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5-HTP value, worth, instead of prozac?

Posted by lou

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Ian Health Maven
No, 5-HTP (and the related amino acid L-tryptophan) isn't worth it, Lou.

Despite the claims, antidepressants like Prozac don't work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Indeed, except in the initial weeks, they actually reduce serotonin synthesis and overall brain levels, as I explain in Serotonin: The chemical imbalance myth. So trying to boost serotonin levels not only won't do what antidepressants do, but doing so may be counterproductive.

Nor is serotonin really the 'feel good' neurotransmitter that some claim. Antidepressants do initially cause an increase, but the most common reaction people experience at this time is anxiety and agitation.

As an added complication, most of the body's serotonin isn't made and used in the brain. Only about 2% is. The rest is utilized by the gut, blood cells and vessels and the skin. So very little, if any, of the 5-HTP will end up in the brain.


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