Visit Siani's Other Blogs

Visit Gower Strange Days

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Natural Mood Enhancement

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've battled depression for many years. Although the prescription medication I take does a good job of keeping the depression at bay, that comes with a price. Anti-depressants, more often than not, have unpleasant side effects, including nausea, a dry mouth, fatigue and blurred vision. So recently, I've been considering natural mood enhancement therapies, and have read about one that really interests me.

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is derived from a West African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia, and fights depression by stimulating serotonin production. What interests me, is the fact that several clinical trials have shown its efficacy to be equal to that of a popular anti-depressant drug, fluvoxamine. I wonder how it would compare with fluoxetine, the medication I use? I'm very tempted to give it a try, as consumers can buy 5-htp in the UK.

Researchers conducting the clinical trials, used a number of assessment methods, including the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, to compare the effectiveness of both 5-HTP and fluvoxamine in treating depression. They concluded that both substances showed an incremental reduction in symptoms, over a similar time scale. Furthermore, thirteen out of seventeen reviewed studies have shown 5-HTP to have genuine anti-depressant effects.

Before you rush out to buy 5-htp, there are some things you should know. The most effective dose of 5-HTP seems to be anything between 50 and 500 mg daily. If used in combination with other anti-depressant substances, the dose needed can be low. In fact, as the effectiveness of 5-HTP varies with each individual, starting off on a low dose of 50 mg, three times daily, is recommended, gradually increasing to a daily maximum of 900 mg daily, if needed. Side effects are said to be rare, and usually take the form of minor gastro-intestinal upset - a big improvement on the side-effects of many prescription anti-depressants. 5-HTP is also said to benefit weight loss, and alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as migraine and fibromyalgia.

However, before you buy 5-htp, please note that it may not be suitable to treat all forms of depression, or be appropriate for all individuals. You absolutely must consult your doctor before embarking on any non-prescribed course of treatment for depression, or any other condition. And remember, do not exceed the maximum recommended dosage. With that cautionary note out of the way, I intend to do some more research into 5-HTP, to see if it's suitable for me, as it sounds very promising.

1 comment:

TheFool said...

I LOVE 5HTP! Thanks for the post. I get mine from Vitasunn:

I wish we could buy it from a shop, but fror now I'm just happy to be able to get it online

Thanks again!