But what about the three-month warning? Dr Rush, while an advocate for the supplement, sees it as a short-term solution, and not something to rely on long-term, for good reason. "Technically taking 5-HTP alone can deplete important brain chemicals such as dopamine and adrenaline. While 5-HTP is aimed at increasing the amount of serotonin in the body, dopamine and adrenaline are also important for positive mental health states. In order to prevent the depletion of important brain chemicals, taking 5-HTP would need to be balanced with amino acids that support the production of dopamine and adrenaline." That's L-Tyrosine, which you eat in soy, chicken and beef, and can also be found in health food shops as a supplement.
I found this to be an excellent supplement for myself, which overcomes the rate limiting step when the body converts tryptophan to 5-HTP. I am sleeping much better and handling life's normal stresses better. If you haven't already, become familiar with how/why the body converts L-Tryptophan > 5-HTP > Serotonin > Melatonin. Very interesting! Thank you Bulk Nutrients for making this available.
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One way to clarify that question is to give individuals oxytocin rather than just measure naturally occurring levels. In experiments by couple therapist and researcher Beate Ditzen at the University of Zurich, couples each sprayed a liquid containing oxytocin up their noses (which ensures that the hormone reaches the brain). Ditzen then got them to talk with each other about an issue that both partners said often lead to disagreement or fighting, such as who did the housework or how they spent their free time. She observed how they communicated with each other during the discussion compared with couples who didn’t get the hormone.
Addiction vulnerability: Concentrations of endogenous oxytocin can impact the effects of various drugs and one's susceptibility to substance use disorders. Additionally, bilateral interactions with numerous systems, including the dopamine system, Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and immune system, can impact development of dependence. The status of the endogenous oxytocin system might enhance or reduce susceptibility to addiction through its interaction with these systems. Individual differences in the endogenous oxytocin system based on genetic predisposition, gender and environmental influences, may therefore affect addiction vulnerability. Oxytocin may be related to the place conditioning behaviors observed in habitual drug abusers.
To pursue the sexual dysfunction agent, melanotan-II was licensed by Competitive Technologies to Palatin Technologies. Palatin ceased development of melanotan-II in 2000 and synthesized, patented, and began to develop bremelanotide, a likely metabolite of melanotan-II that differs from melanotan-II in that it has a hydroxyl group where melanotan-II has an amide. Competitive Technologies sued Palatin for breach of contract and to try to claim ownership of bremelanotide; the parties settled in 2008 with Palatin retaining rights to bremelanotide, returning rights to melanotan-II to Competitive Technologies, and paying $800,000.
Social behavior and wound healing: Oxytocin is also thought to modulate inflammation by decreasing certain cytokines. Thus, the increased release in oxytocin following positive social interactions has the potential to improve wound healing. A study by Marazziti and colleagues used heterosexual couples to investigate this possibility. They found increases in plasma oxytocin following a social interaction were correlated with faster wound healing. They hypothesized this was due to oxytocin reducing inflammation, thus allowing the wound to heal more quickly. This study provides preliminary evidence that positive social interactions may directly influence aspects of health. According to a study published in 2014, silencing of oxytocin receptor interneurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of female mice resulted in loss of social interest in male mice during the sexually receptive phase of the estrous cycle. Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security when in the company of the mate. This suggests oxytocin may be important for the inhibition of the brain regions associated with behavioral control, fear, and anxiety, thus allowing orgasm to occur. Research has also demonstrated that oxytocin can decrease anxiety and protect against stress, particularly in combination with social support. It is found, that endocannabinoid signaling mediates oxytocin-driven social reward.
James Bates* who recently started taking it for panic attacks, said, "A friend who had anxiety recommended 5-HTP to me. I used to take beta-blockers and Valium but the doctors have got funny about giving them to me. I needed an alternative and didn't fancy getting back on Prozac. I've only been taking the supplements for a month but so far, it's helped a lot. I've only had two panic attacks, whereas usually I'd have four or five."
The first bit of evidence that points to oxytocin as nature’s love glue comes from researchers who measured the hormone in couples. Psychology professor Ruth Feldman at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, spent years studying oxytocin’s role in the mother–child bond and recently decided to dive into the uncharted waters of romantic bonds by comparing oxytocin levels in new lovers and singles. “The increase in oxytocin during the period of falling in love was the highest that we ever found,” she says of a study she and her colleagues published in Psychoneuroendocrinology. New lovers had double the amount Feldman usually sees in pregnant women.
Despite these many roles, oxytocin is often reduced to a misleading label. While “hormone of love” may be great for catchy headlines and compelling marketing slogans, they are ultimately misleading. Jennifer Bartz from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine has found that oxytocin can have completely opposite effects on the way people behave, depending on how they view their relationships to other people.
Low oxytocin levels have been linked to autism and autistic spectrum disorders (e.g. Asperger syndrome) – a key element of these disorders being poor social functioning. Some scientists believe oxytocin could be used to treat these disorders. In addition, low oxytocin has been linked to depressive symptoms and it has been proposed as a treatment for depressive disorders. However, there is not enough evidence at present to support its use for any of these conditions.
Bartz found that when she averaged out the volunteers’ results, the sniffs of oxytocin hadn’t seemed to colour their memories of their mothers. But things changed when she looked at them individually. Those who felt more anxious about their relationships took a dimmer view of their mother’s parenting styles when they sniffed oxytocin, compared to the placebo. Those who were more secure in their relationships reacted in the opposite way – they remembered mum as being closer and more caring when they took the oxytocin.
Evidence accumulated over the past decades has overturned the traditional dogma that the adult mammalian brain cannot generate new neurons. Adult neurogenesis has been identified in all vertebrate species examined thus far including humans.44-49 Newly generated neuronal cells originate from neural stem cells in the adult brain. Neural stem cells are the self-renewing, multipotent cells that generate the neuronal and glial cells of the nervous system.50 The major function of neurogenesis in adult brain seems to replace the neurons that die regularly in certain brain areas. Granule neurons in the DG continuously die and the progenitors in the subgranular zone of the DG may proliferate at the same rate as mature neuronal death to maintain a constant DG cell number.51 Similarly, the newly proliferated cells from the subventricular zone migrate and replenish the dead olfactory bulb neurons.52 Here, we focus on DG neurogenesis which is important for spatial learning and memory. In normal adult rats, newborn neural cells migrate from the subgranular zone of the DG of the hippocampus into the granule cell layer and eventually become mature granule neurons.53 These new granule neurons extend axonal processes to their postsynaptic targets54-57 and receive synaptic input.58 TBI stimulates widespread cellular proliferation in rats and results in focal neurogenesis in the DG of the hippocampus.59,60 Some of the newly generated granule neurons integrate into the hippocampus. The integration of the injury-induced neurogenic population into the existing hippocampal circuitry coincides with the time point when cognitive recovery is observed in injured animals.44
Uterine contraction: important for cervical dilation before birth, oxytocin causes contractions during the second and third stages of labor. Oxytocin release during breastfeeding causes mild but often painful contractions during the first few weeks of lactation. This also serves to assist the uterus in clotting the placental attachment point postpartum. However, in knockout mice lacking the oxytocin receptor, reproductive behavior and parturition are normal.
In humans, oxytocin is thought to be released during hugging, touching, and orgasm in both genders. In the brain, oxytocin is involved in social recognition and bonding, and may be involved in the formation of trust between people and generosity.123 Oxytocin first became of interest to researchers when they discovered that breastfeeding women are calmer when exercising and experiencing stress than moms who were bottle-feeding. It is just one part of the important, complex neurochemical system in our bodies that helps us adapt to emotional situations.
But returning hunters also need to share meat with their families and friends; this is where oxytocin comes into play. It can help overcome the potentially negative social effects of testosterone. Men who were absent for longer seem to need more oxytocin to reconnect with their families; it seems that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, via an oxytocin blast.
For example, when a mother is nursing her baby, that stimulation from the breast is going into the brain and causing those oxytocin neurons to fire and release oxytocin directly into the brain. That's much more powerful than what happens with a nasal spray. So I think that, you know, in the future, we may have these drugs that can, in a very potent way, tap into this oxytocin system to treat many different kinds of disorders.
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.