Friday, August 1, 2008

Amino Acids for Bipolar disorder ??

Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, advises taking amino acids to counter some of the brain's deficiencies, including:
  • Tyrosine, a precursor of both norepinephrine and dopamine, can act as an energizer, and is available over the counter. Phenylalanine, a precursor, to tyrosine, is also an option.
  • Tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin, was removed from the US market in 1989 after a manufacturer produced a highly toxic contaminate, but is still available by prescription. Less is more, with lower doses (one to three gm) more effective than higher doses. Taking the amino acid with carbohydrates helps in its absorption.
  • The intermediary between tryptophan and serotonin, 5HTP, is available without prescription. An Eli Lilly study found that combining 5HTP with Prozac significantly increased 5HTP in rats’ brains compared to Prozac alone.
  • Julia Ross refers to GABA as "our natural valium," and recommends it to her clients for calming down. However, as this neurotransmitter does not easily cross the blood-brain barrier, you may wind up instead with very expensive urine.

Psychology Today reports that Andrew Stoll MD, the Harvard psychiatrist who put omega-3 on the map with his 1999 pilot study, is exploring the amino acid taurine for treating bipolar disorder. Taurine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. According to Psychology Today: "The results of the study have not yet been published, but Stoll did say that ‘it works really well for bipolar disorder.’" Continue Reading >>

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