5 HTP for Carbohydrate control
There appears to be some real promise in 5HTP for carbohydrate craving control as serotonin has been linked to carb cravings (1). I have incorporated this into my cutting diet.
Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients.
Cangiano C, Laviano A, Del Ben M, Preziosa I, Angelico F, Cascino A, Rossi-Fanelli F.
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.
OBJECTIVE: In obese patients, brain serotonergic stimulation via orally administered 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP), the precursor of serotonin, causes decreased carbohydrate intake and weight loss. Since diabetes mellitus is associated with depressed brain serotonin, hyperphagia and carbohydrate craving, we hypothesized that in diabetic patients, orally administered 5-HTP stimulates brain serotonergic activity and thus normalizes eating behaviour. To test this hypothesis, we investigated whether in diabetic patients: 1) predicted brain serotonin concentrations are depressed as a result of decreased availability of the precursor, tryptophan; and 2) oral 5-HTP is effective in reducing energy and carbohydrate intake. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 25 overweight non-insulin dependent diabetic outpatients were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, and randomized to receive either 5-HTP (750 mg/d) or placebo for two consecutive weeks, during which no dietary restriction was prescribed. Energy intake and eating behaviour, as expressed by macronutrient selection, were evaluated using a daily diet diary. Plasma amino acid concentrations and body weight, as well as serum glucose, insulin and glycosylated haemoglobin were assessed. RESULTS: 20 patients (nine from the 5-HTP group and 11 from the Placebo group) completed the study. Brain tryptophan availability in diabetic patients was significantly reduced when compared to a group of healthy controls. Patients receiving 5-HTP significantly decreased their daily energy intake, by reducing carbohydrate and fat intake, and reduced their body weight. CONCLUSIONS: These data confirm the role of the serotonergic system in reducing energy intake, by predominantly inhibiting carbohydrate intake, and suggest that 5-HTP may be safely utilized to improve the compliance to dietary prescriptions in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
(1) Brain tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis remain responsive to food consumption after the ingestion of sequential meals.
Fernstrom MH, Fernstrom JD.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213.
The response of brain tryptophan concentration and serotonin synthesis to the ingestion of two sequential meals was examined in rats. Fasted rats ingested a carbohydrate meal followed 2 h later by a protein-containing meal and were examined 2 or 4 h after the first meal. Other rats ingested a protein meal first, followed by a carbohydrate meal. When the carbohydrate meal was fed first, brain tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis increased at 2 h; these changes were reversed at 4 h if the second meal contained protein. When the protein meal was fed first, there were no changes in brain tryptophan or serotonin at 2 h, and a second carbohydrate meal at 2 h did not raise brain tryptophan or serotonin 2 h later. Carbohydrate ingestion 3 h after a protein meal, however, did raise brain tryptophan and serotonin 2 h later. Brain tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis are thus responsive to the sequential ingestion of protein and carbohydrate meals if there is a sufficient interval between meals.