MAO Inhibitors and 5-htp


Do you know anything about 5-HTP? it is 5-Hydroxytryptophan which is a precursor of serotonin. Friends with PD tell me it gives them more energy and I tried it and it did but then I did a little research and found it is very dangerous if you are taking MAO inhibitors.

What do you know?




There are potentially serious side effects associated with MAO inhibitors that can be triggered by the addition of any supplement or certain foods. I would certainly be very cautious in any decisions that you make with regard to supplements and diet and would recommend that you consult closely and regularly with your physician.

I am not in a position to address the specifics of your question for several reasons. First and foremost is that any decision hinges on the full complement of drugs, supplements and food that you ingest. Such decisions can involve very complicated analysis interactions and drug depletions. You do not list them – so there is no beginning point.
Second, I am not qualified to provide such an analysis! These decisions involve extensive information about side effects and drug depletions. I suggest that you seek out a consultation with a nutritional counselor. We refer clients who have questions like yours to get consultations with Compounding Pharmacists Randy Mentzer here in Olympia, Washington. Randy offers long distance consultations for people currently experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

I can report that 5-HTP does not float to the top in the list of supplements that help people who currently experience Parkinson’s symptoms. If the issue turns on needing an energy boost, the best place to focus your attention is on nourishing the mitochondria (which occupy each cell and produce the ATP which gives us energy). Listen to my radio show with Randy Mentzer. One of the topics he covers in this show is how to reverse low cellular energy. Possible remedies include N-Ribose, CoQ10 and oxygen.

May your energy return quickly and effortless whatever choice you make

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
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