At least one study using an extract of Griffonia simplicifolia (10.24mg giving 2.56mg 5-HTP; confounded with Centella asiatica and Taraxacum officinale at 11.7mg and 4.55mg Paulina cupana and 9.75mg Artichoke extract) taken in three hits, five times a day (40mg 5-HTP total), by 20 overweight or obese females (non-depressive and without eating disorders) for 4 weeks has noted an increase in satiety and reduced binge eating tendencies; the increase in satiety was said to account for the improved weight loss results seen in the experimental group when both were given weight loss advice and diets.[3] This spray has been noted elsewhere to increase satiety (and vicariously through that, body weight) over 2 months in a similar demographic of women.[2]
Though it may be unlikely to form part of any official psychiatric programme in the UK, Phil Cowen, Professor of Psychopharmacology at Oxford University, admitted that there are various groups for whom it could be helpful. "About half of people with severe depression never see a doctor anyway, so it's reasonable to think it's fine for them to treat themselves with something like a supplement. Perhaps if you had mild symptoms, a smaller dose would be helpful. I'd also prefer to prescribe things like exercise or computer-based CBT if it's that stage, though. But depression and anxiety is very different between people, that's important to keep in mind. No treatment is the same for anyone."
The scientists discovered that oxytocin strengthens negative social memory and future anxiety by triggering an important signaling molecule -- ERK (extracellular signal regulated kinases) -- that becomes activated for six hours after a negative social experience. ERK causes enhanced fear, Radulovic believes, by stimulating the brain's fear pathways, many of which pass through the lateral septum. The region is involved in emotional and stress responses.
Potential side effects of 5-HTP include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, vivid dreams or nightmares, and muscle problems.[19] Because 5-HTP has not been thoroughly studied in a clinical setting, possible side effects and interactions with other drugs are not well known. According to the US National Institute of Health TOXNET, 5-HTP has not been associated with serotonin syndrome or any serious adverse events in humans.[20] Across multiple studies, 5-HTP also been reported to not cause any noticeable hematological or cardiovascular changes.[21] 5-HTP also has not been associated with eosinophilia.[22]
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