another 5-HTP thread - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 3 Old 08-12-2011, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
richella's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: middle of nowhere, KS
Posts: 2,135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I am interested in others' experiences and thoughts on this supplement. On the one hand, it seems sort of philosophically better to me to use a supplement which enables the body to produce what it naturally does (but more), rather than a drug which inhibits a natural process, forcing the serotonin level up. But, I've read (Chemistry of Joy) that 5-HTP has some of the same drawbacks and side effects as SSRIs. That author recommends using it with supervision (which I am not), just like an SSRI.


I'm also concerned that I'm still breastfeeding my 4 yo. For about 3 weeks I've been taking the lowest dose, 50 mg/day, right after the one time she nurses (bedtime). My 6 yo noticed a difference in my mood the first day I took it, before she knew I was doing it. I think the trade-off of taking an untested supp. (which occurs naturally in the body) might be worth it if my parenting is better, if I'm modeling self-confidence and emotional stability; at the same time, I really don't think dd2 is ready to wean. I know of other women who have made a similar choice. Any thoughts?


WebMD says there is an association with eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), which may be caused by a common impurity, but they don't say what it is, or how to avoid it. Anybody know how to evaluate a brand, or have any links or info on EMS and 5-HTP?


Or any other links regarding safety? I looked at wikipedia, and everything else so far appears to be from people who are selling it, and some of the claims go way beyond what I saw in the book I read. Would appreciate it if anyone has anything based on research. tia

richella is offline  
#2 of 3 Old 08-12-2011, 11:06 PM
LiLStar's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: WA
Posts: 3,373
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)

I haven't taken 5-htp, but I have taken tryptophan. Its been forever since I did the research but I think tryptophan is supposed to be safer than 5-htp for nursing. But they work essentially the same way. 5-htp stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan. tryptophan converts to 5-htp in the body. I had good success with it, and most definitely did NOT have the same side effects as I did on SSRIs, not even close. From what I read (and I don't have any sources I can point to, just going from memory from when I remember reading about it, which was over a year ago, so forgive me if I mix up some details and get the story wrong!) tryptophan used to be the standard treatment for depression in..the 80s? I think prozac was trying to break into the market but wasn't being taken very seriously because tryptophan worked so there wasn't a need. Then there was a contaminated batch from China which caused a few deaths, and it was quickly pulled from the market. Suddenly prozac didn't look so bad! So now tryptophan/5-htp is making its comeback. 

dd (7) ds (5), ds (2) &3rdtri.gif hbac.gif and the furbabies cat.gifZeus, Dobby, Luna, & Ravenclaw
LiLStar is online now  
#3 of 3 Old 08-13-2011, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
richella's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: middle of nowhere, KS
Posts: 2,135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I hadn't really considered tryptophan as I read that a high percentage is lost in the digestive tract, unlike 5-HTP. Will think about that as an alternative, esp since it occurs more abundantly in foods, therefore likely to be very safe. Pretty sure the supp. brands I use aren't made in China . . . but might have to look into that. That whole story sounds suspicious. Good reason to avoid big pharma.

richella is offline  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off