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Taking 5-htp w/phentermine
Posted: 31 January 2006 02:58 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve been taking phentermine for a month and a half, and have started supplementing with 5-htp when the phen seemed to work at appetite suppression a little less than before. I started adding 50mg 5-htp before bed, and added another 50mg in the morning after about a week. The 5htp did seem to boost the effects of phentermine back up to what it originally was.

I skipped phen for a week (and dropped the 5htp as well)...then went back to phen and 5htp. So far so good. I haven’t detected any sleepiness from taking the 5htp either. Just fyi for those that might be considering taking 5htp. No adverse effects at all (for me). I can’t even tell I’m taking it other than maybe a happier feeling (not sure if it’s these pills) and a boost in the way phen works. Buying the stuff from WalMart or Target….no need to get gourmet.

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Posted: 31 January 2006 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thank you for the information.

One study found that some people noticed 5-HTP had a stimulating effect several hours after it was taken.

If you happen to notice this, and it interferes with sleep, I would suggest taking it earlier.

I understand why some people prefer to take it at bed and some companies suggest taking it at bed, however, it makes more sense to me to take it during the day rather than before bed.

Several doctors have said that they found that 100 mg was the minimum effective dose, and most preferred not to go above this amount because of potential side effects.

One doctor told me that it did not matter what time of day it was taken, however, he also gives his patients Prozac or some other SSRI, which may make the timing less important.

He had his patients take 100 mg in the morning.

Another doctor—the most successful weight loss doctor I know—had his patients take 100-150 mg in the early evening in order to reduce eating in the evening which seems to be the biggest problem for more overweight people.

This strategy / timing makes the most sense to me.

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Posted: 31 January 2006 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What are the issues with taking more than 100-150mg/day? I have read on other weight loss boards that if one is NOT taking phen, they should take 300mg/day or more in order to help with cravings…any problem with this?

I don’t care to go that high in dosage if 100mg/day is doing the trick, and so far it is. There is still a psychological element to evening cravings, and I am struggling with that, but with the help of phen and 5htp, I am better able to tell the difference between a true hunger pang and just the desire to munch on something.

You are SO informative on this stuff. I love the scientific data you present. Hoping to get these boards going with some real interaction.

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Posted: 31 January 2006 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The potential side effects of increasing serotonin too much include nausea, headaches, anxiety and sexual dysfunction—too much serotonin can interfere with a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection, and can inhibit orgasm for both men and women.

This is also true of serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac.

For me, too much serotonin causes a dull headache.

Side effects are probably much more common when 5-HTP is taken with an SSRI’s such as Prozac.

The body needs to be in balance. Too much of any one chemical, serotonin or whatever, is likely to cause side effects.

Weight Loss Studies Used 500-900 mg per Day

Studies from Italy in the early 1990’s gave between 500 and 900 mg per day to patients to decrease appetite and cause weight loss.

I do not remember these studies mentioning any side effects.

However, Dr. Dennis Padla noted that he gives his patients 100-300 mg, however, patients did not like staying on the 300 mg for long because of side effects, although I did not ask him what the side effect were.

Dr. Padla’s interview is posted here:

http://fatnews.com/index.php?/weblog/comments/342/

Here is the relevant section.

———

Hobbs: Do you ever vary the dose depending on the response, that is increase the dose if it doesn?t seem to be working?

Padla: Yes. I start with 50 mg per day and increase it to 100 mg, 200 mg or 300 mg if necessary.

Hobbs: What is the smallest dose that you have found effective?

Padla: 50 mg per day.

Hobbs: What is the largest dose that you have found necessary?

Padla: 300 mg, although patients did not like staying on this dose for too long.

Hobbs: Why is that?

Padla: Side effects.

———-

Unfortunately, I did not follow up with a question as to what side effects his patients experience.

The Right Dose

You mentioned that you did not want to take higher doses if 100 mg does the trick.

I agree.

One of the principles behind pharmacology is to give the smallest dose possible that achieves the desired effect.

————

I would also be aware of some sites who recommend higher doses in that they may just be trying to sell more product.

I understand the desire to sell more product, but I believe that if you do what is best for the person, sales will be fine.

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Posted: 31 January 2006 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Nynavae,

Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

Regarding evening cravings.

Eating more protein may help.

The main reason that high-protein, low-carb diets work is because protein satisfies appetite and reduces calorie intake.

There is a recent hypothesis called “The Protein Leverage Hypothesis”.

It says that we eat in order to get enough protein.

So if you eat a diet that is 35 percent protein, you will eat a lot fewer calories than if you eat a diet that is the typical 12 percent protein.

You might try snacking on a high-protein snack such as canned chicken rather than high-carb snacks such as chips.

The article about the Protein Leverage Hypothesis is posted here:

http://fatnews.com/index.php?/weblog/C283/

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Posted: 02 February 2006 01:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Okay, the protein info makes logical sense. Protein calories are much more valuable than fat, for example. Another reason body builders put so much emphasis on protein intake?

Nonetheless, I popped in to say the 5-htp really is making a difference. I feel better on 100mg…as in my moods are better. I don’t like to be one to believe a drug will do anything, I am highly skeptical of anything I take. But basing this on my own notes (I keep a diary), I think it is helping my moods positively, and is helping the phen to control appetite somewhat. I’d love to hear the opinion of others who are doing the same thing - if they can report similar results or not.

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Posted: 02 February 2006 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Nynavae,

Studies have shown that taking extra protein really does increase muscle mass.

That is good you are highly skeptical. Me too.

That’s great you keep a diary. I think that would be extremely helpful for most people.

I also think that plotting body weight, and putting the graph somewhere that you see it every day, would also be helpful.

One doctor I interviewed did this. He gave his patients a graph of their weight loss every time they came in. I believe that this type of feedback is extremely helpful.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 01:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I read this on another forum, and it is the first I’ve heard. I’d like you to take a look if you would and share your thoughts:

****************************
If you do not take 5-HTP with niacinamide you will lose most of the 5-HTP, meaning you will not have it form serotonin which is what you want. So go out and purchase a bottle of niacinamide, the NONFLUSHING KIND (the others can cause itching), and take one with each dose of 5-HTP.

5-HTP does work. The problem is that you can and probably will get withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop taking it. You need to taper.

The weight loss dose is 100mg x 3 a day. That’s excessive in my opinion. It’s also expensive. I would start on 50mg once a day midday and increase it to 50mg x 2. It will decrease your appetite and reduce stress.

5-HTP is not a junk med like most of the rest.

There is sort of a side effect with it though. You can and will experience serotonin toxicity if you take to much of it. More is not better. In addition, some of it is converted into melotonin. The issue with this is that melotonin is used to regulate sleep. You can through your sleep cycle off.

So, don’t take the 100mg x 3 - it’s a 5-HTP manufacturers ploy. At most take 50mg x 3. Remember to ALWAYS take niacinamide. I believe it increases absorption in the range of 40-50 percent.

(http://www.phentermine.com/forums/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/4/51805.html)

**************************
Have you heard of this before?

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Posted: 15 February 2006 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Nynavae,

Regarding 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan) and niacinamide…

Niacinamide and niacin are vitamin B3.

If the body does not have enough vitamin B3, the body can convert tryptophan into B3.

The Recommended Daily Allowance for niacin (B3) is 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women. If you take a mutliple vitamin, you probably get this much.

It won’t hurt to take B3 with 5-HTP, but may not be necessary for many people.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 02:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Nynavae,

Regarding niacinamide versus niacin (nicotinic acid) ...

Niacin causes flushing, but niacinamide does not.

Niacin lowers cholesterol, but niacinamide does not.

There is also a non-flushing form of niacin called Inositol hexanicotinate, but is more expensive than just plain niacin or niacinamide.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Nynavae,

Regarding withdrawal symptoms…

I’ve never heard of this before, although anything is certainly possible.

I believe it is best to approach everything slowly.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Nynavae,

Regarding 5-HTP and serotonin syndrome…

The literature warns of this possibility with all drugs and supplements that increase serotonin, which include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Zoloft, etc.

Serotonin syndrome is more of a risk when 5-HTP is taken with drugs that also increase serotonin such as Prozac.

A study done on rats found that a dose of 5-HTP which caused only a small increase in serotonin levels, increased levels 16-fold when combined with Prozac. (Perry and Fuller, 1993)

REFERENCE

Perry KW, Fuller RW. Extracellular 5-hydroxytryptamine [serotonin] concentration in rat hypothalamus after administration of fluoxetine [Prozac] plus L-5-hydroxytryptophan [5-HTP]. Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company [the makers of Prozac], Indianapolis, IN 46285.

One of the best known books on pharmacology called “Goodman and Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics” (9th Edition, p. 258) states that combining SSRI’s with 5-HTP causes a profound increase serotonin. I assume that they are referring to the study mentioned above.

Here is exactly what they wrote:

“When coadministered with L-5-hydroxytryptophan [5-HTP], selective [serotonin] reuptake inhibitors [such as Prozac] elicit a profound activation of serotonergic responses.”

— Goodman and Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics Ninth Edition, p. 258

—————

However, numerous doctors who have patients on both SSRIs, such as Prozac, and 5-HTP, and none of them have had any cases of serotonin syndrome.

The medical literature suggests to me that combining MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors, which were first used as antidepressants) and other drugs or supplements that increase serotonin, such as 5-HTP, are the most likely combination to cause this potential fatal syndrome.

I will also post the symptoms of serotonin syndrome so you know what they are.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 03:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Nynavae,

Regarding 5-HTP increasing melatonin and throwing your sleep cycle off…

Yes, some serotonin is converted into melatonin, but I’ve never heard that it will throw your sleep cycle off.

Chicken, turkey, milk, etc contain tryptophan which converts into serotonin. When you eat these foods, do they throw your sleep cycle off?

Some companies recommend people take 5-HTP at bedtime to help them sleep, but I read one study that some people noticed a stimulating quality several hours after taking 5-HTP, so if it interferes with a person’s sleep, I would not take it before bed.

Also, if you are using it to try and lose weight, it makes more sense to me to take it in the late afternoon or early evening in order to reduce eating in the evening.

Taking at bedtime does not seem like the ideal time to me when it come to weight loss.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Nynavae,

Regarding niacinamide increasing the absorption of 5-HTP…

I’ve never heard this before.

I am not aware that it increases absorption. As noted before, taking niacinamide simply provides the body with enough vitamin B3 so that it does not convert tryptophan into B3.

For your info, if I remember correctly, 60 mg of tryptophan is converted into 1 mg of vitamin B3.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Nynavae,

Here are the symptoms of serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome, the result of too much serotonin, in rare cases can be fatal.

Symptoms include
- severe excitement
- hypomania (excitability, hyperactive and talkativeness, quick anger and irritability, decreased need for sleep)
- restlessness
- loss of consciousness
- confusion
- disorientation
- anxiety
- agitation
- motor weakness
- muscle spasms
- tremor
- flailing motion of the arms
- hyperreflexia
- impaired ability to coordinate movement
- difficult poorly articulated speech
- incoordination
- elevated body temperature
- shivering
- pupillary dilation
- sweating
- vomiting
- tachycardia (a racing heart)
- muscle twitches or rigidity
- diarrhea
- changes in blood pressure
- and coma.

Drugs that increase serotonin include most antidepressants, both new and old, (Prozac, Zolft, etc), MAO inhibitors, some diet drugs, and drugs used for migraine headaches such as Imitrex (sumatriptan) and dihydroergotamine.

REFERENCE

Graedon J, Graedon T. The People’s Guide to Deadly Drug Interactions. St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1995.

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Posted: 15 February 2006 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I did a quick google about niacinamide & 5htp (how very un-scientific!) and found several places that said taking B3 would prevent the conversion to niacinamide…as if having too much of it was a bad thing?

You know, I thought L-tryptophan was banned as a supplement, yet I see it in combination with other supplements sometimes. How is this done? Low dosage? And if 5 htp turns into L-tryptophan in the bloodstream, well there’s the workaround. I seem to remember it was a huge bodybuilding supplement to help burn fat. The issue with the L-tryptophan was in the production I believe. You probably remember more about it than I.

Thanks for the superb and super-fast feedback.

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