Vitamin D defiency: treatment options

Patient

Q: I live in the North and my Vitamin D levels are very low (they have been checked) My doctor recommended I take 75 mg (x2) 5-HTP (L-5hydroxytryptophan) once a day. How much Vitamin D will be generated by taking this much 5 HTP? Is it better to take this precursor to Vitamin D or take the actual vitamin?

Doctor

A:    The 5HTP is a precursor of Serotonin which is a neurotransmitter, a brain chemical, involved in mood, behavior, appetite and sleep. It is said that helps to treat anxiety and also aids in weight loss. There are some research studies that 5 HTP had very good results treating depression. It is a known fact that in the very cold places, during the winter season, when the sun light is limited, some persons tend to get depression, maybe your doctor prescribed the 5HTP for this reason. On the other hand, Vitamin D deficiency can result from a variety of causes, including inadequate exposure to sunlight (this causes a deficiency in cutaneously synthesized vitamin D), malabsorption problems, lack of vitamin D in breast milk, ( this is for kids) and the effects of certain medications. What you can do to elevate your Vitamin D levels is:  take Vitamin D3 orally 5000 IU per day (this way you get Vitamin D from absortion at intestinal level), or you can buy an ultraviolet lamp (UV lamp or Sperti Lamp) to get at least 30 minutes a day of “sun light”(this way you get Vitamin D from the skin conversion).

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