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6903 Views 33 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Blancanieves
Does anyone know if it is safe to take this while nursing. I am strongly opposed to taking drugs, but I am not sure which natural remedies are safe. I also read that you can get this naturally through food. Specifically in dairy products. Anyone have any input?
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Well, 5-HTP is tryptophan, which does occur naturally in foods. I'm not certain about how much is in dairy, and to be sure there are many other downsides to dairy consumption, that it makes it not worth any benefit from intaking large enough quantities to actually get the tryptophan... Turkey is the classic example - you know, feeling sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner... That's the tryptophan converting to melatonin.

I'm relatively sure it's OK for BFing, but please check with an ND about dosage and such, and how much would be safe while nursing. Basically it's the building blocks for seratonin and melatonin production, and is often taking in combination with St John's Wort, which I believe is not safe while BFing. But many people find some relief with just 5-HTP.

Hey there. Yes, 5-HTP IS safe to take while breastfeeding. I just strated taking 50mg and have the go ahead to take 100 if needed from my midwife. Also, in response to the other post St. John's Wort is okay to take alone per my midwife but NOT with 5-HTP. And she recommended the 5-HTP first.

The only real way to get a the tryptophan from dairy is through hot milk. The milk has to be heated in order to release it so unless you want to drink warm/hot milk all day I would pass on that being your main supply. But then again I don't touch dairy any more for many reasons, so that is just my personal preference

There is a thread here about taking inositol and 5-HTP in combination and a lot of the girls seem to have really good luck with that, but it was a lot of inositol which can be expensive. At least one of them was bfing while taking it. I believe it is the post about Natural cure or remedy or something.
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Hopefully someone with real knowledge can clarify, but I was prescribed by my ND to take both 5-HTP and SJW simultaneously - starting the 5-HTP 2 weeks earlier, only b/c before that there is nothing in the system for the SJW to convert to seratonin - not for reasons of safety. It is considered an extremely effective combination, and used frequently without problem.

I mentioned that I'm not sure if SJW safe for BFing, b/c I was not nursing by the time I started it. So I didn't pay attention to it. But I am certain that it is not used during pregnancy.

Please check to make certain that SJW is in fact safe during BFing before using it!
5-HTP is not tryptophan. It is what your body makes from tryptophan (an intermediate). The pathway looks like this:

Tryptophan -> 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP) -> 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (serotonin)

Tryptophan was banned as a supplement for a few years in the US because the manufacturing process used at the time resulted in the contamination of the supplements with a hazardous substance (detected but not identified by analysis). Tryptophan supplements were re-legalized after it was shown that they could be manufactured without the contaminant.

5-HTP has never been banned in the US, and has never had issues with contamination. 5-HTP is also more valuable to the body than tryptophan for these reasons:

- If your body has trouble doing the first conversion step (Trp -> 5-HTP), then giving supplements of 5-HTP will compensate for this problem, while Trp supplementation would not.

- 5-HTP is taken up into the brain (through the blood-brain barrier) at a much higher rate than Trp, so a smaller amount is needed to have the same positive effect.

5-HTP supplementation with vitamin B6 seems to have helped DH out a lot.

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an even better combo is 5-HTP and P5P which is the cofactor to B6. You can get some high quality supplements with it already combined.

PP is dead on. Tryptophan is a precursor to 5-HTP.
How and where do you get these supplements?

Any success stories?
I use designs for health-love them. I don't believe you can get them OTC though. Newchapter and Jarrow are also two very good companies to try.

I have had great success so far-though I just started the 5-HTP. I have been doing major diet modification, B vitamins, omega 3's, inositol and glutamine. I do plan to add GABA when I place my next DFH order though.
...anyone know if this supplement can be found in good ole canuckland?
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I have NO idea! I know you could find them online though...let us know what you come up with!

Originally Posted by yogachick79
Hey there. Yes, 5-HTP IS safe to take while breastfeeding. I just strated taking 50mg and have the go ahead to take 100 if needed from my midwife. Also, in response to the other post St. John's Wort is okay to take alone per my midwife but NOT with 5-HTP. And she recommended the 5-HTP first.
uh oh-- am I taking TOO much? I thought I heard from the "natural remedy" thread that I was supposed to take 100mg THREE TIMES/DAY.
That's a high dose, but a legitimate one. Normally people will start at either 50 or 100 and work their way up. I know several people under the supervision of docs doing 300 a day.
DH (~200lbs) has been on 500 mg/day (200 in the morning, 100 midday, 200 at night) for a few weeks now after ramping up from lower doses. I would think that regardless of your daily amount, three doses per day would be better than one (for example, if you're taking 150 mg/day, then 50mg at a time, 6 to 8 hours apart, would be better than 150 all at once).

A really high dose of 5HTP can cause "serotonin syndrome," which is not aptly named because it is temporary and not injurious. Serotonin syndrome is caused by a brain overage of serotonin, and it causes mental symptoms of confusion and general loopiness, until the brain serotonin level lowers. I've read studies in which researchers were dosing 200mg at every meal, and serotonin syndrome was not observed in any subject or described in the study design as a concern, so it does not appear that doses up to 600 mg/day in healthy adults of typical stature and weight are considered too high.

I'd ramp up and stay at a level that seemed sufficient for my needs, though, rather than continuing to increase up to a suggested dosage, since it's a waste of money if you're taking more than you need.
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I've never read that seratonin syndrome was related to 5-HTP? Any references? Because it isn't seratonin, it's a precursor which won't be converted unless the body needs it, I was relatively sure that it wasn't possible. If I'm wrong I want to know.
That said there are side effects for any meds/supplements and consequences for overdosing no matter what. And it's also important to understand that if your depression isnt' related to a lack of seratonin 5-HTP won't help.

Originally Posted by wiccan mom
...anyone know if this supplement can be found in good ole canuckland?
Yes -- had no trouble finding multiple brands at a local health food store.
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thanks CarolynnMarilynn...maybe i'll look into getting some to supplement my celexa dose.

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Make sure you do some reading first! many supplements are contraindicated if you are taking prescription meds. I'll see if I have time to dig anything up for you.
I wanted to update something I had said earlier about 5-HTP and St. John's. My midwife said not to bother taking them together, however I did see a combo bottle at the health food store yesterday. So if you are interested in taking both, you might want to look in to that.
wiccan mom -- 5HTP is contraindicated for use with some SSRIs, so I wouldn't use it with celexa either. Medical trials have been combining antidepressants with vitamins, minerals, and omega 3s. Read these threads on those items. That might be the way to go. B vitamins, omega 3, magnesium, zinc, etc.
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