You’ve learned that amino acids such as Tryptophan and 5-HTP can help improve emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
But how do you know which amino acid supplement is right for you?
And how much should you take?
The answer is an amino acid trial.
Which Supplement is Right for you?
Amino acids, along with vitamins, minerals and enzymes, make those neurotransmitters.
Supplementing with amino acids can have an immediate effect on moods in most cases.
Unfortunately, there is currently no lab test to tell you what your levels of neurotransmitters are in your brain.
The best tool we have is to analyze our symptoms.
We recommend our Stress Assessment Test, a quick tool that will help you determine which neurotransmitters may need support.
The test is a simple checklist of symptoms.
Once you take the test, you will receive an email with more information about the specific neurotransmitters that may need to be balanced.
That email will detail information about symptoms, causes, foods to support that neurotransmitter production, cofactors, steps to take, recommended amino acid supplements and underlying medical conditions that may derail your efforts.
How Much Should you Take?
That depends on you. An amino acid trial is the best way to determine your dose.
- Establish your scores from our Stress Assessment Test. There are 4 parts to the test. Be sure to complete them all and record your scores. If you forgot to write down your scores, just take it again.
- If your score triggered anything other than a thumbs up , this indicates a need for support with that neurotransmitter.
- Decide which neurotransmitter you would like to address first (Serotonin, Catecholamines, Endorphins, GABA).
- Do a trial with the amino acid that most resonates with you for that neurotransmitter.
- Open up the amino acid capsule on your tongue or chew it but don’t swallow for 1-2 minutes. Test only one amino acid at a time. If you are highly sensitive to supplements, just put a dab on your tongue, not the whole capsule.
- Rate yourself. Do you feel like your anxiety (or other symptom) has improved?
- If it was a big improvement, then you have found your supplement and your dose.
- If it was a small improvement, you may need to take the supplement twice a day, for example.
- If there was no improvement at all, you may want to trial a different supplement.
- If an amino acid supplement makes you feel unpleasant, take 1000 mg of Vitamin C as a short-term antidote.
- Give it about a week and adjust up or down, paying close attention to how you feel.
For more information about amino acid trials, check out “How to do an amino acid trial for anxiety” by Trudy Scott, CN.
In general, keep these guidelines in mind when supplementing with amino acids:
- Amino acids should be taken away from meals (except 5-HTP) which means 30 minutes before or 60 minutes after a meal.
- Try one new supplement at a time in your trial.
- Always work with your healthcare practitioner if you have a current illness.
- Certain amino acids should be avoided with patients with PKU, Cancer, Bipolar disorder, Thyroid disorders, Migraines, Asthma, High or Low Blood pressure.
- Consult with your prescribing physician if you are currently taking psychiatric medicines, particularly SSRIs and MAOIs.
- Review these amino acid precautions established by Julia Ross and reprinted by Trudy Scott, CN.
Trudy Scott, CN, is a well-known anxiety expert. In her book, The Anxiety Food Solution, she discusses these anxiety types in detail with recommendations for dosages.
Which Brand of Supplements is Best?
Choose high quality supplements. There IS is a big difference.
Remember that supplements are not regulated like drugs are by the government except for labeling (and nobody is checking the validity of labeling).
This means avoiding the local drugstore brands, Costco and other big box stores and grocery store brands.
If you choose to buy locally, go to a store that specializes in supplements, such as the Vitamin Shoppe.
Pharmaceutical-grade supplements are typically only available from healthcare practitioners (like me).
If you prefer to purchase high quality supplements online, Emerson Ecologics now has a discounted (up to 35% off) professional supplement site called Wellevate.
Contact me if you would like a free patient account with Wellevate. I do not benefit financially from this recommendation. I share it with you because it is an awesome service.
If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.
Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals. No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.