View Full Version : Natural, nutritional, potentiators, precursors?


JAT137
05-27-13, 02:25 PM
I'm new to this site but so far find it to be heavy on the pharmaceuticals and not so interested in natural alternatives. Personally, I have found natural, nutritional potentiators and precursors which have enabled us to cut our meds more than in half, plus positively change mood, outlook and focus...

Dizfriz
05-27-13, 04:28 PM
I'm new to this site but so far find it to be heavy on the pharmaceuticals and not so interested in natural alternatives. Personally, I have found natural, nutritional potentiators and precursors which have enabled us to cut our meds more than in half, plus positively change mood, outlook and focus...

Perhaps it is because the alternate treatments have, for the most part, not been shown to be effective except for a relatively few individuals. For most they simply don't work.

As far as I know, the only one with any evidence behind it is Omega 3.

I am glad you have found something that seems to work for you but generally medication is the single most effective intervention and the forum tends to reflect this but there is a lot of discussion on this at times.

I think we would all love to see an effective treatment for ADHD that would reduce the need for medication but currently little seems to be consistently useful for this.

If you have something with good peer reviewed studies behind it, please share.

In any case, welcome aboard.

Dizfriz

Amtram
05-27-13, 08:37 PM
JAT137, the main reason we don't see as much success with supplements as we do with medications is that supplements are ingested, and the body treats them as food, first and foremost. Amino acids, especially, are components of nutrients, and as such, they are put to use as nutrients via the digestive system. What is not used is excreted for the most part, leaving very little to become a precursor of a neurotransmitter, even if it did manage to get converted by the body into a chemical that would cross the blood-brain barrier.

On top of that, few people have a problem with manufacturing more of any given neurotransmitter, so making even more of it does nothing to help the problem. For the most part, what happens is that the receiving end of the synapse stops accepting the neurotransmitter, and whatever additional amount is produced just sits in the gap and gets reabsorbed, doing nothing.

So. . .even if a few molecules of whatever supplement you're taking manage to bypass the digestive process, not get chemically linked with something along the way and turn into a different compound, pass the blood-brain barrier and maybe, just maybe, turn into a molecule or two of dopamine or norepinephrine or (least likely of all) serotonin, it won't do a thing if your receiving synapses are already rejecting the chemical you're producing naturally.

Pharmaceuticals are designed to bypass the digestive process and pass directly through the digestive tract unchanged (or, in some cases, processed during the elimination phase, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.) They are designed also to be small enough molecules that they can pass directly through the blood-brain barrier, and in many cases have an affinity for only one specific receptor out of the many that process each type of neurotransmitter. They don't require any special chemical interactions to do their jobs, and there are only a few things that will interfere with them doing their jobs.

Plus, what they do is open up the receiving ends of the synapses so that they can make use of the neurochemical that's produced - overriding that shutoff that's causing the problem in the first place. There are a limited number of medications that actually produce more of any given chemical, and those often affect the absorption of that same chemical as well, upping the effect.

Ergo, we have chemicals that are designed to do very specific things in the human brain, and many trials that show they perform that function pretty consistently. Then we have supplements, which need to have a whole chain of unpredictable things happen in order to do anything, which might not be the thing that needs to be done even if all those things happen. So one is going to be a treatment with highly predictable results, the other is going to be a game of chance.

And if you look at the scientific studies on amino acids and several other highly touted supplements, you're going to see that the amount you have to take in order to maybe, just maybe, notice a bit of a change, it's actually cheaper to go to the doctor and get a prescription. Possibly safer, too - the dose makes the poison, and you'd need humongous doses of these things.

dvdnvwls
05-28-13, 02:23 AM
"Natural" is a loaded word. There is more than one kind of natural-ness, and there is often dissimulation about which meaning of "natural" is being used.

There are only four kinds of pills: safe, effective, both, neither. When I take a pill, which of those four categories it belongs to is all that matters to me.