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Understanding 5HTP

Today I stopped by the Alive health food store to purchase their 5-htp (5-hydroxytryptophan). After ingesting 200 mg I felt the anxiety that stress induces in me to dissipate.

Even though that could be the strong placebo effect that happens when I am bathed in the glow of healthy living after visiting Alive, it's been said by researchers that 5-HTP is useful in maintenance of mood balance, sedation that promotes sleep, reduces pain and relieves migraines.

Yet serotonin is also associated with anxiety, nausea and vomiting, which are side effects of the antidepressant SSRI drugs.

For it is actually dopamine, associated with the reward system that actually result in relaxation, contrary to the assumption that dopamine is only associated with mania and pyschosis.

The truth is, dopamine and serotonin receptors are associated with those physiological effect and is the rise and fall of neurotransmitter levels that lead to the symptoms.

As I mentioned early, serotonin promotes sedation but also the anxiety-nausea-vomiting triad when stress oppresses us.

Mania and psychosis are only evidence that the dopamine receptors are involved in their etiology. When we treat these effects as evidence of the neurotransmitters, we are under the misconception that only one neurotransmitter is involved, which leads to misconceptions about them.

It is actually the sum total of stress and its effect on the brain, especially in morphing harmless schizotypies in their various manifestations (schizo-affective, the myriad schizophrenias, and even bipolar disorders type I and II).

Since 5-HTP sedates me, it could a cascade effect beginning with serotonin receptors, which in turn affect histamine receptors and the mast cells that are associated with histamine. Hence the sedation.

All in al, I still feel this is a placebo effect. Meditation helps me to remain sensitive to my environment, both mental and physical. Since I believe in what it is used on to treat (migraines, pain, and mood balance), that affects its result, sedation.

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