Friday, April 16, 2010
Cravings and Our Biochemistry
Friday, April 16, 2010
Here is a small segment from my book Secrets to Controlling Your Weight Cravings and Mood:
Anxiety, depression, and obesity are issues I see every day with clients, each reinforcing the other. They don’t understand why they feel the way they do and want to “snap out of it.” Our brain biochemistry plays a huge part in our moods; which can drive us to unhealthy eating behaviors. A nutritional supplement called 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan) has been a miracle cure for my clients. According to scientist Michael Murray, N.D., "Numerous double-blind studies have shown 5-HTP to be as effective as antidepressant drugs, but it is better tolerated and is associated with fewer and much milder side effects. The body converts tryptophan, an amino acid (protein) found in food, into 5-HTP, which is used to make serotonin; an important brain chemical regulating mood, behavior, appetite, and sleep.”
In Europe, 5-HTP has been used for decades as a standard treatment for depression, sleep problems, weight loss, and other medical problems. It is now starting to be used in the USA. Scientific studies find that 5-HTP is a safe, natural way to increase the brain serotonin levels. Interestingly, 5-HTP has been found to produce results equal to or better than those of standard synthetic drugs used in the problems arising from serotonin deficiency or depression. Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of "5-HTP: Nature's Serotonin Solution," believes 5-HTP holds a great deal of promise. He states, "5-HTP helps control appetite, improve mood, and reduce anxiety.” Sounds good to me, sign me up!
HOW DOES 5-HTP WORK?
Mood and sleep disorders are imbalances in monoamine neurotransmitters. Having low levels of serotonin is an acknowledged factor in depression, obesity, and anxiety. Serotonin is a monoamine compound, chemically related to amino acid derivatives such as 5-HTP. This supplement also increases levels of endorphins and many other neurotransmitters, which help decrease our recurrence of depression and low moods.
When levels of serotonin fall, your body senses starvation. To protect itself, your body starts to crave carbohydrates. Serotonin levels fall after you go too long without eating, and that encourages your body to start filling itself. People who use 5-HTP to keep their serotonin level up have more positive experience when dieting.
Dr. Oz’s book, “YOU! On a Diet,” had a six-week study of 5-HTP and dieters. The group of dieters using 5-HTP lost an average of 12 pounds, while a control group lost an average of four. Ninety percent of women taking at least 300mg of 5-HTP report satiety while on a diet.
Fat Burning Tip:
Irony of Antidepressants:
Weight gain is a common side effect with many antidepressants and mood stabilizer medications. All antidepressants have the potential to cause weight gain; most people are unaware that weight gain is one of the most common side effects associated with Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Zyprexa and many other behavioral drugs until it is too late. Ironically, this common side effect causes an increase in depression as it can seriously impact self-esteem. 5-HTP is a natural antidepressant that can actually help decrease cravings to assist in weight loss.
NOTE: Please talk to your doctor or nutritionist before starting any supplement regime.