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My husband has been taking tryptophan for his panic attacks. He thinks it helps.

 

I just started to give a half dose (approx 250mg) to my daughters at night. My 9 year old was having nightmares, and she is mildly anxious, so I figured she would get at the very least a placebo effect in regards to the nightmares, and it may help with the anxiety.

 

My 7 yr old has PANDAS, and she does have very mild OCD and is also mildly anxious, so we decided to try this for a bit.

 

I also take a 500mg sometimes at night when I know that I am more edgy...it really does help the next day.

 

We try to time it about 1/2 hour to 45 mins away from food, or with a carb before bed.

 

Also try to get B6 in the form of P5P sometime during the day. This is important to help your body convert the tryptophan to serotonin and melatonin

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Has anyone had any success with tryptophan instead of 5HTP?

I don't recall ever reading a discussion on this site of the advantages of tryptophan vs. 5htp. I did a little search when I read your post and I am intrigued. Are you using typtophan and can you offer any thoughts on this? We do 5htp at night and it seems to help with mood and rest.

 

Thanks!

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I was just googling looking for supplements that would help my son with his OCD symptoms and found tryptophan. For me, I used to take 5HTP for insomnia and it made me very sick to my stomach. Just wondering if anyone else had tried this before I give it to him.

 

Thanks for the help.

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Have you tried Inositol for the OCD?

 

It really does seem to be the one with least side effects and a gentle action. It is Vitamin B8

 

My son has tried various things over the years, (including 5HTP, which initially worked wonders but then made him very edgy...tryptophan was not a good fit for him either!)

 

He has found methionine or samE helpful for short periods. But consistently, Inositol brings the best relief for him when OCD is waxing. he takes 500mg daily and ups it when the OCD is bothersome.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've recently been reading about tryptophan.

 

It does seem to matter if the tryptophan is given at night (melatonin is produced) or in the morning (serotonin is produced)....(well at least in rats, see below).

 

It's also important to not give with protein (okay to give with a little juice, NOT milk). If you give it with protein, the other amino acids will "crowd out" the tryptophan and it won't get into the brain. Thus, it is important to give on an empty stomach (2-3 hours after a meal) away from other proteins.

 

Here's a rat study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15663184

 

Here is a plain english translation:

 

http://www.tryptophanserotonin.com/

 

 

 

Tryptophan converts into serotonin and melatonin

The biochemistry of tryptophan is fascinating. In the body and brain, it gets converted into 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP) which then converts into serotonin, a crucial brain chemical involved in mood, appetite, impulse control and sleep.

To confirm this understanding, tryptophan was given to a group of rats at 8 am in the morning, and to another group of rats at 8 PM at night. Four hours after administration, researchers measured the blood and brain fluid levels of serotonin and melatonin. During daytime administration, tryptophan raised the levels of serotonin. Interestingly, when tryptophan was given at night, serotonin levels did not increase, but melatonin levels increased significantly. Therefore, the serotonin that was generated by tryptophan administration was being converted into melatonin. This study confirms again that levels of 5-HTP, serotonin, and melatonin can be influenced by tryptophan supplements. Second, it shows that the timing of a supplement can make a difference on how it is metabolized. Since tryptophan, 5-HTP, and melatonin are available as supplements, the question becomes: which one is best to take for depression, sleep, anxiety, or appetite control? This is difficult to answer since each person has a different biochemistry. The most reliable way to find out is through trial and error. There's really no practical blood study that can be done to determine which supplement someone will respond to, and in what dosage. As a rule, melatonin is most helpful for sleep and does not have a strong influence on mood or appetite. 5-HTP has a strong influence on mood, appetite and anxiety. Tryptophan is mostly used for depression and sleep.

 

 

It's also intresting to read the reviews on amazon http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-L-Tryptophan-500mg-Capsules/product-reviews/B000GFSVS2/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending on tryptophan. It might give you some insights on whether this is something you might want to try.

 

Sk8rmom RE 5 htp. I've read it's better to give 5 htp with food (vs. tryptophan which you want to give on an EMPTY stomach). I've taken (myself)this version http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-5-HTP-60-Tablets/dp/B0009ET9S6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292432765&sr=8-1 which is enteric coated. I haven't had any stomach problems...I don't know if that makes a difference. I also only took 50mg at a time.

 

To B6 or not to B6 (with 5-htp)...the Nature's Way product (which has good reviews btw) has B6 in it. On the other hand, some webisites advise against taking B6 with 5-htp b/c this converts the 5-htp into serotonin too soon (b-4 it can get to the brain). So, it's hard to know what is right?

Edited by EAMom
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Sometimes we use low does of melatonin at night, and we like the effects of that :) , but I'm wondering if pandas kids could benefit from the serotonin effect in the morning, or if it would make them worse...?

 

Yup, and I'm wondering if it might be like some SSRI's where a little bit might be okay (or good) but too much might backfire?

 

Also, it might be a bit problematic (if the child is going off to school) to give it on an empty stomach in the morning. You'd give it, but then have to wait (and hour? or 2-3?) for the tryptophan to absorb b-4 giving breakfast. That might not be terribly practical. Unless you give a scrictly carb breakfast...that might be okay? And send a protein snack for the child to eat mid-morning.

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Sometimes we use low does of melatonin at night, and we like the effects of that :) , but I'm wondering if pandas kids could benefit from the serotonin effect in the morning, or if it would make them worse...?

 

Yup, and I'm wondering if it might be like some SSRI's where a little bit might be okay (or good) but too much might backfire?

 

Also, it might be a bit problematic (if the child is going off to school) to give it on an empty stomach in the morning. You'd give it, but then have to wait (and hour? or 2-3?) for the tryptophan to absorb b-4 giving breakfast. That might not be terribly practical. Unless you give a scrictly carb breakfast...that might be okay? And send a protein snack for the child to eat mid-morning.

We have given it to our daughters off and on now for about a month. In the evening, right before bed, trying to avoid protein. I think it has helped, but not so much that I am making them take it. Some nights they want milk, and then we will skip the tryptophan. That's the beauty of it too, missing a day or two isn't going to have the same effect as missing an SSRI.

 

As someone who has taken it once or twice during the day, and I mostly take it at night. I believe when I took it during the day, it was a little "over the top" for me. I was really happy and giddy, singing, dancing--it was a fun time, but my husband was like, "Who are you?".

 

When I take it at night, I definitely fall asleep better, and I am more even keeled the next day, more tolerant and generally happier.

 

My husband follows a specific program for his panic attacks outlined in a an free online book that I found. It has several pages of cited studies.

 

He takes L-tyrosine in the mornings and afternoons, so that leaves the L-tryptophan to be taken at night.

 

I will send the link to this book to anyone who wants it. Just pm me. I'm not sure if linking to in the public thread is against the forum rules.

Edited by Kayanne
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I should add that in my "research" I read (don't know if it's true!) that Eli Lily was behind the big push to take Tryptophan off the many years ago market after the problems with the contaminated bactch from Japan. They didn't want anything that would compete with prozac.

 

But, many years later, Tryptophan is back on the market, although harder to find than 5-Htp.

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Very interesting Kayannne! How much did you take?

 

I would think a child would need (at least to start) a lower dose? I think the pills/tablets I saw online were 500mg, but I'm sure they could be cut.

We have 500mg powder-filled capsules, I open them and take the whole dose on a spoon (I can't swallow pills).

 

For my daughters (7yrs old/55lbs & 9yrs old/105lbs), I cut the capsules in half with a small knife, trying to keep the powder packed into one half by pressing the side of the knife to it, then drop the powder into a spoon, and let them drink it with water. They don't mind the taste too much. So they are getting approx 250mg. Keep in mind my oldest is close to adult sizes--she's tall. I think it helped her most of all.

 

Keep in mind it is very important to also make sure your kids are at least taking a good multi-vitamin...all this stuff works together to get it converted to serotonin.

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I should add that in my "research" I read (don't know if it's true!) that Eli Lily was behind the big push to take Tryptophan off the many years ago market after the problems with the contaminated bactch from Japan. They didn't want anything that would compete with prozac.

 

But, many years later, Tryptophan is back on the market, although harder to find than 5-Htp.

We have never had a problem buying it. Mostly, we get it at the Vitamin Shoppe, or I've ordered from i-herb. And, yes there is a addition on that book I mentioned that discusses the controversy--but that ban has been lifted. I believe it is true that they didn't want it competing with prozac.

 

I know your daughter took prozac in the past (I'm sorry I don't know what her current status with that is)--you probably already know this--do not mix an SSRI and a serotonin supplement.

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