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5-HTP: The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia Paperback – Jun 1 1999

21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (June 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553379461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553379464
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

5-HTP is a naturally derived amino acid that has been shown in comprehensive studies to be safer than prescription drugs for the treatment of insomnia and depression, and can also be used for treating obesity, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and premenstrual syndrome. It may prove to be more popular than St. John's wort for the treatment of depression and other serotonin-related conditions, as it's been shown to produce results in as little as two weeks, while the herb may take a month or longer.

Author Michael Murray, N.D., a leading naturopath and coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, delves very deeply to explain the hows and whys of depression at the neurotransmitter level, and the illustrations of presynaptic membranes may be a bit much for the lay reader. There are also several sections with intimidating titles along the lines of "Enhancing 5-HTP with Catecholamine Precursors." But the book's comprehensiveness makes up for its occasional denseness. Murray includes enlightening sections on nutrition for peak serotonin synthesis, other complementary herbal supplements, and many online and physical sources for obtaining 5-HTP. --Erica Jorgensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Murray (Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, Prima, 1996) believes that the symptoms of depression, obesity, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, premenstrual syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia can be alleviated by taking the amino acid 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). The body converts 5-HTP into serotonin, a neurotransmitter vital for brain function, and Murray argues that increased serotonin levels mitigate much of the discomfort associated with the conditions cited above. He devotes major chapters to depression, weight loss, insomnia, and headache, with each following the same format: exploration of the condition and orthodox treatment, review of studies using 5-HTP, and recommendations for therapeutic doses. Personal stories illustrate how patients have benefited from 5-HTP. It is apparent from warnings given throughout the book, however, that use of this natural supplement is not without danger, especially if taken with certain prescription medicines. Buy for alternative health collections only if demand warrants.AJodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn., OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Inside This Book

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Chances are that you, like millions of other Americans, are suffering from health problems that are a direct consequence of our stressed-out, modern way of living. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 28 2000
Format: Paperback
When I skimmed the book jacket it was like reading a list of my symptoms: strong need for carbs in the evening, depression, difficulty in sleeping. I bought the book, but wasn't expecting any miracles. Well, I found one. Dr. Murphy painstakingly documents hundreds of clinical studies that prove the effectiveness of this amino acid when used to treat everything from obesity to migranes. He never asks the reader to take a leap of faith; rather he explains everything about this product in exceptional detail. I was so impressed with both the book, as well as the results I saw within 3 days of my taking this supplement, that I gave my copy of the book to my doctor. He specializes in hereditary diseases and thanked me for passing this on to him. Warning: as is noted in the book, some people (like myself) do experience nausea when first trying this supplement. This was easily fixed by taking tablets that are coated -- like aspirin -- so they don't dissolve in the stomach, but in the intestines. Thank you Dr. Murphy.
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By A Customer on Jan. 23 2000
Format: Paperback
While at home recovering from a hysterectomy and tummy tuck, I knew I had to get a handle on my depression, insomnia and over-eating. Needless to say, when I came across this title, it jumped out at me. I have been on 5-HTP for only 2 weeks now, and the difference it has made in my mood is incredible! My sleeping patterns have changed as well - I'm actually able to get 7-8 hours a night now instead of 4-5! I am still increasing dosage slowly, as he recommends, to reduce carbohydrate cravings, and have absolutely no doubt (given the success of the other two areas), that this will improve as well. Perhaps one of the most important factors thus far is that with my depression lifted, I can think positively about my self-image and begin seeing myself exercising, stopping smoking, etc. I also must say that I took his advice and found a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement that meets his guidelines, and am also taking the few supplemental herbs he encourages one to take. After trying diets, taking sleeping aids, and being on anti-depressants for so long, it truly feels wonderful to know that this natural approach is my answer.
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By A Customer on Jan. 26 2001
Format: Paperback
Minor obsessive-compulsive disorder run in my family. A brother of mine is taking Zoloft. I was looking for a natural alternative to treat symptoms that I've had that are considered "mild" by the psychiatric community (my symptoms don't prevent me from holding down a job and having relationships). I've been unable to find a cure with behavioral modification. This book had the information I needed to understand the neurological and behavioral systems that are affected by serotonin deficiency. I was impressed with Dr. Murray's presentation of scientific studies and comparisons of 5-HTP against pharmological alternatives. I'm on 5-HTP now and it "magically" cured my 20-year compulsion. 5-HTP is no placebo. Like one of the other reviwers, I have to take 5-HTP in the morning. Taken before bedtime, I experience very vivid dreams and wake up at 3:00 a.m., unable to get back to sleep.
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By Suzanne Chonok on July 21 2000
Format: Paperback
Regarding the debate between Murray's book and Sahelian's, each has merit. The bottom line is that both books offer considerable information on the benefits of 5-HTP. For many it is proving to be a viable solution to the conditions that plague so many. Murray's book offers substantial information that is easy to understand, but the recommended high initial dosage has worried some consumers. My sister has taken 5-HTP for a while now and is seeing great improvement without suffering from the side effects of the SSRI she had been on previously. A site where she has had great service as well as a variety of product choices is iHerb. She is pleased that they offer several choices of 5-HTP with dosages as low as 50 mg. so she could initially start with a low dosage and then find what works best for her.
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By A Customer on April 14 2000
Format: Paperback
Murray does a good job summarizing the scientific experiments that have proven the mood-lifting benefits of 5-htp. However I was appalled to read on pg. 10, "Electrical signals travel along the axon at nearly the speed of light, just as they do along the wires in your electrical appliances." In fact, signal velocity along an axon depends on axon type and conditions, but is never more than about 100 meters per second - less than a millionth of the speed of light.
Long term effects of any mood-altering chemical are also a potential cause for concern. 5-htp does not have any known adverse long term effects, but by their nature, these effects tend not to be discovered until a drug has been in use for a long time. Users should exercise caution in dosage and pay careful attention to their own reactions.
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Format: Hardcover
As are most people who read this type of book, I am looking for answers about brain chemistry and mood enhancement. I suffer from depression, but have never tried a prescription drug since a brief bout with tricyclics about 15 years ago. This is a great alternative. Nicely written review of the neurological action, and what the substance does. I take 5HTP, and it works somewhat for me. I have had to take it during the daytime, as it causes extremely vivid dreams if I take it at night. I have had no other side effects yet...though I haven't been taking it long. I am always interested when a Doctor puts out a book promoting an alternative method of achieving well-being.
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