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LapisLazuli

Supplements and Herbal Remedies?

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Not wanting to get back on prescription anti-depressants again at the moment, I've been thinking about trying over the counter supplements. I have tried St. John's Wort several years ago, but stopped. I know different brands are better than others and there are other supplements available. Scientifically, some supplements are better supported than others regarding effectiveness, but it seems like many have overall good reviews from people trying to treat their depression and anxiety.

With my brief search on the internet and reading personal reviews, I found that St. John's Wort, SAMe, and 5-HTP are common and rather effective for many. Does anyone have any experience with these types of remedies? What dosage are you taking per day? Any suggestions for other supplements, herbal or non-herbal? Thanks!

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5htp was a bit all over the place for me. Sometimes improving mood, others worsening it. Sometimes improving sleep, other times causing insomnia. Sometimes relaxing, others causing wiredness. One thing I'll say is you generally need far less than is stated on the bottle: do your research on this.

SJW actually caused a worsening of mood the first time I tried it a long time ago, which put me off further attempts. 

A good quality fish oil, with high levels of both EPA & DHA, is always worthwhile taking. 

I'm currently experimenting with high doses of curcumin, which acts as a weak MAOI. Haven't noticed any improvements of note, but then I'm severely depressed so didn't expect to. 

Be careful and do your research whatever you try. Use a 'dip your toe in' approach, and don't mix them. Although 'natural', they can still have powerful effects, especially in sensitive individuals. 

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Thank you very much for your response. I am considering taking 5-HTP for serotonin in combination with L-Tyrosine for dopamine. A recommended dosage is in a 1:10 ratio, ten units of Tyrosine for every 1 unit of 5-HTP, but I can't seem to find why this particular ratio is necessary.  

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I would try a starting dose of just 25mg a day of 5htp, and see how you go. The 100-300mg doses recommended are way overkill IMO, and most likely just stated so you purchase more product. I would take it at bed time unless it causes insomnia,  as it can cause sedation in some. Experiment with timings. It can also cause the most vivid dreams imaginable, which I generally liked. I remember I was crying in one dream, and when I woke up there was actually tears down my face! Wasn't even depressed at the time either- was taking for sleep. Take it on a completely empty stomach or it doesn't get absorbed, if you wasn't aware. 

I can't comment on the ratios as I've never taken tyrosine. 

A nutritious varied diet (which is surprisingly difficult to achieve- especially when depressed) will probably achieve better results over the long term than any amount of supplements IMHO, having done a lot of reading/experimenting in this area. I appreciate where you're at though,  and certainly worth a go over pharmaceuticals if your situation isn't desperate. 

Edit: wasn't sure if you was planning to or was already aware, but absolutely do not take SJW and 5HTP at the same time either, as you would be at risk for serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal. 

Edited by Ianar

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Yeah, I have read about taking it on an empty stomach and not to take it with SJW due to that risk. What I've read, serotonin and dopamine don't readily cross the blood-brain barrier. So, a good amount of it that the body produces from these supplements stays in the blood stream. There are several co-factors involved in the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine from 5-HTP and Tyrosine that are necessary for optimal production. Co-factors are Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Cysteine, Selenium, and Folic Acid. However, I really don't want to be taking all those pills every day, so I will try to supply these co-factors with my diet. I'm a pescetarian, so the only animal products I eat are from sea foods, eggs, and dairy. I'm searching on Amazon for 5-HTP and Tyrosine. If I end up buying them I will post about how it's affecting me. 

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actually i notice these things work only when fresh/new then stop working or even worse.

 

for example with http and thenanine, 1st time i tired them they made me crash out and have great sleep, 4-5 days later they werent working, so i upped dose and worked again for few days before stop working, its like body gets use to chemical, then is gets point when u expect to sleep and taking these pills and do nothing so u feel even worse as u cant sleep yet expecting to.

 

Also things like rhodiola rosea and ginseng again when u first take them u fel good but after week or so no effect.

 

Therefor imo the key is to rotate supps.

say 3 days take theanine before bed...take 1-2 days off then try http, then 3-4 days later 2 days off then take high dose of ZMA, again another supplement that makes one sleepy and quality dreams but only for 1-2nights before stop working....so these would be night supps i would rotate.

 

http/seretonin

theanine

zma.

 

as for day again rotate the supps.

rhodiola rosea 5 days 2 days off

indian ginseng 5 days 2 days off

korean ginseng 5 days 2 days off

maca 5 days 2 days off

or whatever supps it is u use...

 

even with testosterone supps i get same effetc. If i take some tribulus terrirs i get so horny and sex thoughts all day long and boners, but 3-4 days later it stops working bt if i take 2 weeks off and try again same effect.

 

the body gets used to supps and stops the effects working, so u need to rotate and take days off...

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11 hours ago, LapisLazuli said:

Yeah, I have read about taking it on an empty stomach and not to take it with SJW due to that risk. What I've read, serotonin and dopamine don't readily cross the blood-brain barrier. So, a good amount of it that the body produces from these supplements stays in the blood stream. There are several co-factors involved in the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine from 5-HTP and Tyrosine that are necessary for optimal production. Co-factors are Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Cysteine, Selenium, and Folic Acid. However, I really don't want to be taking all those pills every day, so I will try to supply these co-factors with my diet. I'm a pescetarian, so the only animal products I eat are from sea foods, eggs, and dairy. I'm searching on Amazon for 5-HTP and Tyrosine. If I end up buying them I will post about how it's affecting me. 

The trouble is that low levels of serotonin or dopamine are not necessarily the problem in depression. And as the poster above told, and what has been my experience, is there are normally only short term gains made and you're left worse off than where you started. It seems a simple case of what goes up must come down. 

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I've been taking L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP for a while now. First, I was taking 500mg of L-Tyrosine and 50mg of 5-HTP for one week. After a week at this dosage, I doubled it (taking 2 pills of each/ day). They seemed to be working since I wasn't experiencing depressive episodes. However, after a while and almost done with the bottles, they seem to not be working anymore. Unfortunately, I've decided to try antidepressants again, which I was trying to avoid in the first place. I hope this will help me. 

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