Search
 
 

Display results as :
 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search
Natural Hair Loss Regimen
Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search
Natural Hair Loss Regimen

5-htp bad for you?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

5-htp bad for you?

Post  j87x on Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:33 pm

I came across this post by "Bryan" on HLH. I wanted to run it by here and gather opinions.




Dr. Steven B. Harris, M.D. is a famous doctor and gerontologist who has posted for years on various medical and scientifically-oriented Usenet newsgroups like sci.med.nutrition, sci.life-extension, and numerous others. The material following this paragraph is a copy/paste of something I posted on another site, in response to a very similar question about the use of 5-HTP:

------------------------------------------------------
For those of you who continue to think that taking 5-HTP is a perfectly safe thing to do, please read the following post by Dr. Steven Harris (a well-known life-extension researcher) from the science newsgroup sci.life-extension. This material is lengthy and _quite_ technical, but you need to work your way through it so that you can see why 5-HTP isn't a benign substance:


From: sbharris@ix.netcom.com(Steven B. Harris)
Subject: 5-HTP + B6 = Trouble; Doc Harris Presents Green Banana Award (was: US ban on tryptophan)
Date: 29 Dec 1996
Newsgroups: sci.med.nutrition, sci.med, sci.pharmacy, misc.health.alternative, sci.life-extension, alt.support.depression

Simon Friedman wrote:

Jack Challem wrote:
> 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. Simon<<
------------------------------------------------------------

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 peril.

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-hydroxyindoleacetic 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.

j87x

Posts: 642
Join date: 2008-08-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  Misirlou on Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:08 pm

comments anyone? rendeer

Misirlou

Posts: 1124
Join date: 2008-07-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  lund on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:59 pm

The email referenced by OP is old - there have been many responses to this in the past, I recently read one from LEF as well -going one item at a time from the list and refuting each. The evidence of 5-HTP working is overwhelming and usually works much better in conjunction with P5P (b6) (totally against the recommendation in the posted reference)

Do you find any other evidence to support this purported email? If this guy's theories are right, there should have been much more published articles/paper on this trail -

I do take 5-HTP (50mg) with Active B complex (including P5P-b6) 1st thing in the morning. Have been doing this for a month or so, so I am not a long term ingester of this.

I have seen this email posting before - research lead me to believe that this is not completely true. Low levels of 5-HTP (50 or 100mg a day) seems a reasonable choice - unless the evidence against begins to mount.

lund

Posts: 661
Join date: 2008-10-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  Misirlou on Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:38 pm

lund

Can you recommend any Active B complex (including P5P-b6) product?

Misirlou

Posts: 1124
Join date: 2008-07-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  lund on Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:15 am

I think there is one linked by IH on his regimen page from swanson - it has all the good stuff in there and the correct b6 as well. I use one from the Jarrows (B right) you can find it at iHerb as well.

For ppl looking to increase neurotransmitters, I would suggest to give SAM-e, B-12 / Folate, B6 (P5P) a chance - this protocol is very basic in kind and can help if you are an undermethylater. If SAM-e is too expensive, you can try the TMG and L-Methionine as well, will take longer to experience benefits.

if you are still struggling with Serotonin deficiency - then try the 5-HTP route. But 400mg SAM-e / day on empty stomach 1st thing in the morning should be a decent protocol supported by B-12, Folate, and B6. You have to make sure you take the *active* form of these B vitamins:

B-12 --> sublingual B-12 (methylCobalamin)
Folate --> L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-MTHF)
B6 --> Pyridoxal 5-phosphate

IH's recommended B-vitamin


Misirlou wrote:lund

Can you recommend any Active B complex (including P5P-b6) product?

lund

Posts: 661
Join date: 2008-10-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  j87x on Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:59 am

Thanks for the info, lund. I ordered some TMG and L-Methionine, should you take these on an empty stomach as well with B6, B12, and folate? Also is taking b-complex every day safe since most of it is urinated out anyway? I've heard that excessive b vitamins such as in energy drinks can be bad for your liver.

j87x

Posts: 642
Join date: 2008-08-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  j87x on Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:02 am

Another question - I often skip a couple of days per week on taking my regimen, for antidepressants would I have to make sure to take them every single day?

j87x

Posts: 642
Join date: 2008-08-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 5-htp bad for you?

Post  lund on Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:13 pm

For TMG and L-Methionine to work, you will need to give it 2-3 months. I think that's what the experts call for. Much faster results are seen with SAM-e (400-800mg). This is going to take time, so you will need a lot of patience, but the good part is that you are trying to fix the basic flaw vs ingesting the end product so the feedback and control systems will keep things in check. With all Methyl donor supps, you have to keep the homocysteine in check - read up on it, but the combination of B-12/Folate/B6 should be good.

I have not played with TMG or L-Methionine, I went for the SAM-e route and even then it takes time - all I know is that it cannot hurt, plus it is good for liver/arthritis/etc so overall it is a GO.

Skipping should not a problem - I have not read tolerance issues with thes sups, let us know if you find any info...

Coupled with this if you want, you can try the Anti-anxiety route as well. Taurine / Gaba (pharmaGaba brand) and Valerian works very well together for me. You do not have to take all 3, I think each one has a potential.

I take all three half hour going to bed and man I am out in no time, and dreams are there up until I wake up in the morning - Interestingly even if I come out of my sleep (towards the end) it not only takes me back to sleep but I continue to dream until I finally wake up - to me it is a good sign of deep sleep, I like it. I have tried Curcumin (it helped but not as good, zinc helps as well but perhaps not as much) - I think the Gabagernic system is the key and you are addressing it by the combo above.

Sleep quality is very important - that should be your indication that things are working out for you or not...

lund

Posts: 661
Join date: 2008-10-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum