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4.5 out of 5 stars23
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 June 2000
I've bought two books on 5-htp, this one and Ray Sahelian's. This is by far the most comprehensive and in depth. I recommend it to anyone that is interested in the details of how and why this works, and how and why additional supplements such as tyramine or phenylalanine will increase the effectiveness of 5-htp.
I've been interested in managing my own depression for a long time, and interested in such concepts as the "blood-brain barrier", and why certain amino acids must be eaten on an empty stomach to be effective. This book provides the detailed scientific knowledge, as well as the general usage guidelines. You can skip the science parts if you want, but it goes into significant detail to describe the different depression tests, and how 5-htp has performed on these tests compared to other antidepressants, to provide excellent evidence and reassurance of the realistic side-effect profile of 5-htp, as currently understood by the scientific and medical community. This book is a reference as well as an excellent practical guide, and introduces very complex material in a very soft and gentle way in its advice. It is very holistic in treating the subjects as an intersection of lifestyle and biology, and recommends lifestyle changes as appropriate as well, and is not about "pushing 5-htp" at all. A complete and thorough book. Thankyou Michael!
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on 19 September 1998
I had such a hard time falling asleep, accompanied by debilitating anxiety, until I read this book and started taking 5-HTP. My problem was so serious that I found I was sleeping with my eyes open (Ouch!) The very first night I took it, I slept like a baby. I was unable to take prescription sleep aids and anxiety drugs because of depression and other medical problems. I felt immediate relief with 5-HTP.
The scientific studies referenced in this book made be feel very comfortable in taking 5-HTP. They were written in an easily understandable format. The author basically drew a map of the path 5-HTP takes throughout the body. Well done Dr. Murray!
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on 13 June 2009
Michael Murray explains in a simple and clear way how 5HTP supplementation can help depression, sleep and eating disorders, and for migraine. The book was easy to read as a self help book for the lay person. Recommended.
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on 23 June 1998
This well-written and extremely interesting book is a must-read for anyone suffering from insomnia, carbohydrate cravings (which often lead to obesity), depressed moods, or migraines. All of these medical problems have been linked to lack of serotonin, a chemical that the human brain makes naturally, which plays a part in the ability to feel pleasure, feel satisfied after eating, and feel well rested. Dr. Murray introduces his reader to a naturally-derived serotonin booster, 5-HTP, which has had positive effects on obese, insomniac, and depressed patients in both medical studies and in his own patients, so far without the negative side effects associated with Prozac and fen-phen.
While I agree with Amazon's assessment that the in-depth neurobiology of Dr. Murray's book can be intimidating, I see that as more of an indication of his unwillingness to patronize his readers by omitting it because it's "too hard for us." I would actually greatly distrust anyone who advised me to introduce a new substance into my body without telling me exactly what effect it was going to have on me in great detail. Try not to be intimidated by all those Latin names and medical terms - Murray really does try to explain these very complicated concepts in layman's terms.
I also greatly respect Murray's holistic approach to curing depression and obesity - he is never satisfied with merely selling us a miracle pill that can cure all of the reader's health problems without any effort on his or her part in this book. In addition to detailing the positive effects of 5-HTP as a dietary supplement, he strongly emphasizes good nutrition, proper sleep and exercise, and having a positive attitude as well, which I find reassuring, given the number of crash-diet and snake-oil peddlers out there.
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on 23 July 2012
An informative read, but written in 1998 there is a real need for a new edition of this book (the latest is a reprint). Consequently the quoted research is old and though possibly still valid more recent studies may have been done which may be worth considering.
Current consensus seems to be that much lower doses of 5-HTP than those suggested in the book are effective. Also, recent writing recommends not taking St.John's Wort and 5-HTP together.
About the only likely side effect of taking 5-HTP mentioned in the book is gastric upset but there can be a range of others.
Also, the book focuses on users of 5-HTP in the US and an edition taking more of a World view would be good.
Definitely a book worth reading if you are considering taking 5-HTP but it may also be a good idea to look to more recent research on the internet.
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on 27 September 2011
I have not been sleeping well at all for the past few months, and thought I would try the herbal remedy 5-HTP but before I did, I purchased this book, and am so glad I did. After reading it I have purchased 5-HTP and they do everything it says in the book. When you don't sleep, you get anxious and feelings of depression can soon start to rear their ugly head. All this is covered so well in this book; I felt so grateful to Michael Murray for writing it in a way that can be easily understood. If you suffer from insomnia, anxiety and depression, PLEASE buy this book and complement it with the 5-HTP tablets, you will be a calmer, happier person, just like me!!
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on 29 December 1998
As a Doctor of Chiropractic I am always trying find natural alternatives to prescription drugs for my patients. It seems that most of the new patients that I see are taking an anti-deppressant. 5-HTP has helped many of them to come off of these drugs. Dr. Murray has done a very thorough job of educating the public about the benefit of 5-HTP.
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on 14 August 2013
Even though this book was written 13 years it is still relevant today. For a "lay person" it was a bit heavy going in some places but I understood what the author was saying and all the research and biology added weight to his theories.

I had quite a few "aha" moments when reading this book and have now ordered some 5-HTP and will see how it goes.
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on 19 July 1999
This is truely the greatest book I have read in a very long time. I feel it saved my life because it teaches you how to use 5-HTP instead of taking alot of drugs that have adverse side effects. I was taking Phen-fen when it was on the market. I was very fortunate in that I lost 90 lbs. and I did not develope the heart & lung disease. This is the closest I have come to the same way I was affected by Phen-fen but without the harsh & life-threatning side effects. I thank the Lord for this book. I now have a better understanding of my own body. I have read similar books but this was by far better in offering suggestions on how much 5-HTP to take for different problems.
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on 3 April 2011
This is excellent book containing all required info. about 5-HTP. I would recommend this book to everyone before he start taking 5-HTP .
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