Can a supplement proven to fight blue moods also help stimulate weight loss? “Yes it can!” say experts who are now prescribing a natural compound called 5-HTP. According to top integrative health expert Tasneem Bhatia, MD, author of What Doctors Eat ($15.99, Amazon), “5-HTP is converted directly to serotonin, and serotonin makes you feel good, feel happy, feel full — and when you feel that way, you’re going to eat less.” In fact, Dr. Bhatia adds that while most appetite suppressants only target physical hunger, this one also “works to reduce ‘emotional hunger’ and stress-related urges to eat.” Dr. Oz said he left impressed after consulting with a panel of 5-HTP experts, including American Board of Obesity Medicine alum Denise E. Bruner, MD. He said the supplements may even be “a secret weapon for hunger!”
In years past, oxytocin had the reputation of being an "uncomplicated" hormone, with only a few well-defined activities related to birth and lactation. As has been the case with so many hormones, further research has demonstrated many subtle but profound influences of this little peptide, particularly in regards to its effects in the brain. Oxytocin has been implicated in setting a number of social behaviors in species ranging from mice to humans. For example, secretion or administration of oxytocin in humans appears to enhance trust and cooperation within socially-close groups, while promoting defensive aggression toward unrelated, competing groups.
The molecule of this peptide is very big, so it isn’t able to completely fit within a receptor. Each area of the molecule has different functions. For instance, TB 500 is responsible for promoting majority of the useful effects, such as the healing, muscle cells, new blood and repair. In some scenarios, TB 500 could be used rather than the whole Thymosin Beta 4 protein. TB 500’s main ability is to regulate Actin, which is a cell-building protein. There are thousands of proteins found inside of cells, but actin makes up to 10 percent of the total amount of proteins, giving it a major role in the cell’s genetic makeup.
Naturalistic studies like ours can help unravel the evolutionary history and function of these hormones. Basically, the fact that hormone mechanisms have been tweaked during evolution suggests that the behaviors they promote have provided fitness benefits in the past. In this case, hunting and sharing meat must have increased men’s reproductive success.
I’m always interested in learning about better supplements for my health. I’ve heard a lot of good things about peptides, but this was the first time I’ve read about TB-500 in particular. It sounds like it can have a major impact on helping you recover from injuries, which is a huge deal in today’s world. I may need to look into it some more before actually buying it, but thank you so much for taking the time to explain it!
In regards to interventions, one study in treatment resistant depressed persons that combination therapy of 5-HTP with Carbidopa noted that 43 out of 99 (43.4%) patients improved with an average 200mg (variable 50-600mg) dosage of 5-HTP.[24] It has been noted[25] that since Cardidopa is a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor that can prevent metabolism of monoamines including serotonin[26] that these results are unlikely to reflect monotherapy with 5-HTP, despite being within the 30-45% range sometimes seen with the placebo effect.[25][27]
“I didn’t think it would be that bad honestly, but since I weight lift multiple times a weak, this supplement is doing me more harm than good. On a typical weight lifting day my workout is split into 5 sections. After taking 5-htp the night before I barely have enough energy to get through 1 section, and that is a serious problem, because of this I am quitting 5-htp all together.”

The short half-life (<2h)[16] of 5-HTP may inherently limit the therapeutic potential of 5-HTP,[17] as the systemic 5-HTP exposure levels will fluctuate substantially, even with relatively frequent dosing. Such exposure fluctuations are usually associated with increased adverse event burden, resulting from Cmax drug spikes, and decreased clinical efficacy resulting from sub-therapeutic exposure for large parts of the day. It has been proposed that 5-HTP dosage forms achieving prolonged delivery would be more effective,[17] as is generally the situation with short-acting active pharmaceutical ingredients.[18]
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