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SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort


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20 replies to this topic

#1 1newyorkguy

Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:31 AM


Can someone give me a simple breakdown comparison of these mind supplements?
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#2 OneScrewLoose Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:California

Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:47 PM

St John's Wort
This is nature's best antidepressant (that we know of so far). Studies have shown it to be useful in mild to moderate depression and pretty useless in severe depression. It has two known active constituents. The first one is called hyperforin. Some consider it to be SJW's primary mode of its antidepressant effect. The second one is called hypericin. This is the tricky one. Hypericin causes photosensitivity and makes you tan more easily. It also makes your eyes more photosensitive, and a recent study as linked this to cataracts. That's why a good pair of sunglasses should be a must for anyone on SJW (a cheap pair of sunglasses will do more harm than good). Sunscreen is also recommended. There is an extract (SC27, New Chapter) of SJW that has almost no hypericin. However, some people need the hypericin, others don't. There is no clear way of telling without trying.

SAM-E
SAM-E, or S-Adenosyl Methionine. Is the final methyl donor at the end of the folate cycle. This system of the body is often referred to in general as "methylation." You will often see the terms under-methylation and over-methylation. Methylation happens when a "methyl donor" donates a methyl group to another molecule. SAM-E is the methyl donor at the end of the folate cycle that donates a methyl group to all sorts of molecules, including neurotransmitters. These methyl groups are need for the construction of the molecules, so it's quite important. SAM-E can have antidepressant and anxiolitic effects, but these very from person to person. SAM-E can also cause anxiety in some people, but this is rare. Homocysteine is the best indicator of methylation in the body. This can be tested in the blood and if homocysteine is high than something should be done (there are all kinds of threads about this, search). Histamine can also be an indicator, but its role isn't as clear cut. SAM-E can also help with bone issues.

L-Tyrosine
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is a precursor to dopamine. It goes L-Phenylalaine -> L-Tyrosine -> L-Dopa -> Dopamine. L-Phenylalline and L-Tyrosine are both found naturally in foods. Most LP gets converted to LT, so both can have a similar effect. Taking L-Tyrosine can raise dopamine, but for most people this wares off, so occasional use is probably better. Taking LT can also lower Serotonin levels, so if one were to use this constantly, it might be wise to take L-Tyrosine during the day and L-Tryptophan at night, as this is a precursor to serotonin. For amino acids to work, the need to be taken on an empty stomach, as amino acids compete with each other for absorption.

5-HTP
5-HTP is what your body makes from Tryptophan and is the precursor to serotonin. L-Tryptophan -> 5-HTP -> Serotonin. L-Tryptophan is the rate-limiting step for your body in the production of serotonin. The effect of bypassing this is unknown. What we do know however is that B6 is the catalyst for the conversion of 5-HTP to Serotonin. The problem is that part of this occurs in the gut, especially if you have had something containing B6. Since serotonin does not cross the blood-brain barrier, it stays in the bloodstream. Serotonin in the bloodstream can cause damage, and taking 5-HTP is generally not recommended (at least around here). Take Tryptophan instead. And also, just as taking Tyrosine can lower Serotonin, taking Tryptophan/5-HTP can lower dopamine. So taking tyrosine along with it in the day might be a good idea.

Hope this helps.
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#3 1newyorkguy Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 19 February 2010 - 05:50 PM

wow thanks!
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#4 csrpj Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:11 PM

nice writeup!

i'm currently taking samE - i feel it working well for depression and slightly helping anxiety.... i'm not sure what other stuff i need to take it with, though? i've read b12, folic acid, and TMG... do i need to take it with all of these? i have a multivitamin with folic acid and b12, and separate TMG pills... i used to take with multi, now i take it with TMG.... should i take it with both? or as long as i have b12, flolic acid in my system, not necessarily taking it at the same time....?
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#5 OneScrewLoose Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:California

Posted 20 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

Don't take more than the RDA (400mcg) of Folic Acid as it's been linked cancer. I wouldn't take more than 200mcg. Also, TMG can cause cholesterol problems. If SAM-E helps you I would look into methylfolate and methylcobalamin.
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#6 zm3thod Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:USA

Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:38 PM

From my experience (not all were taken for the mood/antidepressant effect)

SAM-e : looks promising, haven't tried it though because at an effective dose it is pretty expensive.

TMG / Betaine : read about being a cheaper alternative that works similarly to SAM-e. Didn't produce any positive mood effects for me (NOW brand)
5-htp : made me feel really strange. Highly undesirable side effects for me, enough to be disruptive and I have no idea what it did for mood (Spring Valley, Source Naturals brands)
L-Tyrosine : I think this has some effect, but I've never really been able to pin it down. Seems inconsistent (1Fast400 bulk powder)
DMAE : Didn't produce any positive mood effects for me (NOW brand)

St. John's Wort : have had an overall good experience. Started taking Spring Valley brand, had a subtle effect, upped the dose and switched to NOW brand, and it was a little more effective. Switched to New Chapter SC27 a couple weeks ago because of the aforementioned photo-sensitivity concerns, and it works dramatically better for me.
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#7 EmbraceUnity Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:USA

Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:01 AM

Don't take 5-HTP and St John's Wort simultaneously unless you want Serotonin Syndrome.
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#8 PeopleOverCorporateProfit Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 22 February 2010 - 06:54 PM

Could Tyrosine lead to depression?

I read that it increases dopamine but lowers serotonin. I've been taking N-Acetyl-Tyrosine recently and last night I felt really depressed even though I had just won a bunch of money playing poker.
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#9 OneScrewLoose Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:California

Posted 22 February 2010 - 06:58 PM

I don't know if Acetyl-N-Tyrosine works any differently, but yes it supposedly could cause depression. Maybe by lowering serotonin or some unknown mechanism. What you can do is take Trpyophan at night (on an empty stomach) as well, to boost serotoning, and see how that pans out.
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#10 PeopleOverCorporateProfit Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 22 February 2010 - 07:59 PM

I don't know if Acetyl-N-Tyrosine works any differently, but yes it supposedly could cause depression. Maybe by lowering serotonin or some unknown mechanism. What you can do is take Trpyophan at night (on an empty stomach) as well, to boost serotoning, and see how that pans out.


What do you think about L Tryptophan vs 5-htp?
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#11 OneScrewLoose Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:California

Posted 22 February 2010 - 09:26 PM

I don't know if Acetyl-N-Tyrosine works any differently, but yes it supposedly could cause depression. Maybe by lowering serotonin or some unknown mechanism. What you can do is take Trpyophan at night (on an empty stomach) as well, to boost serotoning, and see how that pans out.


What do you think about L Tryptophan vs 5-htp?


5-HTP runs the risk of increasing blood levels of serotonin (as opposed to brain levels), which is bad and can cause damage in the long run. Go with Tryptophan.
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#12 Jurence Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:Atlanta, GA

Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:23 AM

Don't take 5-HTP and St John's Wort simultaneously unless you want Serotonin Syndrome.


I'm quoting you to increase exposure. St John's Wort is more potent than you might think. Please see drug reactions here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John's...ic_interactions
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#13 happy Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:So Cal

Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:20 AM

What about modafinil & sjw?
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#14 Levi Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:23 PM

I don't know if Acetyl-N-Tyrosine works any differently, but yes it supposedly could cause depression. Maybe by lowering serotonin or some unknown mechanism. What you can do is take Trpyophan at night (on an empty stomach) as well, to boost serotoning, and see how that pans out.


What do you think about L Tryptophan vs 5-htp?


5-HTP runs the risk of increasing blood levels of serotonin (as opposed to brain levels), which is bad and can cause damage in the long run. Go with Tryptophan.




There are several reasons why taking 5-HTP is better than taking Trytophan. 5-HTP is safe and effective. There are entire books on 5-HTP and how it works that you can find on Amazon.
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#15 Levi Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:26 PM

Don't take 5-HTP and St John's Wort simultaneously unless you want Serotonin Syndrome.


Depends how low your serotonin is and what other health problems you have. These are often taken together for conditions such as Fibromyalgia. For someone with mild depression, probably not necessary. Not everyone is severly serotonin deficient. Like any med some people need a little and some a lot.

Edited by Levi, 18 May 2010 - 03:26 PM.

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#16 Jurence Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:Atlanta, GA

Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:36 PM

Don't take 5-HTP and St John's Wort simultaneously unless you want Serotonin Syndrome.


Depends how low your serotonin is and what other health problems you have. These are often taken together for conditions such as Fibromyalgia. For someone with mild depression, probably not necessary. Not everyone is severly serotonin deficient. Like any med some people need a little and some a lot.


True. I take sjw and Sam-e without problems. Low dose on the Sam-e though. I developed serotonin syndrome one night being stupid with an illegal substance.. So I walk that fine line
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#17 PramMan Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

Posted 07 June 2010 - 08:55 PM

I just started Strattera. Would increased Norepinephrine levels reduce serotonin?
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#18 OneScrewLoose Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:California

Posted 08 June 2010 - 04:07 AM

Not that I know if, but it is possible. I'll look into it.
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#19 choqueiro Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:Spain

Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:21 PM

Hi.

I´m really interested in the topic: 5-htp vs L-Trytophan.

5-htp could cause heart valve damage. As OneScrewLoose said: "5-HTP runs the risk of increasing blood levels of serotonin (as opposed to brain levels), which is bad and can cause damage in the long run". He suggested go with L-Trytophan instead.

In opposition Levi defends that: "There are several reasons why taking 5-HTP is better than taking Trytophan. 5-HTP is safe and effective".

Any opinion in the matter??

Most important: Is L-Trytophan safe in comparison with 5-htp or could also causes heart valve damage??

Thanks
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#20 choqueiro Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:Spain

Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:37 PM

Another question: Does L-trytophan compete with L-tyrosine for the same brain receptors?? Taking both is a problem??

Thanks
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#21 Kyle McGill Re: SAM-e, 5-htp, L-Tyrosine, St. John's Wort

  • Location:Toronto

Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:47 PM

Would love to know a little more information on the potential dangers of continual 5-htp use, in regards to serotonin causing damage in the bloodstream.
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