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Comphensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils


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Meschino Health Comprehensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
General Features
5-HTP is a naturally occurring agent that is extracted from the seed of an African plant, known as the “Griffonia
Simplicifolia”. 5-HTP, unlike the amino acid tryptophan, easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. As a result, while only
three percent of an oral dose of tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the brain, studies indicate that over seventy
percent of an oral dose of 5-HTP is converted to serotonin. As serotonin is a neurotransmitter that elevates mood and
improves sleep quality, 5-HTP has been used in clinical trials to treat depression, insomnia and other conditions where
a rise in serotonin levels may be desirable.
Some evidence suggests that 5-HTP also increases endorphin and other neurotransmitter levels as well.1
Supplementation Studies and Clinical Applications
1. Depression
In several clinical trials 5-Hydroxtryptophan has been tested on its own or against other antidepressant drugs,
including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor drugs (SSRI) such as fluvoxamine (Luvox). Fluvoxamine exerts
anti-depressant activity comparable to Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil.
In general, 5-Hydroxytryptophan has been shown to be as effective as other traditional antidepressants and tends
to be associated with fewer and less severe side effects. The usual dosage for this application is 100 mg, three
times daily.1-5 However, patients with depression should be under the care of a qualified health professional and
combining 5-Hydroxytryptophan supplementation with other anti-depressant drugs or supplements is
contraindicated and may result in life-threatening side effects (i.e. serotonin syndrome).6
2. Insomnia
5-HTP has been shown to improve insomnia and quality of sleep in affected subjects. For insomnia, a single 100
mg dose of 5-HTP, one hour before bedtime has been shown to improve duration and depth of sleep in one
placebo-controlled study.7
3. Fibromyalgia
Some evidence suggests that 100 mg (5-HTP) taken three times per day may reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia,
including pain and insomnia.8
4. Migraine
Migraine Headache Studies have provided evidence that patients who suffer from migraine headaches may
experience a reduction in frequency and severity of attacks with a dosage range of 400-600 mg per day, in divided
doses.9-13
Dosage Ranges
1. Depression: 100 mg, three times daily2
2. Insomnia: a single dose of 25-100 mg, one hour before bedtime.4
3. Fibromyalgia: 100 mg, three times daily8
4. Migraine headaches: 150 mg, three times per day9
5. Anxiety: 100 mg, three times daily8
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