A while ago I came across a hack about low carb flu where someone (I think it was the Quilt) recommended 5-htp to relieve the symptoms. I'm sorry I can't find the actual question, his answer may very well have been a comment within an answer and it was very brief with little or no explanation as to why 5-htp might be helpful.
I'd like to know more about this. Can anyone tell me why 5-htp specifically might help to alleviate the symptoms of low carb flu? My apologies in advance if this has already been discussed at length elsewhere. Feel free to just point me in that direction. :)
Because going low carb will limit your serotonin production. Taking 5-htp will promote serotonin recycling while you get used to low serotonin levels.
Actually, the answers above need a tweak...You don't "get used to low serotinin" you need it to regulate mood and sleep. 5HTP is the amino acid precursor to Serotonin and you body will convert it to actual circulating serotonin...not simply recirculate the existing serotonin. That is what SSRI medications like Prozac, Lexapro, etc...do they are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
Yes, one could eat a baked potatie or some other complex carbohydrate before bed for a similar effect...but it sort of defeats the purpose of limiting your carb, eh?
I can't speak from any level of text book knowledge but I can tell you from experience I can FEEL the serotonin levels in my body drop when I start a low carb diet after a long break. I started taking 5-Htp after a few days of hell and it was a world of deference. All my cravings were gone. I still take it now even though I'm fully fat-adapted because it helps me so much with sleep and mood as well as keeping those annoying cravings as far away as possible. Best success I've had yet!
Serotonin is made from tryptophan, which is found in chicken, bananas and avocados.
The co-factor for production is b vitamins, which are found in meat. Meats are amino rich.
The only effect carbs have on serotonin, that I know of, is that they sometimes increase your intake temporararliy via the insulin response, in detriment to other amino acids like l-tyrosine, by washing all the other aminos out- if you eat them along side a tryptophan containing food.
And protein and fat can also trigger an insulin response, its just less sustained, or extreme.
You can take a supplement if you wish.
Or you can just eat the odd bit of free range chicken, avocado, or the occasional banana - and even perhaps have some extra fat with it, if you want to boost it up.
Worth noting, carb flu is pretty short though.
And youll be getting l-tyrosine and other aminos more readily which actually positively effect mood and motivation.
To be honest, I never noticed any carb flu.
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