA to convert the compound

    to dopamine before it can make it into the brain (and if this

    happens, the L-DOPA is wasted). The decarboxylase enzyme uses B6

    as a cofactor for this reaction, and for this reason a

    Parkinson’s disease patient taking L-DOPA cannot take more than

    the RDA of B6, because doing so would act to neutralize

    oral L-DOPA too quickly. These days, almost all Parkinson’s

    patients on L-DOPA take the drug in a combination with an

    artificial decarboxylase inhibitor, called Carbidopa (the

    combination is called Sinemet). But even with Carbidopa,

    Parkinson’s patients are advised not to exceed a daily dose of B6

    of 25 mg, since more will overwhelm the Carbidopa effect, and

    cause pharmacologic L-DOPA to be destroyed in the liver before it

    can get into the brain.

    Now, Carbidopa, because it acts on the same metabolizing

    enzyme in the liver, performs exactly the same preservative

    service for 5-HTP as for L-DOPA. For this reason, neurologists

    have experimented with giving Carbidopa to people who needed to

    take 5-HTP to raise brain serotonin (this in the days before

    selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants like

    Prozac were available). The problem today with 5-HTP-selling

    companies bypassing doctors and going to laymen, is that a lot of

    health enthusiasts with problems who are enthusiastically taking

    5-HTP are NOT taking Carbidopa, but they ARE taking a lot of B6

    in one form or another. Yet without Carbidopa, more than a few

    milligrams of extra B6 per day would be expected to insure that

    most dietary 5-HTP gets turned into serotonin before it can get

    into the brain.

    Alas, one company I know packages their 5-HTP in 50 mg

    capsules with 10 mg of B6. They do this ostensibly so that 5-HTP

    can be converted to serotonin in the brain. Duh. This insures

    that any 5-HTP will get converted to serotonin in the liver

    instead, and thus never make it to the brain. Vitamin B6 is the

    *LAST* thing you want in an 5-HTP product.

    At the very best, people who take B-vitamins with 5-HTP, or

    who take 5-HTP products with B6, waste their money. All this

    would be merely humorous (caveat emptor) were it not for some

    other facts. At worst, ignorant people fooling with 5-HTP

    actually risk their health, since serotonin in the peripheral

    blood is not benign. Serotonin causes not only harmless flushing

    and diarrhea, but people with serotonin secreting tumors (hindgut

    carcinoids) also have problems with fibrosis of the endocardium

    and valves in their right hearts, which can cause heart failure.

    This fibrosis is caused by the serotonin. This effect can also

    be seen with dietary intake of only modest amounts of serotonin,

    and there has actually been described in the medical literature a

    tribe of South Sea islanders with right heart fibrosis as a

    result of eating green banana mash (matuki), which poisons them

    with its serotonin content. No, I’m not making this up. The

    hydroxylation of tryptophan is a rate-limiting step in the

    peripheral production of serotonin, and one bypasses it at one’s


    How much does it take? Several hundred milligrams of 5-HTP

    taken per day, if converted to serotonin, would result in a

    urinary excretion of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleac-

    etic acid (5-HIAA) of several hundred milligrams also– an amount

    well within the urinary excretion range of the average person

    with a serotonin producing carcinoid. Such a dose of 5-HTP

    certainly would result in a serotonin blood load comparable to

    that of green-banana-diet eating people who have

    serotonin-induced heart valve disease. Normally, people do not

    excrete breakdown products of more than 10 mg of serotonin

    metabolites per day. If you take one capsule per day of 50 mg

    5-HTP with 10 mg B6, however, you would be expected to go to at

    least 50 mg per day of 5-HIAA in the urine. Less metabolism in

    the liver (less B6) would result in less 5-HIAA in the urine. If

    you are going to take 5-HTP, therefore, you probably need 5-HIAA

    urine monitoring, to figure out just how big a dose of systemic

    serotonin you’re actually getting (and incidentally, how much

    5-HTP you’re wasting). See a doctor!

    For all the reasons outlined above, I am presenting those

    vitamin companies who sell 5-HTP with B6, or who sell it alone

    but don’t warn their customers about 5-HIAA monitoring or B6

    intake, a special award: the Green Banana Award. This honor is

    for those supplement-sellers who monkey around with people’s

    health before consulting with some really good nutrition and

    medical specialists to make sure they don’t f*&% up and hurt

    somebody. Hopefully, companies which receive the Green Banana

    Award will contemplate its message, and will thereby change their

    behavior in order to avoid some of the less-coveted awards which

    otherwise await them in the future: the Civil Damage Award, for

    instance, or even the All-Expense-Paid Guest of the Federal

    Government Award.

    Steven B. Harris, M.D.



    so it seems that most of the 5htp isnt making it to the brain isnt really stopping the conversion of dopamine-adrenaline. Im fairly certain that on my last blood test i did get a 5 HIAA test so ill be able to confirm this if that reading is really high. If it is really high im sure im gona switch to trytophan .

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