Dr. Peter Bongiorno, ND, author of Holistic Therapies for Anxiety and Depression, is interviewed on the Anxiety Summit by host of the Anxiety Summit, Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.
Serotonin and anxiety: tryptophan, 5-HTP, serotonin syndrome and medication tapers
- What is the serotonin hypothesis and serotonin syndrome
- Concerns about tryptophan and kynurenine and neurotoxic quinolinic acid
- When to use tryptophan and when to use 5-HTP
- Working with a prescribing doctor to do a SSRI (and benzo) taper
- John’s Wort, saffron and venetron for anxiety and depression
- Hydrotherapy and hugs
Here are some snippets from our interview:
Here are some gems from our interview:
As far as St. John’s Wort I would honestly put that in a different category because St. John’s Wort is not just another type of serotonin enhancer or SSRI. It has many, many other activities. It supports the thyroid. It really helps digestion. It’s a good anti-inflammatory. It calms the nervous system. And it also supports other neurotransmitters too. So to me St. John’s Wort is more like a beautiful food that has these very pleiotropic effects and really helps the whole body kind of cope and gain resilience. Years ago St. John’s Wort was originally used to ward off evil spirits in olden times. And so it has a tremendous history of supporting people with mood and especially people who are very fatigued in the process and they can’t cope and they have no resilience. So I think St. John’s Wort is definitely more than just a serotonin enhancer.
We also cover carnitine:
One of the things I like to check is something called carnitine which is an amino acid which plays a role in how energy is carried in the body. And many women get much depleted in carnitine as they move through pregnancy through the trimesters. And that’s actually quite safe to take during pregnancy and I’ve seen that be very, very helpful in women with mood issues either during pregnancy or postpartum. And there are plenty of studies that show the safety of carnitine. So that’s one of the things I definitely like to look at along with taking some magnesium which is also safe during pregnancy.
We discuss medication tapers of SSRIs:
And the weaning process would have to be different for everyone. Some patients who have been on some of these mood altering medications for many years you can’t just wean off quickly. You have to go exceedingly slow. And depending on how they do then we can support their brain and their body with more nutrients to help that process go as easily as possible and minimize any kind of withdrawal effect. The body will tell us what to do as we go along. But again the most important thing is that we really establish all the basics and that they’re in the healthiest place possible. Because if those aren’t there, if a patient just gets off the medication and we haven’t really done anything to change the underlying reasons why they got to the place where they had the mood issue. In most cases they’re going to go back there again.
Here are two of Dr. Bongiorno’s books:
And his most recent book: Put Anxiety Behind You
Here is his digital gift: 10 Ways to Balance Serotonin Naturally http://www.drpeterbongiorno.com/serotonin/
If you are not already registered for the Anxiety Summit you can get live access to the speakers of the day here: www.theAnxietySummit.com
Missed this interview or can’t listen live? Or want this and the other great interviews for your learning library? Purchase the MP3s or MP3s + transcripts and listen when it suits you.