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on May 30, 2000
I disagree with the previous reviewer. Perhaps it was Michael Murray himself or a family member who wrote it. I have read three books on 5-HTP and without hesitation I can say Dr. Sahelian's book was the most informative, practical, and clinical. The low dosages he recommends, along with his personal and professional experiences that tolerance can develop and one should not use 5-HTP all the time without a break are all very helpful. I got sick from 5-HTP when I followed Michael Murray's recommendation of taking more than 300 mg a day. I got nauseated and threw up. I don't think other authors of books on 5-HTP have as much experience as does Dr. Sahelian.I'm doing much better now with the Medical Doctor's advice.
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on July 21, 2000
Regarding the previous two reviews, 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. Sahelian's book offers clear cut information that is easy to understand. 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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on August 15, 2001
This is the only book I have read on 5-HTP. I have tried several different SSRIs for anxiety and depression, but I am not fond of their various "side effects." Having experimented a little with St. John's Wort, kava, passionflower, and SAM-e (which, as of October, does work for me, but inconsistenly), all to no avail, I wanted to give 5-HTP a try. I agree that Ray Sahelian's book is both hopeful and cautious. Reading it gave me hope that 5-HTP might have some benefit. However, while Sahelian does go to great effort to document evidence of this drug's success via the various (mostly European) studies and trials that have taken place with 5-HTP, it's clear that many of these studies are too small to be of any real scientific value. (Most involve only 20-30 participants.) And, because of the small scale of most of these studies, Sahelian's whole book has a very anecdotal quality to it. This is reinforced by the fact that Sahelian bases some of his conclusions about 5-HTP's effectiveness on his own successful experimentation with the drug. I also find it a little scary that, even though Sahelian does take a cautious tone, this book sort of presents 5-HTP as something that's mostly safe. However, we know very little about the long-term effects of taking 5-HTP. It would be great if our society was devoted to investigating something such as 5-HTP more thoroughly as it seems to hold such promise. Unfortunately, my few experiments with 5-HTP have not proved to be as positive as Mr. Sahelian's. I have ended up feeling extremely anxious and wired when I take 5-HTP. That's frustrating to me, as I would like to believe that 5-HTP could provide some of the benefits of SSRIs without the annoying side effects.
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HALL OF FAMEon September 14, 2008
Like all Sahelian's books, this one on 5-HTP is accessible and comprehensible to all of us without qualifications in chemistry or psychiatry. An amino acid, 5-hydroxitryptophan is a natural alternative to anti-depressants like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. Whereas the drugs work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, 5-HTP raises serotonin levels in a natural way and therefore has fewer and less severe side effects. The seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia tree is a rich source of 5-HTP.

The author discusses the whole spectrum of the substance's application in e.g. alleviating depression, reducing anxiety, counteracting compulsive & obsessive behavior, weight loss & the suppression of food cravings, assisting with sound sleep, alleviating migraine, treating alcoholism and inhibiting hyperactivity. In addition, he appraises other supplements that have shown some efficacy in these conditions and that may enhance the therapeutic effect of 5-HTP.

Sahelian's personal experiences with the supplement are described in detail, whilst physicians that use it in practice provide a wide range of opinions & observations. The effectiveness of 5-HTP is dependent on many variables, all of which are investigated, e.g. dosages, when to take it, on an empty stomach or with food & its interaction with caffeine. The amino acid Tryptophan which has a milder antidepressant effect also receives attention.

For more information on 5-HTP, I recommend 5-HTP The Natural Alternative to Prozac by John Morgenthaler and for further information on a wide spectrum of natural memory, mind & mood enhancers I recommend Mind Boosters by Sahelian, The DHEA Breakthrough by Stephen Cherniske and the work of Ronald Klatz.
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