Why do antidepressants?

One reason they fail has to do with about the role of some specific ingredients necessary for neuronal function.

The first ingredient is L-tryptophan.  A person who is taking an antidepressant medication has to have a healthy balanced diet.

Key issue: He or she has to get enough protein in their diet.  Most depressed people eat too many carbohydrates.  If you are one of them, keep a diet log for 5 days. You are likely to see that you crave carbs, sweets, chocolate, and salt. And!  That you eat the foods you crave.

Solution: You need to get more protein with every meal.

But what happens if you get enough protein, but lack the HCL (hydrochloric) as people on proton pump inhibitors, hypothyroid people do, and many people over the age of 50 do? Well, you don’t break the protein down, and you don’t get enough tryptophan. What happens if you don’t have adequate pancreatic enzymes like proteases?

This is pretty common: again, you don’t break the protein down adequately.  Inadequate levels of L-tryptophan have been shown in many tryptophan depletion studies to increase treatment resistance.  What they have done is, in a double-blind fashion, take people who are responders [the medicine works for them] to SSRI’s [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and in a double-blind study, and eliminate L-tryptophan from the diet.  By the 6thday 60% have relapsed.  People who are on Buproprion do not relapse.  But if you remove L-tyrosine from their diet, they too relapse by the 6thday.  When you restore the tryptophan to their diet, they all recover their response. This study has been repeated many times.  So, you need adequate protein, adequate HCL, and adequate pancreatic enzymes.

Now, that is just how amino acids contribute to anti-depressant failure.  There are other physiological factors that play a role. Read my other blogs to find out more.

MillerHL: et al.: Clinical and biochemical effects of catecholamine depletion on antidepressant-induced remission of depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Vol.53( 2):117-128.
SpillmannMK. Et.al.; Tryptophan depletion in SSRI recovered depressed outpatients. Psychopharmacology (Berl)2001, May;155 (2):123-127