Vegetarian Thyro™

Vegetarian Thyro™

#796

Vegetarian Thyro is a 100% vegan Food supplement intended to nutritionally support the thyroid and improve metabolism. Vegetarian Thyro is basically Food intended for thyroid gland. If additional endocrine support is indicated, consider adding Vegetarian Adrenal or Vegetarian Tyrosine.

90 Capsules | $28.98

Product Details

The thyroid is responsible for hormones that affect mood, improve circulation, increase metabolism, retain calcium, affect cardiovascular health, improve tolerance to temperature fluctuations, minimize body fat, reduce the tendency for obesity, minimize menstrual disturbances, improve energy, reduce the dryness of skin and hair, and reduce premature hair loss. Yet thyroid problems are very common.

Unfortunately, medical interventions are often incomplete as blood tests often do not recognize certain forms of hypothyroidism. 

Furthermore, even when found medically, most medical interventions are limited to the prescribing of synthetic T4 (levothyroxine), which tends to shut the thyroid down, and thus possibly increasing the tendency for osteoporosis, as well as sometimes increasing mood problems and some other symptoms associated with low thyroid function.

Many people simply take Vegetarian Thyro™ as a Food supplement to help them feel better.  

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards (though most do). Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific dataNone of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

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FOOD RESEARCH has a list of Product Equivalents, e. g. Standard Process, Nutri-West, Medi-Herb etc.

GMOs and Health: Any Risk?

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Read More »

Suggested use: Serving size or as recommended by your health care professional. Adjust usage according to nutritional lifestyle requirements.

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Choline Complex™

Choline Complex™

Product #235

Choline Complex™ is a 100% vegetarian Food supplement that is intended to supply real food choline.

180 Tablets | $33.98

Product Details

Choline is crucial for sustaining life. It modulates the basic signaling processes within cells, is a structured element in membranes, and is vital during critical periods in brain development”. It was discovered in 1862, yet it was not recognized as a required nutrient for humans until 1998.

Choline has several important functions:  it is a source of methyl groups needed to make S-adenosylmethionine, it is a part of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and it is a part of the predominant phospholipids in membranes (phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin).  Betaine, formed from choline, is an important osmolyte in the kidney glomerulus and helps with the reabsorption of water from the kidney tubule.  Although they represent a smaller proportion of the total choline pool, important metabolites of choline include platelet-activating factor, choline plasmalogens, lysophosphatidylcholine, phosphocholine, and glycerophosphocholine” [1].  
 
Regarding Choline, WebMD reports, “Athletes use it for bodybuilding and delaying fatigue in endurance sports” [2].  Low levels of Choline have been found in endurance athletes and supplementation may decrease fatigue during exercise [3].  
 

The official Recommended Daily Intake of Choline is as low as 125 mg per day for infants up to 6 months of age to as high as 550 mg per day for lactating women (the RDI for non-lactating women is 450 mg per day) [1].  The RDI for adult males is 550 mg per day [1].   
Many people simply take choline to feel better. 

Other ingredients: Fatty Acid from Palm Kernel, Silica.
Suggested use: Serving size or as recommended by your health care professional. Adjust usage according to nutritional lifestyle requirements.

References

[1] Zeisel S.  Choline.  In: Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 11th ed.  Wolters Kluwer| Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012: 416-426 
[2] WebMD.  http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-436-CHOLINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=436&activeIngredientName=CHOLINE viewed 07/02/13
[3] Castell LM, Burke LM, Stears SJ, et al. A-Z of nutritional supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance. Part 9. Br J Sports Med. 2010;44(8):609-611  

* This is a nutritional product and not a medication intended to prevent, treat, or cure any illness. None of these statements has been approved by the US FDA or similar agencies. Not all citations meet peer-reviewed status so the statements are not conclusive. Professionals can, and do, disagree, regarding efficacy of ingredients in nutritional formulas.

Disclaimer: Some of these studies (or citations) may not confom to peer review standards. Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Profressionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA.

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The Truth About Vitamins in Nutritional Supplements

For decades the ‘natural’ health industry has been touting thousands of vitamin supplements. The truth is that most vitamins in supplements are made or processed with petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars. Even though they are often called natural, most non-food vitamins are isolated substances which are crystalline in structure.

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Intracellular Cough™

Intracellular Cough™

#458

Intracellular Cough is a 100% Food supplement that is intended to supply nutrients, glandulars, and herbs needed to maintain and support optimal immune system health.  This is a pluriglandular formula that also includes immune system supporting herbs.

90 Capsules | $33.98

Product Details

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards (though most do). Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific dataNone of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

Online Store for Healthcare Professionals

Call Us at (805) 489-7185 or Email Us at doctorsfoodresearch@gmail.com for more info.

FOOD RESEARCH has a list of Product Equivalents, e. g. Standard Process, Nutri-West, Medi-Herb etc.

Suggested use: Serving size or as recommended by your health care professional. Adjust usage according to nutritional lifestyle requirements.

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Simply Hypothalamus™

Simply Hypothalamus™

#730

Simply Hypothalamus is a 100% Food supplement that is intended to supply nutrients needed to maintain and support optimal hypothalamus health. The hypothalamus is the body’s master endocrine gland. The hypothalamus directly or indirectly controls nearly all the hormonal processes in the body.

90 Tablets | $26.98

Product Details

The hypothalamus is responsible for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns involving neural and endocrine function. Its leasing hormones control the secretions of the anterior pituitary. The hypothalamus also synthesizes the hormones oxytocin which is involved in milk secretion and uterine motility and ADH (antidiuretic hormone) even though they are actually released by the posterior pituitary. It also is involved with temperature regulation, testicular function, stress response, glucose regulation, and cardiovascular response to exercise. In menstruating women it produces chemicals known as releasing factors. The hypothalamus can be disturbed by emotional factors, drug abuse, extreme weight changes, severe illness, meningitis, or brain tumors.

Some of the best natural health products contain glandular ingredients and many doctors have used glandulars for years with great success. Glandular organs, such as heart, aorta, and liver, have been a food source in the human diet for centuries. The consumption of glandulars is believed to provide nutritional support to the corresponding gland in the human body. Glandular therapy has alternative names such as: organotherapy, cell therapy where extracts are injected; and live cell therapy which normally uses extracts orally or intravenously.

Glandulars contain nutritional peptides, enzymes, and substances believed to be hormone precursors. Although some believe that oral consumption of dried glandulars is no different than consuming any other protein-containing food, this belief appears to be based on the fact that the stomach breaks down proteins into their constituent amino acids and that there is no benefit from consuming foods containing specific peptides. However, this belief ignores the fact that some ingested protein is not broken down into its constituent amino acids.

Evidence suggests that with oral consumption of glandular extracts, a small percentage (5-10%) of their peptides are not broken down into their constituent amino acids but are available for intact absorption in the small intestine [16-19]. A small amount of these absorbed peptides then circulate and some of them appear to assist the human body (especially for ill persons) in performing various anabolic and catabolic processes [15-19]. Howell and others have reported that the amount of enzymes that pass through the stomach is even higher (nearly 50% [20]). Howell has also reported that individuals with significant health problems have been found to have lower levels of enzymes than healthy individuals and that oral enzyme supplementation has been helpful for many such people [20]. Although this position is not universally accepted [21], a study in the Journal of Surgery showed that oral pancreatic supplementation resulted in improved enzyme and growth levels for children who had a pancreaticoduodenectomy [22]. Recent papers have suggested that bovine glandulars may be helpful for thyroid support [23], myoclonic seizures [23], and even CHARGE syndrome [24].

Some glandular extracts also contain small, safe amounts of hormones that may contribute to their possible effectiveness. The thymus gland contains thymic hormones which Schulof found may enhance immune response for people with HIV [12]. It should be noted that many substances contained within animal tissues are similar or identical to their human counterparts [1,25-27], including certain enzymes [25] and even T cell gene regions [26]. One advantage of glandulars over herbs is that raw ovine (sheep) and bovine (cow) glandulars often contain enzymes that are identical to those in the human body, while herbs rarely do.

Some research indicates that protein contained within cow’s milk appears to slow the growth of certain human toxic cells [24]; also cows do not appear to get breast cancer [28]. Thus it may be reasonable to conclude that other substances contained within or derived from bovine/ovine sources may be helpful for other human diseases.

Harrower, a pioneering researcher of oral glandulars, believed glandulars were effective because endocrine glands experienced something he referred to as “hormone hunger” [29]. Harrower wrote:

“The practical application of this idea concerns the administration of combinations of glands in presumed pluriglandular disturbances. If, for instance, in the conditions mentioned above there is a noticeable deficiency in several of the glands of internal secretion, the thyroid, ovaries and pituitary gland for instance, there may be varying degrees of hormone hunger on the part of the organs involved, and this will influence very definitely the amount of hormones that may be missing or needed by the glands to be stimulated.”

It should be noted that when Harrower used the term “hormone” this probably should be interpreted to also include nutrients, both known and unknown, including enzymes, peptides, and hormone precursors. Harrower referred to vitamins (then newly discovered) as “plant hormones” and he called hormones the “active principles obtained from certain glands” [29].

“There is a lot of controversy about the activity of glandulars given orally…It appears the effectiveness of glandulars comes in a multi-facteted way. These facets may be grouped into three basic categories: A. Hormonal; B. Enzymatic; C. Nutritive…Any gland given for therapeutic use should contain the whole nondenatured gland…The hormones are at the same strength as those found in the natural organ, except that the water has been removed leaving only the dried concentrated tissue. These hormones fall into various categories and forms: 1. Steroids; 2. Peptides; 3. Catecholamines; 4. Amino Acids; 5. Prostaglandins; 6. Nucleotides. Their hormonal factors can be broken down into two categories: A. Lipid soluble hormones; B. Water soluble amino bases and acids…The problem with steroid or prostaglandin therapy is that the medical sciences have removed them from the naturally occurring matrix which has a fine balance of steroids and prostaglandins. There is a natural law which applies in the universe and even more so in biochemistry. For every biochemical reaction or mechanism, there is an opposing ‘feedback’ mechanism. For this reason the balance must be maintained and taking glandulars are both therapeutic and very safe since this balance is maintained. It is only when the hormones are isolated and given in large doses that side effects take place, such as ulcers in steroid therapy or liver destruction in synthetic testosterone therapy. The second class of hormones is more diverse, but just as effective and important. These are the polypeptides and phyiogenic amines such as neurotransmitters and catecholamines …And the incredible thing about these peptides is that they become more active upon digestion. They are normally secreted in long chain proteins which are then broken down into endorphins which are then digested by specific proteases into the active hormones …Therefore, most of the protein is assimilated in peptide form not amino acid form. What this means is that glandulars can actually be activated by digestion” [30]. It should be noted that bovine thyroid does not itself contain substantial amounts of thyroxin which is why it is appropriate to feed the human thyroid gland. Many raw glandular preparations contain substances that can facilitate the conversion of various susbtrates into hormones.

Cooking destroys enzymes [20]. The primary difference between raw and desiccated glandulars is the enzyme content [30]. “1. Processing is very important in maintaining enzyme activity; 2. Digestion is required to activate enzymes and peptides…how are they absorbed? …they are absorbed through standard biological processes. Up to a third of your food is absorbed through the lymph system. This is basically an open portal system which permeates through the entire digestive tract allowing large molecules such as fat micelles, enzymes, and other molecules to pass into the blood stream. Other routes of absorption are active transport mechanisms such as chemotaxis…another route is immune-absorption where the protein or molecule combines with another protein and is carried in piggy back…The third category for glandular therapy is as a food…They are rich in protein and minerals and B-complex” [30]. It should be noted that when, for example, an adrenal enzyme reaches the toes basically nothing happens as the adrenal enzymes (as well as others) are specific to, in this case, the adrenal glands. Once reaching the adrenal glands, they help the adrenal glands through various anabolic and catabolic reactions.

Animal glands have been consumed since the beginning of history [31], and even now scientific studies involving them are being published [e.g. 32]. “Glandular products have been produced and used in the U.S. for over 60 years with absolutely no reports of microbial contamination or resultant illness” [33]. They are consumed in many countries, including the U.S. as food [31,33]; they may even contain substances to reverse diseases associated with Western diets [31]. Regarding glandulars, it has been reported that, “overdosing is not a concern. Even when excess amounts have been ingested, the body can easily deaminize them” [31]. A search of the literature found one report (in a letter to the editor) of a single, temporary complaint; the glandular raised thyroid hormones levels which normalized when consumption was discontinued, from using a thyroid glandular product combined with lithium, but the daily consumption (45 tablets) was in excess of any reasonable consumption (daily quantity of thyroid hormones present: 0.5mg T4 and .09mg of T3) [34].

No long-term, negative side effects from taking glandular supplements are known [33].

Non-Heat Drying vs. Desiccation

Glandulars supplements can be made in several ways. The cheapest way is through desiccation, which essentially dries the glandular at high temperatures. The biggest problem with desiccation is that it destroys all the enzymes that are in the tissue. Desiccation may also destroy other active substances contained within the gland. Some companies use a salt-drying process, but this tends to result in glands with a high sodium content which can cause digestive complaints for adrenal-containing products. One of the most expensive ways to produce glandulars is through a non-heat, vacuum-drying process (which is how our glandulars are dried). This low temperature process helps preserve many of the naturally-present enzymes. Natural health doctors generally prefer non-heat drying methods to desiccation even though that does increase the cost of the product. Non-heat drying results in a glandular that is the closest to ‘whole food’.

New Zealand and Argentine Glandulars

New Zealand and Argentinean farmers tend to raise their cows and sheep naturally. The animals almost exclusively consume unfertilized natural grasses as are found in the pastures of those lands. Neither New Zealand nor Argentina has ever had a case of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) nor scrapie, a similar disease found in sheep [34-37].

Ovine and Bovine

Many of the pioneering glandular researchers [38] prefer bovine (cow) or ovine (sheep) source glandulars to glandulars from other animals for many reasons:

1) Doctors using them have a history of receiving positive results from people with a wide variety of disorders.

2) Bovine/ovine tissues are commercially available.

3) Bovine/ovine glandulars have a long history of being safe to consume.

4) Bovine/ovine tissues are considered to be dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) and as such are not considered to be food additives.

5) Earlier research has demonstrated that heterologous tissues (such as bovine/ovine for humans) do not produce the adverse and possibly toxic side effects that more homologous tissues can (such as simian for humans) [38].

6) Some earlier research suggested that immune response in humans was improved at a much greater rate with the use of substances from ruminant sources (bovine and ovine) as opposed to non-ruminant sources (simian and feline) [39]. At least one researcher reported long ago that rat tissue extracts also appear to cause a variety of problems when forced into some animals [38].

Clinically, ovine and bovine glandulars are also preferable to porcine (pork) glandulars as followers of many religious faiths (Islam, Judaism, Seventh Day Adventists, and various Churches of God) will not consume pork, but will consume meat extracts from sheep or cows.

Why Aren’t They Used More?

Since glandulars combined with herbs tend to work faster and sometimes better than herbs alone, why aren’t glandulars used more?

One reasons is that, generally speaking, glandular ingredients cost more money than herbal ingredients (though they cost much less than Food vitamins or Food minerals). Many companies simply will not use them for that reason. Another reason is many people believe that plants are always the answer. And although for some problems they are, they are not always the best choice as plants almost never contain identical glandular enzymes. Glandulars can help the health of many in ways herbs alone sometimes cannot.

REFERENCES

[1] Hulsey MG, Martin, RJ. The role of animals in nutritional research. Nutr Today,1993;28 (5):1993

[2] Lee R. Adrenamin. In Product Bulletins, circa 1950

[3] Lee R. Therapeutic Food Manual, Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Milwaukee, circa 1950;14

[4] Lee R. Brain Cytotrophin. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Milwaukee, circa 1950

[5] Profiles in Nutritional Progress. Rubicon Productions, Bakersfield, 1993

[6] Cenacchi T, et al. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind placebo-controlled multicenter study on the efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. Aging Clin Exp Res. 1993;5:123-133

[7] Dean W, Morgenthaler J, Fowkes SW. Phosphatidylserine. In Smart Drugs II: The Next Generation. Smart Publications, Petaluma (CA), 1993:75-80

[8] Thiel R. Serious Nutrition for Health Care Professionals, 2 nd ed. Center for Natural Health Research, Arroyo Grande (CA), 1996

[9] Lee R. Pneumotrophin. In Product Bulletins, circa 1950

[10] Lee R. Mammary Cytotrophin. In Product Bulletins, circa 1950

[11] Lee R. Ovary Cytotrophin. In Product Bulletins, circa 1950

[12] Lee R. Spleen Cytotrophin. In Product Bulletins, circa 1950

[13] Lee R. Thymex. In Product Bulletins, circa 1950

[14] Schulof RS, et al. Phase I/II trial of thymosin fraction 5 and thymosin alpha one on HTLV-III seropositive subjects. J of Biologic Response Modifiers,1986; 5: 429-443

[15] Neumann C. Serious Nutrition: Incorporating Clinically Effective Nutrition Into Your Practice. Source Graphics, Kelowna (B.C.), 2005

[16] Gardner M. Intestinal assimilation of intact peptides and protein from the diet – a

neglected field? Cambridge Philosophical Society, Biological Reviews,1984;59: 289-331

[17] Popov I.M., et al. Cell therapy. J International Academy of Preventive Medicine,1977; 3:74-82

[18] Burns D. Accumulating scientific evidence supports glandular therapy. The Digest of Chiropractic Economics, Nov/Dec 1987: 74-79

[19] Schwartz EF. Glandular therapy. The American Chiropractor, January/February 1983:14-18

[20] Howell E. Enzyme Nutrition. Avery Publishing Group: Wayne ( New Jersey): 11-29, 1985

[21] Green S. A critique of the rationale for cancer treatment with coffee enemas and diet. JAMA, 1992; 268 (22): 3224-3227

[22] Shamberger RC, Hendron WH, Leictner AM. Long-term nutritional and metabolic consequences of pancreaticoduodenectomy in children. Surgery, 1994;115(3): 382-388

[23] Thiel R. Might disorders of calcium cause or contribute to myoclonic seizures? Medical Hypotheses, 2006; 66(5):969-974

[24] Thiel R. Thiel R. CHARGE (Hall-Hittner) Syndrome and Nutrition: A novel case report. In review, 2006

[25] McCarren M. Animals in research: researchers use animals to learn more about human diabetes. Diabetes Forecast,1993; 46 (8): 26

[26] California Institute of Technology. Large genome comparison reveals details of genomic evolution. Cancer Weekly Feb 10, 1992;6: 3

[27] Bland J. Glandular Therapy. Circa 1989

[28] Protein in cow’s milk slows growth of cancer cells in lab tests: Mammary derived growth inhibitor ( Cornell University). Cancer Weekly April 20, 1992;12:2

[29] Harrower H. Practical Organotherapy. 3rd ed. W.B. Conkey Co.: Hammond ( Indiana): 31-36, 1921

[30] Raw Glandular Therapy. ABCO Labs, Concord (CA), circa 1998

[31] Dunbar R. Foraging for nature’s balanced diet. New Scientist August 31, 1991:25-28

[32] Thiel R. Might disorders of calcium cause or contribute to myoclonic seizures? Med Hypo. 2006; 66(5):969-974

[33] DeCava JA. Glandular supplements. Nutrition News and Views 1997; 1(3):1-10

[34] Cooper N, Palmer B. Thyroid hormone in a health food capsule. New Zealand Medical Journal 1994: 231

[35] JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE NEW ZEALAND FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY AND MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY. BSE in the US has no food safety impact in New Zealand or threat to our animal health status24 December 2003

[36] New Zealand’s Scrapie Freedom. New Zealand Food Safety Authority. Nzfsa.gov 2/16/06

[37] Scudel A.A, et al. Analysis of risk factos and active surveillance for BSE in Argentina. Siiap.sagyp.mecon.ar 02/16/06

[38] Lee R, Hanson W. Protomorphology: The Principles of Cell Auto-Regulation. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Milwaukee, 1947

[39] Nuttall, Dr. Blood Immunity and Blood Relationships. Cambridge University Press, London, 1904

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards (though most do). Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific dataNone of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

Online Store for Healthcare Professionals

Call Us at (805) 489-7185 or Email Us at doctorsfoodresearch@gmail.com for more info.

FOOD RESEARCH has a list of Product Equivalents, e. g. Standard Process, Nutri-West, Medi-Herb etc.

Other ingredients: Fatty Acid from Palm Kernel, Plan Polysaccharide, Silica, Digestive Aid. Contains no Magnesium Stearate.

Suggested use: Serving size or as recommended by your health care professional. Adjust usage according to nutritional lifestyle requirements.

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Vegetarian Tryptophan™

Vegetarian Tryptophan™

#797

Vegetarian Tryptophan is a 100% vegetarian Food supplement that supplies tryptophan. Tryptophan is an esstenial amino acid and is needed to make many of the protein structures in the body.

90 Capsules | $38.98

Product Details

“L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which must be consumed from food since the body cannot make it using other amino acids. It is present in virtually all plant and animal proteins. Once the body absorbs L-tryptophan, it converts {some of}it into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and then into the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is primarily the serotonin that does all the wonderful things attributed to L-tryptophan—inducing sleep, reducing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, promoting weight loss and addressing depression.” [1]. Additionally, L-tryptophan is necessary for the production of various protein structures in the body.

“Tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids found in the human diet. Essential amino acids are defined as those that cannot be made in the body and therefore must be obtained from food or supplements. (A ninth amino acid, histidine, is sometimes considered essential for children.)…

“A typical diet provides only 1,000 to 1,500 mg/day of tryptophan, yet there is much competition in the body for this scarce tryptophan” [2].

“In any normal diet, animal protein-based or vegetarian, tryptophan is the least plentiful of all 20 food amino acids. Thus, tryptophan is typically outnumbered as much as 9:1 in its competition to secure its transport through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. Eating a high-protein diet in an attempt to increase dietary tryptophan (a typical diet provides only 1-1.5 grams/day) only increases its competition even more” [3].

In the 1980s, “people seeking to lose weight, improve sleep, or alleviate depression used tryptophan to safely increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the natural compound that promotes feelings of well-being, satiety, and relaxation” [2].

Although there are animal source of tryptophan, Vegetarian Tryptophan is from plants and is 100% vegan. 

Depression, Autism, Bipolar, Serotonin, & Tryptophan

L-tryptophan depletion seems to be a significant factor demonstrating the link between serotonin and depression. 

“Stress-related mood deterioration and affective disorders, such as depression, are among the leading causes of disease burden throughout the world, and are associated with severe medical consequences and mortality. Research has shown the involvement of dysfunctional brain serotonin (5-HT) biochemistry as a vulnerable biological factor in the onset of mood disturbances. Since the production of brain serotonin is limited by the availability of its plasma dietary amino acid precursor tryptophan, different foods and dietary amino acids that influence tryptophan availability are thought to alter affective behavior by changing brain 5-HT synthesis” [4]. Serotonin is synthesized in the body from the amino acid tryptophan [5].

It tends to be accepted that “impaired serotonin (5-HT) function can lead to clinical depression… The best evidence that 5-HT contributes to the pathophysiology of depression comes from studies of tryptophan depletion, which show that lowering brain 5-HT levels can induce acute symptomatic relapse in recovered depressed patients” [6].  “Amino acid mixtures that lower brain availability of the serotonin (5-HT) precursor tryptophan produce acute depressive relapse in women with a history of major depression…Women with a history of depression showed impaired regulation of brain 5-HT function in response to dieting” [7].

Those with bipolar disorder seem to have lower levels of serotonin [8]. A study involving those with obsessive compulsive disorder found that “[a]fter 5 h of tryptophan depletion, 6 out of 7 patients reported worsening of mood” [9].

Tryptophan depletion seems to increase depression as well as certain facial features associated with autism, like lack of proper emotional expression [10]. L-tryptophan supplementation has been found helpful to improve the mood of people with Hepatitis C [11].

A major study involving alcoholics trying L-tryptophan found that it led to “lower levels of depression” [12]. 

Sleep

Many people have had success with sleep taking L-tryptophan. There are probably several reasons for this. 

“For example, serotonin is the precursor to the sleep hormone, melatonin, making L-tryptophan an effective sleep aid. It has significant sedative- like proper ties, although, unlike other sedatives, it does not appear to impair performance. Specifically, L-tryptophan is not associated with impairment of visuomotor, cognitive or memory performance, nor does it elevate threshold for arousal from sleep” [13].

“Melatonin is a hormone synthesized in the pineal gland from tryptophan. It participates in several biological processes in the human being, such as circadian sleep rhythm, mood, reproductive processes and aging” [14].

 “More than 40 controlled studies have demonstrated L-tryptophan can help induce sleepiness in humans. In younger insomniacs, L-tryptophan is effective in inducing sleep the first night of administration; in more chronic, well-established or more severe insomnias, repeated administration of low doses of L-tryptophan over time may be required for therapeutic improvement.

“Generally, doses of 1 g/d or more are most effective. However, one study in mild insomniacs did report lower doses helped reduce the amount of time it took to fall asleep, with even 1/4 g/d of L-tryptophan increasing stage IV sleep” [13].

One recent study found that taking L-tryptophan increased both serotonin and melatonin and improved nocturnal sleep [15]. Another recent study found for with obsessive compulsive disorder, “Tryptophan depletion induced a worsening of sleep continuity” [16].

Human Growth Hormone, Aging, Obesity, & L-Tryptophan

“For years, many people have been looking for ways to increase their levels of human growth hormone (HGH). The value of increasing HGH can be understood by examining this hormone’s functions, which include maintaining the immune system, stimulating muscle growth through amino acid sparing and promotion of amino acid transport into muscle cells, and burning fat. L-tryptophan is also capable of increasing HGH. This was demonstrated in various human studies in the ’70s.” [13].

“Startling research findings reveal that brain serotonin levels decline sharply in most humans as they age…It was long ago established that tryptophan is the amino acid needed to produce serotonin in the brain…It would appear that serotonin deficiency may play an important role in the record number of Americans suffering from depression, insomnia, and excess weight gain…Recent studies, however, have identified specific age-related mechanisms that cause the degradation of tryptophan in elderly individuals” [2]. Therefore, it appears that supplemental L-tryptophan could be expected to reverse some of these losses of tryptophan and serotonin.

Some have indicated that L-tryptophan may be helpful for weight management and/or appetite control and/or other problems associated with low serotonin levels [e.g. 2,7,13,17]. “Plasma tryptophan ratios are below normal in obese subjects and may decrease with dieting, an effect that may partly be responsible for the high relapse rate after diet-related weight loss (ie, brain serotonin production remains low and stimulates appetite). Obese subjects are often insulin resistant, and diminished insulin action may cause low plasma tryptophan ratios because of the peripheral effects of insulin on amino acid uptake and utilization” [17].

“Serotonin neurons in the brain participate in the control of appetite. In general, serotonin neurons function in neuronal circuits that diminish food intake. Hence, treatments that enhance serotonin function reduce food intake, whereas those that diminish serotonin function stimulate food intake. The synthesis of serotonin in the brain is controlled in part by the availability of its amino acid precursor, L-tryptophan” [17].

Safety

There were some safety concerns about L-tryptophan that perhaps should be addressed here. “In 1989 and 1990, two reports of a new disease labeled eosinophiliamyalgia syndrome (EMS) were published and attributed to ingestion of L-tryptophan… Studies traced more than 95 percent of the cases of EMS to L-tryptophan supplied by Showa Denko K.K. of Japan. Analysis of case-associated lots revealed several chemical impurities. One of these, labeled “peak E”, is an unusual dimeric form of L-tryptophan (1,1’-ethylidenebis[tryptophan]), and its presence is considered to be associated with EMS” [1]. 

The FDA, instead of initially simply placing the blame on the bad batch (or non-L-tryptophan causes for the EMS issues raised), restricted general supplementation with L-tryptophan.

However it needs to be emphasized “that the very tryptophan that the FDA restricted is still used in infant formulas and intravenous feeding solutions. If there were any danger to tryptophan, we would have known about it long ago…For nineteen years, aging Americans have been forced to settle for less-than-optimal tryptophan/serotonin levels in their bodies” [2]—essentially because of unusual FDA restrictions.

It perhaps should be mentioned that an animal study designed to see if supplementation with relatively high levels of L-tryptophan could cause EMS concluded that it did not [18].

Notice the following comment from a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “in our experience, pharmaceutical-grade tryptophan preparations in humans have never been associated with symptoms of EMS, suggesting that pure tryptophan preparations are safe” [19].

Here is what Ernest Hartmann (M.D.) of Tufts University wrote, “My laboratory has done many studies on the sleep inducing effects of tryptophan. The usual human dose is either 1 or 2 g of tryptophan taken at bedtime…I do not believe that the totality of current evidence suggests that people using L-tryptophan in the usual doses for sleep induction need be concerned or need to discontinue the practice” [20].

Tryptophan is a component of proteins, and, as such, has been consumed for thousands of years. It has been consumed in isolated forms for decades and is an essential amino acid.

Those interested in the potential benefits of L-tryptophan supplementation may wish to try Vegetarian Tryptophan.

References                                          

[1] Bruno G. Revisting the Safety, Efficacy of L-Tryptophan: Part II.   April 2, 2007
[2]  Faloon W. The FDAs cruel hoax.  Life Extension.  2008 Apr:14(4):7-11
[3] Dean W, South J, English J.  5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) vs. Prozac (SSRIs). http://intelegen.com/nutrients/5htp_5hydroxytryptophan_vs.htm viewed 12/18/08 
[4] Markus CR.  Dietary Amino Acids and Brain Serotonin Function; Implications for Stress-Related Affective Changes.  Neuromolecular Med. 2008;10(4):247-58
[5] Matthew D.  Proteins and Amino Acids.  In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th edition.  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Phil., 2006: 23-61
[6] Cowen PJ.  Serotonin and depression: pathophysiological mechanism or marketing myth?  Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Sep;29(9):433-6
[7] Smith KA, Williams C, Cowen PJ.  Impaired regulation of brain serotonin function during dieting in women recovered from depression.  Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Jan;176:72-5
[8] Wiste AK, Arango V, Ellis SP, Mann JJ, Underwood MD.  Norepinephrine and serotonin imbalance in the locus coeruleus in bipolar disorder.  Bipolar Disord. 2008 May;10(3):349-59
[9] Külz AK, Meinzer S, Kopasz M, Voderholzer U.  Effects of tryptophan depletion on cognitive functioning, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and mood in obsessive-compulsive disorder: preliminary results.  Neuropsychobiology. 2007;56(2-3):127-31
[10] Williams JH, Perrett DI, Waiter GD, Pechey S. Differential effects of tryptophan depletion on emotion processing according to face direction.  Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2007 Dec;2(4):264-273
[11] Schaefer M, Winterer J, Sarkar R, Uebelhack R, Franke L, Heinz A, Friebe A. Three cases of successful tryptophan add-on or monotherapy of hepatitis C and IFNalpha-associated mood disorders.  Psychosomatics. 2008 Sep-Oct;49(5):442-6
[12] Asheychik R, Jackson T, Baker H, Ferraro R, Ashton T, Kilgore J.  The efficacy of L-tryptophan in the reduction of sleep disturbance and depressive state in alcoholic patients.  J Stud Alcohol. 1989 Nov;50(6):525-32
[13] Bruno G. Revisting the Safety, Efficacy of L-Tryptophan: Part II.   May 31, 2007
[14] Carranza-Lira S, García López F.  Melatonin and climactery.  Med Sci Monit. 2000 Nov-Dec;6(6):1209-12
[15] Paredes SD, Terrón MP, Cubero J, Valero V, Barriga C, Reiter RJ, Rodríguez AB.  Tryptophan increases nocturnal rest and affects melatonin and serotonin serum levels in old ringdove. Physiol Behav. 2007 Mar 16;90(4):576-82
[16] Voderholzer U, Riemann D, Huwig-Poppe C, Kuelz AK, Kordon A, Bruestle K, Berger M, Hohagen F.  Sleep in obsessive compulsive disorder: polysomnographic studies under baseline conditions and after experimentally induced serotonin deficiency.  Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2007 Apr;257(3):173-82
[17] Breum L, Rasmussen MH, Hilsted J, Fernstrom JD.  Twenty-four-hour plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios are below normal in obese subjects and are not normalized by substantial weight reduction.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1112-8
[18] Chung TK, Gelberg HB, Dorner JL, Baker DH. Safety of L-tryptophan for pigs.  J Anim Sci. 1991 Jul;69(7):2955-60
[19] Fernstrom JD.  Can nutrient supplements modify brain function?  Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6 Suppl):1669S-75S
[20] Hartmann E.  Possible effects of tryptophan ingestion. J Nutr 117:1314, 1987

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards, therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific dataNone of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

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