Social Policy: Manders: The FDA Ban of L-Tryptophan: Politics, Profits, and Prosac Winter 1995

et_al at my-deja.com et_al at my-deja.com
Sun Oct 22 02:25:02 EST 2000

On Fri, 20 Oct 2000 21:09:59 GMT, Rich Murray
<rmforall at earthlink.net> wrote:

>Social Policy: Manders: The FDA Ban of L-Tryptophan:
>Politics, Profits, and Prosac   Winter 1995
>The FDA Ban of L-Tryptophan: Politics, Profits and Prozac
>© Dean Wolfe Manders, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved
lots of male bovine excreta snipped

The trouble with this is that:

a)  Prozac doesn't do what L-Tryptophan (L-T) does.

b) The SSRIs were not the first antidepressants to affect serotonin 
    pathways. MAOIs and Tricyclics had been around for 20+ years
    before the SSRIs (they also affect other neurotransmitter 

b)  Prozac wasn't even the first SSRI antidepressant. The first 
     were marketed some 8 years before Prozac. One, Luvox is 
     still available.

c)  As anyone that took large quantities of L-Tryptophan before the
     ban, like I did, will tell you it is useless as an 

d)  Antidepressants do *NOT* increase serotonin brain levels for  
    more than a few weeks. [1] Depression/anxiety is *NOT* due to
    low levels of Serotonin. The best proof of this is the 
    relatively new French antidepressant Tianeptine which is a
    Selective Serotonin-Re-Uptake Enhancer. That is, it has the 
    opposite action to the SSRIs. It speeds up the removal of 
    Serotonin from the synaptic gaps. Yet it seems to be at least as
    effective as the SSRIs!!!!
e)  People are still contracting  Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome 
     (EMS), from illegally  imported L-Tryptophan and its metabolite
     5-HTP. The latest case was reported only a week or two ago.[2]

f)  Tests done at the University of Hamburg [3], Germany showed that
    all of the samples purchased OTC were contaminated with the 
    substances thought to produce EMS. In one case the level of 
    contamination was 140 times the very strict EC limit!!! A limit,
    incidently that appears to be very dubious. No safe limit has   
    ever been determined. Indeed, part of the FDA's rational for 
    banning L-T is that it may be L-T itself which is the problem 
    when taken in large quantities isolated from the other food    
    components it naturally occurs with. [4]

g)  There is a growing suspicion that L-T triggers some cancers. [5]

h)  The reason the FDA does permit limited sales of L-T under strict
     supervision is that some folk will die without it. The risk for
     them of dying from EMS is much less. The high costs is due to 
     the testing regime which is extensive and used very expensive 

Rich Murray seems to like making long posts to neuroscience NGs
about subjects of which he seems to actually know very little. It
seems he has decided to branch out into support groups.



[1]  Note: 5-HT=Serotonin

>"Our results show significantly different effects between central and 
>peripheral indices of 5-HTmetabolism according to time and to the 
>antidepressant assessed: (i) an enhancement of total tissue 5-HT 
>levels in the three brain areas studied after steady-state achievement 
>of the 3 antidepressants, (ii) the return to initial values of brain 5-HT 
>levels after repeated administration of the two 5-HT re-uptake inhibitors, 
>consistent with the presence of brain adaptative mechanisms, 
>with a concomitant dramatic decrease of platelet 5-HT content"
Alvarez JC, Sanceaume M, Advenier C, Spreux-Varoquaux  (1999)
"Differential changes in brain and platelet 5-HT concentrations
after steady-state achievement and repeated administration of
antidepressant drugs in mice. "
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, Dec;10(1):31-6

Private correspondence from the (US) National Eosinophilia-Myalgia
Syndrome Network. Their website is at: http://www.nemsn.org/
which gives a lot of details about what EMS is, and how it is

Simat TJ, Kleeberg KK, Muller B, Sierts A  (1999)
Department of Food Chemistry, University of Hamburg
"Synthesis, formation, and occurrence of contaminants in
biotechnologically manufactured L-tryptophan."
Adv Exp Med Biol 1999;467:469-80


".....FDA concluded that other brands of L-tryptophan, or
L-tryptophan itself, regardless of the levels or presence of
contaminants, could not be eliminated as causal or contributing to
the development of EMS. The serious nature of this disease
necessitates that caution be exercised."



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