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Cravings and Our Biochemistry

By April 16, 2011May 31st, 2020Moods and Hormones, Weight Loss

Testimony of the Day

A year ago I met Maria Emmerich for a health assessment and consultation. My main goal was to lose a few pounds. However, I had also been suffering from IBS, allergies, and many sinus infections over the past several years.Maria helped me change my diet and my life. She has a wealth of knowledge on how vitamins, chemicals and different foods can affect our metabolism, moods and energy levels. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to make a lifestyle change, lose weight and get healthier for good, not just temporarily on the latest fad diet. She has a wealth of information on her blog. The results will amaze you!

I have not had a sinus infection in 12 months and my IBS problems disappeared. No more allergy related eczema. And I lost weight (of course now gained being pregnant, but I’m smaller than I was with either of my previous pregnancies!). Feel free to ask me any questions. I highly encourage all of my friends to check out Maria’s books and websites if you are serious about getting healthy!” -Mary

Click HERE to start your journey to a keto-adapted diet!

Here is a small segment from my book Secrets to Controlling Your Weight Cravings and Mood:

Anxiety, depression, and obesity are issues I see every day with clients, each reinforcing the other. They don’t understand why they feel the way they do and want to “snap out of it.” Our brain biochemistry plays a huge part in our moods; which can drive us to unhealthy eating behaviors. A nutritional supplement called 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan) has been a miracle cure for my clients. According to scientist Michael Murray, N.D., “Numerous double-blind studies have shown 5-HTP to be as effective as antidepressant drugs, but it is better tolerated and is associated with fewer and much milder side effects. The body converts tryptophan, an amino acid (protein) found in food, into 5-HTP, which is used to make serotonin; an important brain chemical regulating mood, behavior, appetite, and sleep.”

In Europe, 5-HTP has been used for decades as a standard treatment for depression, sleep problems, weight loss, and other medical problems. It is now starting to be used in the USA. Scientific studies find that 5-HTP is a safe, natural way to increase the brain serotonin levels. Interestingly, 5-HTP has been found to produce results equal to or better than those of standard synthetic drugs used in the problems arising from serotonin deficiency or depression. Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of “5-HTP: Nature’s Serotonin Solution,” believes 5-HTP holds a great deal of promise. He states, “5-HTP helps control appetite, improve mood, and reduce anxiety.” Sounds good to me, sign me up!


Mood and sleep disorders are imbalances in monoamine neurotransmitters. Having low levels of serotonin is an acknowledged factor in depression, obesity, and anxiety. Serotonin is a monoamine compound, chemically related to amino acid derivatives such as 5-HTP. This supplement also increases levels of endorphins and many other neurotransmitters, which help decrease our recurrence of depression and low moods.

When levels of serotonin fall, your body senses starvation. To protect itself, your body starts to crave carbohydrates. Serotonin levels fall after you go too long without eating, and that encourages your body to start filling itself. People who use 5-HTP to keep their serotonin level up have more positive experience when dieting.

Dr. Oz’s book, “YOU! On a Diet,” had a six-week study of 5-HTP and dieters. The group of dieters using 5-HTP lost an average of 12 pounds, while a control group lost an average of four. Ninety percent of women taking at least 300mg of 5-HTP report satiety while on a diet.

Click HERE to find 5-HTP:  http://astore.amazon.com/marisnutran05-20/detail/B00029F5FO

NOTE: For some people l-tryptophan works better. If 5-HTP doesn’t work, try 1 to 5 grams of L-tryptophan: http://astore.amazon.com/marisnutran05-20/detail/B002R8IU4G

Fat Burning Tip:
Irony of Antidepressants:
Weight gain is a common side effect with many antidepressants and mood stabilizer medications. All antidepressants have the potential to cause weight gain; most people are unaware that weight gain is one of the most common side effects associated with Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Zyprexa, and many other behavioral drugs until it is too late. Ironically, this common side effect causes an increase in depression as it can seriously impact self-esteem. 5-HTP is a natural antidepressant that can actually help decrease cravings to assist in weight loss.

NOTE: Please talk to your doctor or nutritionist before starting any supplement regime.

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Fugal Family says:

    Do you find this dosage (200mg) is best?

  • Warne says:

    5-HTP increases the amount and availability of serotonin produced by the body that may produce positive effects on emotional well-being, appetite regulation, melatonin production and good night sleep.

  • Erin says:

    Can you take 5 HTP and GABA supplements at the same time?

  • Yes, 200mg to start. Some people need more and some need less.

    Yes, you can take GABA and 5-HTP together… Just as long as you aren’t taking prescription medication.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am taking synthtoid. Will HTP or GABA affect that? I know I need to wait 4 hrs. before taking supplements after I take my synthroid.

  • Yes, I have lots of clients who take synthroid as well as amino acid supplementation. The only issue is when you also take perscription anti anxiety or anti depressants.

    • Lyn says:

      Hello Maria ~
      Trying to help a friend. She is on 10 mg Propranolol for anxiety and 20 mg Citalopram.

      Information from Wikapedia:

      Propranolol (INN) is a sympatholytic non-selective beta blocker. Sympatholytics are used to treat hypertension, anxiety and panic. It was the first successful beta blocker developed.

      Citalopram (/sɪˈtælɵpræm/ or /saɪˈtælɵpræm/; brand names: Celexa, Cipramil) is an antidepressant drug of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It has U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to treat major depression.

      What happens if they take the l-tryptophan or 5HTP while on the prescriptions? How long should they be off of them before they can start the natural products?

      Thank you in advance if you are able to answer these questions. I will be referring her to your amazing website.

      • cemmerich says:

        You shouldn’t take those at the same time as those prescriptions. You could switch the too fairly quickly (within a day or so). 🙂

        • Lyn says:

          Thank you so much for your prompt reply! You are always so thoughtful about that.
          I will let her know. I just picked up some tryptophan for her from Nutri-Dyn, so it’s a good
          pharmaceutical grade. Thank you! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I tried to find this NOW brand with 200 mg 5-HTP and 100 mg L-tyrosine that you recommended in your book but the 200 mg 5-HTP comes with Glycine, Taurine and Inositol but not L-tyrosine. Is there a place you can get this product from? Or is it no longer available in that form?
    P.S. I don’t understand the profile question when I write a comment. So I just choose Anonymous.

  • Anonymous says:

    I gained about 12 pounds over the last 8 months while on an anti-depressant. I stopped taking it about a month ago and would like to try 5HTP but am worried about weight gain with this as well. I was on Wellbutrin which wasn’t supposed to cause weight gain; but did. At least that’s what I’m attributing it to because my diet and exercise hasn’t changed. As hard as I try I can’t seem to lose the extra weight and as you mentioned above it is leading to increased depression and lower self esteem. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks, T.S.

  • Amy says:

    My son is on Zoloft for his anxiety issues and I need him to gain weight…is 5-HTP better for him or should I keep him on Zoloft? His is 14 and weights 97 lbs. He is also on ADHD medication.

  • Joyfulskip says:

    Hi Maria,
    I was researching the supplements you recommend and came across the L – Tryptophan. However, in reading about it from you and from other sites I now see that if you are currently taking anti-depressants like pristiq and the ADHD med concerta (time released Ritalin) it is not recommended that I start taking the L – Tryptophan or the 5 HTP simultaneously with the Pristiq to see if they will work better for me or not.

    Then I noticed you saying that the switch from the anti-depressants to the L-Tryptophan could be done in as little as 1-2 days. So, would I just stop taking the Pristiq on the day I would start the L-Tryptophan, or how would I do it? I am nervous about the side effects of abruptly stopping the Pristiq for fear of my work day being affected if this doesn’t work for me too.

    I appreciate your help very much.
    Thank you,

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