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5-HTP versus St Johns wort

Questions Asked to Hyla Cass, MD5-HTP versus St Johns wort
Carol asked 4 years ago

Dr Cass
Can you tell us why you prefer 5-HTP to St. Johns wort.    We hear a lot about St Johns wort being the natural prozac, but I notice that none of your formulas contain it

1 Answers
Hyla Cass, MD Staff answered 4 years ago

I like St John’s wort and even wrote a best-selling book on it some years ago, St.John’s Wort: Nature’s Blues Buster. I have quite a few FAQ’s about this herb on my website too. http://cassmd.com/faqs/. I still recommend it for mood issues — it raises 2 of the happy neurotransmitters, Dopamine and Serotonin. However it’s actions also give it some interactions with other drugs which makes it more complex to prescribe than 5 HTP, an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin. Some of the drug interactions are — oral contraceptives, coumadin (a blood thinner), immunosuppressive transplant drugs, HIV meds and a few more. For a complete list, click here.

I also prescribe trytophan (500-200 mg daily) which like it’s relative, 5 hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP-50-300 mg day)  helps to raise mood. they both need B6 and other co-factors to work, so I recommend that if you re taking either, add in a good multi like my Twice Daily  Better Balance Multi to provide the co-factors.

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