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The Genius Life
120: How to Boost Serotonin for Better Mood, Deeper Sleep, and Fewer Sugar Cravings | Michael Murray, ND
120: How to Boost Serotonin for Better Mood, Deeper Sleep, and Fewer Sugar Cravings | Michael Murray, ND

120: How to Boost Serotonin for Better Mood, Deeper Sleep, and Fewer Sugar Cravings | Michael Murray, ND

The Genius LifeGo to Podcast Page

Doctor Murray, Max Lugavere
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Jul 22, 2020
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What's Poppin family is episode 120 of the genius life?
What's going on? Everybody? Welcome to another episode of The Genius life. I'm your host Max Luke of you're a filmmaker health and science journalist. And the author of The New York Times best-selling book genius foods and the genius life. I am pumped to have you with me for this episode of the show in which I welcome. Dr. Michael Murray ND. Dr. Murray is one of the world's leading Authorities on natural medicine. He's published over 30 books featuring natural.
To health he is a very very very intelligent guy and I really enjoyed this chat and which we go deep into serotonin. It's one neurotransmitter that has its fingers in a lot of different pies in terms of your cognitive function your mood your cravings for certain foods your ability to sleep. Well, it really is a you know, it's a crucially important neurotransmitter. It's also often misunderstood and dr. Murray one of his books is
Called 5-HTP which stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan the natural way to overcome depression obesity. And insomnia. So you're going to discover how serotonin and specifically are not specifically but in particular its precursor molecule 5-HTP might be this underlying common denominator that links when it's depleted depression obesity and and it's on me. Oh, so that's it.
An amazing thing and he offers very actionable tips that you can use to potentially boost levels of serotonin in your brain for a myriad of different benefits whether you are looking to end sugar addiction carbohydrate Cravings to lose weight. It's really amazing. I mean, I definitely learned some really useful stuff over the course of my chat with dr. Mari. Also, we discuss very useful tactics for night shift workers to improve their health.
Is a big issue for people who work, you know, the graveyard shift. I talked a lot about the the you know, what circadian biology is telling us about health and I've written you know in my latest book The Genius life extensively on circadian biology and it's always difficult for me to answer questions that come from people who work the night shift. I just don't know how you know, I mean, it's it's obviously a problematic a lifestyle that can be problematic in some ways and light. Nope.
Ended of what we know about circadian rhythms and how they inform our health. So, dr. Murray actually has you covered in this next episode we talk about ways to improve your health and to sleep better if you happen to be a night shift worker. So there's going to be a lot here. It's a great chat and I can't wait for you to listen to it. Before we dive in this episode is sponsored by iherb. Iherb.com is a great site with a massive selection to fulfill any of your supplement needs. I often go to iherb and I stock up on way.
A protein which you know that I'm a fan of to boost my protein goals. It's a great place to get you know, any fish oil product that you might need stand-alone vitamin or mineral supplements. The prices are great. The shipping is fast. The selection is huge. In fact, you get free shipping for orders over $20, which is amazing. They offer 24/7 support and you know, they really do one thing. Well, you know a lot of these like a larger online retailers that are not specific.
Places that are not specifically aimed at you know offering healthy products. You don't actually know where they Source their supplements from their supplement could be sitting in a warehouse for months Gathering dust before they make their way over to you and with something like a fish oil that just doesn't sit well with me iherb on the other hand fast shipping Norma selection always great deals 24 hour support and also a great Education portal. They have a Blog. Dr. Murray actually the guests on this.
So it regularly blogs for iherb. And so, you know, it's a great place to learn about supplements and to pick them up as well. So check out I heard ihe are b.com. This episode is also brought to you by Teton Waters Ranch. I love Teton Waters Ranch their burgers are amazing. All their beef products are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished and their animals are humanely raised and that means you know that's important to me. I
really care about how the animals are treated makes me feel better about consuming meat because I love meat and all of the nutritional benefits that come from meat consumption which are significant. However, I also am an empathetic human being and I like knowing that the meat that I'm buying is coming from animals who were treated as kindly as possible and had ultimately only one bad day Teton Waters Ranch really goes the extra mile. They're hot dogs and their burgers are
And honestly, like when was the last time you ate a hotdog and felt good about it or felt good about feeding it to your family. So for any of my barbecue needs this summer, I'm turning to Teton Waters Ranch. They're great. And if you want to learn more about them, you can go to Teton Waters Ranch.com / Max and you can find them at all major retailers around the United States Albertsons Whole Foods. You name it? So look for Teutonic orders Ranch wherever you buy your meat.
Are y'all were seconds away from my chat with Michael Murray ND about all things serotonin and 5-HTP had a boost serotonin in your brain for better sleep for better mood for fewer Cravings really amazing chat. And yeah, I'm excited to listen to it. I just want to give a nice little thank-you to clam 1990. I tune you I didn't use our iTunes user Clementine ID who left this glowing review for the podcast on iTunes climb 1990 wrote hands down. My favorite podcast. Max is a rock star of
Alton longevity Community, I could not have more respect for Max because he focuses on actionable choices that will make a difference in your life and doesn't cut Corners with life hacks or goes down rabbit holes with conspiracy theories. He's always open to the varying viewpoints of his guests and doesn't let his predispositions tarnish the podcast while climb 1990. I'm so happy that you're picking up what I'm putting down. That means the world to me to all you guys out there. Thank you so much for spreading the word about the genius life for sharing about the show on your iTunes. I mean on your Instagram stories on Twitter.
Means the world to me and the show is growing like crazy. Thanks to you. So please keep it up. I'm also working hard on getting my video production up and running so that every podcast episode in the future will have a video component. So please go over to my YouTube channel youtube.com slash Max luthier and hit that subscribe button. Join my text message Community for all the latest breaking updates from the show by texting the word genius 2310 299.
940 1310 2999 401 and yeah, I look forward to connecting with you there and on YouTube on Instagram everywhere else. I just, you know love that you have chosen to make me a part of your health journey, and I'm indebted to you for that. So thank you and now without further Ado on with the show with dr. Michael Murray and D. Dr. Michael Murray. Thank you so much for being here on the podcast. I'm excited to have this conversation with you.
You well, thank you Max. It's pleasure. I think you might be the first doctor of naturopathic medicine that we've had on the show. I could be wrong. But okay first I guess for listeners like what and I'm just curious what is a doctor of naturopathic medicine like what distinguishes that credential from medical doctor? For example, well, yeah,
we're primary care physicians that have been been trained in the use of non drug therapies. We're also able to prescribe prescription drugs if needed.
But we would rather utilize nutrition dietary supplements lifestyle modification psychology and other non drug therapies, preferentially, and I myself and and licensed in the state of Washington and Arizona and there are nature pads in Most states in the in the country and if people want more information they can go to Nature of Pathak dot-org.
That's so cool. Yeah, I love the the preferential, you know choice to use natural means of treating symptoms without placing a stigma on pharmaceutical drugs. I think it's always a great first line of defense to to look into your diet and lifestyle. It's just like it's something that just is very, you know makes a lot of intuitive sense to me. Absolutely and if you think
about it, the best medicine is the medicine
Addresses the underlying cause and you know, we don't become depressed because we're deficient deficient and Prozac. We don't get a headache because we need Aspirin and we don't have arthritis because we're deficient in ibuprofen. So what nature Pathak positions try to do is determine the underlying factors that are contributing to a symptom and then address those symptoms through utilizing these safe and effective natural
therapies. It sounds a lot like functional medicine.
Osen is that is the exact number of
functional medicine is kind of an offshoot. It was a term coined by by Jeffrey Bland and Jeffrey was on the board of directors with me at it Bastyr for many years and bestir is where I went to school and then became a faculty member and now a serve on the Board of Regents
so cool. Well, I want to talk all about Sara.
Conan is a topic that you've written extensively about and yeah, I would love to just do a deep dive but let's start at Square One. What is serotonin? And why is it so important? Well, a serotonin is one of our
neurotransmitters which basically means a chemical that activates our brain cells and lower levels of Serotonin are associated with certain Behavior.
And feelings and mood States and so low levels of Serotonin are really a problem in North America today because of all the stress and dietary factors, but low serotonin is linked to not only depression and anxiety, but also craving of carbohydrates poor Sleep Quality obesity. Just there's a lot of things going on.
That aren't good when our brain serotonin levels are low.
Yeah that makes a lot of sense people might have heard of other neurotransmitters dopamine norepinephrine norepinephrine and serotonin really has its its hands in a lot of different pies in terms of your in terms of your cognitive function in terms of your mental health. Is that is that accurate?
Yeah, absolutely and many of the you know, popular drugs for depression and anxiety impact, you know serotonin and the thing is we don't have to utilize drugs to influence brain chemistry. We can do that through proper nutrition and the proper use of dietary
supplements. Yeah, you're one of your books is and you've written
Many books very impressive. One of your books is called 5-HTP the natural way to overcome depression obesity. And insomnia. So what is 5-HTP and its relationship to serotonin? Well,
5-HTP is the direct precursor to serotonin and what that means is the body is able to convert 5-HTP to serotonin. Another amino acid may be more familiar to people and that's tryptophan 5-HTP stands for five.
Hydroxy, tryptophan. So it's a tryptophan has been modified that conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP is the rate-limiting step to serotonin manufacturer meaning if that doesn't happen. You don't convert tryptophan to 5-HTP. You don't make serotonin. So taking 5-HTP bypasses that rate-limiting step and leads to immediate increase in serotonin levels and there are a lot of factors.
that influence that that that conversion to from tryptophan to 5-HTP things that block it include stress or excess cortisol loss of sensitivity to insulin nutrient and cofactor deficiencies things like magnesium B vitamins, and then hormonal imbalance is typically estrogen tends to lower that conversion and you know, we
We see many symptoms that are related to low serotonin levels occurred during the premenstrual time. Basically sleep disturbances irritability depression. Carbohydrate Cravings. These all reflect a lower serotonin levels. So 5-HTP can can really help women that are that are dealing with with premenstrual syndrome as well as
Any person dealing with a condition that's associated with low serotonin levels. And as you said I've written a whole book on this and I looked at every single study ever published on 5-HTP and it's very impressive how effective that this agent can be in helping people boost their not only their serotonin levels, but also their endorphin levels and I'm sure people have heard of endorphins. These are the feel good hormones that are produced in our
rain, and they're closely tied to serotonin levels and 5-HTP has been shown not only to boost serotonin but also endorphin levels so, you know, we're splitting hairs and we're trying to understand what benefits of 5-HTP or due to boosting serotonin or boosting endorphin levels, but the bottom line is that 5-HTP has been shown to be be quite useful and many of these conditions that are so
Shaded with with low levels of Serotonin depression carbohydrate Cravings headaches fibromyalgia, and and poor Sleep Quality.
Wow, so people so headaches could be associated with a with lower levels of 5-HTP.
Yeah lower levels of Serotonin or seen in both tension headaches and migraine headaches and 5-HTP research has been around for a long time. It was really the
it's kind of the predecessor to the development of many of the serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs, you know, like like Prozac and Zoloft. The challenge was is that you can't put a patent and make money off of 5-HTP. So that's why we have drug development. But if we look at the research, the research shows that 5-HTP is as effective as many of these drugs for
Those those applications that I just mentioned
that's fascinating. So people can I mean 5-HTP is easily available from supplement stores, like iherb? For example, I became first aware of 5-HTP because a lot of like Club goers will take it after a weekend of partying to I guess replete levels of Serotonin, you know, there's this idea that you know after a weekend of
Partying, for example, you you have sort of like a depletion of Serotonin. And so that's sort of how I first became aware of this supplement which is kind of interesting because it's a fairly, you know, complex pathway and I bet most people that take 5-HTP don't even know if I've HTTP stands for but nonetheless, it's pretty common among among younger people but it's funny because I don't even think that they truly understand why it is that why it is that they're taking it.
It's very interesting to hear you validated as a powerful way of boosting mood. We talked about different ways that we could support this rate limiting the rate limiting process of the conversion of tryptophane into 5-HTP, but let's start from I guess the first step and that is tryptophan. Where do people find tryptophan in their diets.
Well, hello, probably the most famous sources is Turkey right many people.
Believe that one of the reasons they get so tired after Thanksgiving dinner is because of the high tryptophan content of turkey. The reason why there's carbohydrate Cravings with tryptophan or should say serotonin insufficiencies, really interesting because we have tryptophan. Zweig.
Available in the diet. So most protein sources are going to have sufficient levels of tryptophan. We have we have tryptophan in in our blood. It's an amino acid. The challenge is getting it into the brain. So we have these these carrier sites that transfer amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein into the brain and there's a special carrier for
Up to fan that can that also transports other amino acids. So when we eat a high sugar meal then the muscle cells preferentially take up all of these competing amino acids, thereby increasing the ratio of tryptophan to all those other amino acids. And as a result, there's a big influx of tryptophan into the brain. So
This was really demonstrated in people with carbohydrate Cravings primarily young women with bulimia. So to answer your question, you know, one of the easiest ways it's not it's not the most ideal. But you know when you exercise when you improve the action of insulin Your Body by avoiding sugar we get better.
Effects in up taking all of those competing amino acids for the brain transport of tryptophan and better tryptophan penetration into the brain. So lifestyle is a big factor Max in terms of helping people boost their their serotonin production, and that's one of the benefits of exercise and it's one of the benefits of having good insulin sensitivity. Insulin.
Is a hormone that that helps the uptake of glucose into our cells when we develop insulin resistance, we develop type 2 diabetes. So we have basically sixty percent of the adult population either pre-diabetic or diabetic and so as a result, we have a real problem with low serotonin levels and in adults and it's kind of a downward spiral so
so I'm going I'm giving you a lot more information than you probably are asking but I'm trying to help people people understand that that they need to really employ a good health promoting lifestyle and eat a low glycemic load. I stay away from a lot of sugars because that will lead to insulin resistance and insulin resistance leads to low serotonin levels.
And we just talked about all of those factors that are linked to to a low serotonin carbohydrate Cravings obesity depression insomnia scattered thinking fibromyalgia headaches. So it really takes a comprehensive approach and we can bypass tryptophan and use 5-HTP to to boost serotonin levels.
And it's a good strategy that it's really secondary to utilizing a long-term
approach. Yeah, it's kind of paradoxical though because you mentioned that Sugar carbohydrates can actually increase tryptophans access to the brain, right? So then just make it really clear for listeners like the why then would you say it's probably better to avoid sugar sugary
Foods. So the the reason why that Sugar triggers the the the effect is because it
is a massive release of insulin so it's it's kind of like a sugar fix and it solves the problem of a low serotonin state for only a very short period of time and so it ends up contributing to the problem because if we're constantly looking for that Sugar fix it eventually leads to insulin resistance and then it's just
just it's just you're going to have that that low serotonin State almost all the time
also because insulin resistance tends to occur concurrently with inflammation, which can which can hinder serotonin production in the brain. So that's very interesting. So taking so taking 5-HTP then can bypass this whole thing what I mean. When would you recommend people
Supplementing with 5-HTP. I mean, is there something that you recommend to all your patients are like is it more case-by-case basis?
Well, I think it has great use and those conditions that are linked to two low serotonin levels particularly depression and I'd also recommend it or for weight loss particularly if people are they really crave carbohydrates they
Did a really interesting study and they're actually for studies that have been done with 5-HTP as a weight loss Aid. And with the interesting thing is that they selected women in Italy that were not consciously trying to lose weight. They wanted to see what effect 5-HTP Administration be 20 minutes before meals would have on calorie consumption and on their weight and what they found was that by
By taking 5-HTP 20 minutes before meals, they would reduce the significantly reduce the amount of pasta and bread consumed. Wow, and that that led to significant weight loss over a period of in the first month, but after 12 weeks in the in the 5-HTP group the average the average weight loss was 12 pounds. So that's pretty significant. That's a pattern.
No, it's a pound a week just by and again, these were women that weren't trying to lose weight you combine 5-HTP with exercise and health promoting diet. It's fewer in calories in a conscious effort to lose weight. I think the results can be even
better that is fascinating. So just to make it really clear. It's not that 5-HTP magically mates makes weight, you know, or fat melt off of you it it basically takes the place of what
You know of what you know that quick hit of carbohydrates does and so it could be it could be useful then to wean yourself off of your if you have carbohydrate Cravings if you're a sugar addict or even just if you're about to eat, you know, Emile it basically reduces the amount of energy that you require to feel satiated. Maybe
you said the right words satiated. 5-HTP is a satiety.
Promoting agent and so it promotes the feeling of satisfaction. And so it's you know, can these studies were done in in in women that weren't trying to lose weight and they weren't they were just taken either a placebo or 5-HTP and the amount of carbohydrates consumed per day was was significantly dropped. It was dropped by about a hundred grams a day.
That translated to about it translates to about 400 calories a day. So that's you know, that's that's going to lead to about pretty close to a pound a week. Like they noted in the trial.
Wow. Do you see mention that they took the they took the 582 be 20 minutes before the meal. Do you remember off the top of your head the dose but they were using
yeah, they used a little bit higher higher dosage with in the these these these studies. What I recommend is
Is I recommend that people begin with just 50 milligrams before before meals, and then after two weeks increase it two hundred milligrams and that usually is enough. It's kind of like flipping a light switch sometimes in these studies. They use a higher dose just to show an effect, you know, make you know, make sure that they're getting enough but we now know
That a hundred milligrams three times a day before, you know before meals 20 minutes before meals works very well for most people. So that's what I would recommend
fascinating it and the the effect of 5H of taking 5-HTP. Supplementally I would imagine is very transient.
You mean like you take it and the effects some of the effects just stopped working
as yeah. Yeah. We're that they just they work for a for like a you know on a more acute basis,
you know, it's interested. Yes the at the the there's some applications were that's true like in you know, we're talking about these studies that were done in in weight loss. These were six
Two in 12 weeks studies with some of these studies in headaches and what night it's all about, you know building the the level of serotonin in tissues. And so, you know, the effects are generally for some applications seen more gradual over time and they persist over a longer period of time because the serotonins not you know, the
Kind of like we have imagined a sponge, you know, his sponge is dry. You fill it with water. You know, it's going to hold on to that water as long as it can and that's what our cells do with the with the
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Trust me, you won't be disappointed and now back to the show. Is there any downside to taking 5-HTP supplemental? Supplementally? Is there a tolerance that occurs? Could you become dependent on it? Does it lead to you know, perhaps a dip in serotonin after taking it, you know, like sort of a withdrawal
effect. So yeah, so he asked you to quite a few there's let me take a one or two one at a time. There are some genetic disorders where where
where people have to be on 5-HTP their whole lives. So we have those people to provide some empirical evidence on on safety of long-term use for some applications particularly depression. Sometimes it seems like after a year or two. They people may need to boost their the levels of another amino acid called tyrosine. So
King-size some tyrosine along with 5-HTP can can re-establish its Effectiveness, but hopefully within a year or two people are taking the steps necessary to boost their own endogenous or self production of Serotonin. 5-HTP is very safe. It's been used in children, especially children with with migraines, and I think it's
Certainly safer than many of the drugs that are in use and it's something that is, you know natural to our body it it's something that we're just making sure we're providing enough of in order to produce this valuable hormone or neurotransmitter
serotonin. What role does light play in all this? I feel like serotonin is
A part of the conversation when it comes to you know, sunlight and getting outdoors and spending more time in nature. You're good Max.
You're you really you really looked into this? Yeah, so there's more to the story with serotonin and everybody's heard of melatonin. It's a compound that is produced in our brain. That's really critical to sleep. Well serotonin comes there is a precursor to melatonin.
So it's another step in that pathway. So if you're low in serotonin, you're going to be low in melatonin. And so that means you're going to have difficulty with sleep. And one of the things that we see in seasonal affective disorder is disruption in melatonin manufacture and secretion. So, yeah light therapy and and
Sunlight exposure are very important in helping the brain regulate melatonin secretion properly. And so 5-HTP has been used in the treatment of insomnia. It's as it Hance has Sleep Quality, which is a bit different than a lot of prescription sedative hypnotic drugs those drugs put people to sleep, but they don't allow.
Ow, people to achieve those deeper levels of sleep and that's really critical to repair Rejuvenation. It said our deepest levels of sleep that our immune system is functioning at its best or detoxification system is working at its best. So if we're not getting to those deeper levels of sleep it really impairs our overall health and that's what we're discovering about many of these sedative hypnotic drugs a sleeping pills sleeping pills, I think.
They're there in early path or their path to early death that's been shown. There was a researchers have looked at this and there's no question that these sleeping pills are really problematic and one of the reasons they're problematic as they don't allow people to really experience those deeper levels of sleep and 5-HTP on the other hand has been shown to
promote sleep and help people maintain sleep throughout the night and also spend more time in those deeper levels of sleep. So people wake up feeling refreshed and refiguring invigorated and ready to take on the day instead of waking up feeling drugged.
So 5-HTP as a sleep aid then I mean, what's the what's the protocol there? Would you take it before
bed you can and and it's
It is it is effective for that immediate serotonin boost by taking it just before bad, but you can also take it throughout the day and it doesn't cause daytime sleepiness. You can take 5-HTP throughout the day and it doesn't lead to daytime sleepiness. It it actually in the double blind studies. They showed that more people taking a placebo had
Daytime sleepiness the knows that we're taking the 5-HTP. So no significant side effects have been noted with 5-HTP other than if people are taking 5-HTP. It's very important that they take it in either a chewable tablet or a capsule that has been coated so it doesn't break down in the stomach if you take 5-HTP in a regular capsule or a tablet it is very
Irritating to the stomach and it can lead to pretty significant nausea. So in the studies where they used enteric-coated 5-HTP that's those are capsules or tablets have been coded so that they don't break down in the stomach that nausea didn't occur. But if you take 5-HTP and just a regular capsule or tablet it is going to make a lot of people
nauseous. Wow, so you can either like the best route.
Of I guess entry into your system would be sublingually or through an enteric coated pill of
sorts. Yeah, and it doesn't have to be sublingual. Just some of those those chewable tablets were worked very well and I like those a lot for sleep because if you take it in that chewable form, it gets to the it gets to the I think it gets to the brain. We've done some some work looking at this and it just seems that people
People respond better to that toolable form and I think it's because it's you know, if you've had it here, you're right there. You're really close to the brain. Yeah, it's you you to those up those tablets at five hdb. They're going to they're going to they're going to dissolve and you'll absorb that 5-HTP and it's very close to the brain right there.
One of the major hindrances to melatonin production. I think for many people is overexposure to artificial light at night.
Yes, so if you're taking 5-HTP at night and you're still you know, plugging your face in front of your you know, 50-something inch TV screen every single night that's is that is 5-HTP going to circumvent that or do the same rules still apply.
It's going to circumvent that to an extent something that I found and this is kind of a side note, but I think it's important because it's not out there a lot and this can really change the person's life many people suffer.
From what are termed sleep-wake cycle disorders. And so what does that mean? It means that they have a tough time staying awake during the day and then at night they sleep terribly the they're tossing and turning they're just not in getting a good night sleep well for that situation or for jet lag or anytime your sleep-wake cycle is disrupted. I recommend melatonin at night 325 milligrams.
And first thing in the morning or upon Awakening if your shift worker and all shift workers should be taking should be listening. You take 5-HTP before bed. And then you take a form of vitamin B12 called methyl cobalamin. You take 325 milligrams first thing upon arising methylcobalamin is bench. It's the active form of vitamin B12 and it's been shown to be very useful in some people with sleep-wake cycle disorders. I found in working with my patients.
It's that this combination is kind of a Magic Bullet for them and helping them have greater daytime alertness and sleep better at night. We've all seen some of our parents and grandparents as they've gotten older. They have a hard time staying awake watching a movie or reading a book and then they're tossing and turning or not sleeping. Well at night well in their brains aren't quite there during the day.
That's what happens when we don't get a good night's sleep. This can be so dramatic and improving everything about their lives because if you sleep better your world is better that you think of it Max think of a time in your life where you didn't get a good night sleep and think about how you felt think about your energy levels. Think about how the world look and think about how you interacted with people then think of a time where you had an abundance of energy because you just slept so darn good the night before and the world
Looks brighter you interact with people in a better way life is just better with a good night's sleep and many people in America haven't had a good night's sleep in decades and it's just it's really the path. I think for a better life it starts with with with getting a good night's sleep and 5-HTP can be an answer for many of those people.
Wow, your lips to God's ears. I mean, I couldn't agree more sleep is sacred. I feel like a I feel like
Not what I'm underslept the just the world takes on this tone. That's just uninviting. And you know, I feel like I'm not motivated and I make worse, you know, I make poor food choices, but when I'm slept I feel like I'm the king of the world the world is great. You know, I feel like a character in a Disney movie where I walk outside a cartoon bird flies over lands on my shoulder. Everything's great. But underslept I just feel ya miserable.
Yeah, and you know, we see it with our kids right? I mean if you
If you look at a kid that hasn't had a
nap or
haven't hasn't had a good night's sleep or is struggling. They're not they're not happy campers on the flip side, you know those babies that are well rested and had their naps their.
Joyful. Yeah. Well, I did you I mean what you the protocol first shift workers, I think was so crucial and I actually get asked a lot of questions.
Ins from shift workers because I you know, I often talk about the value of sleep and and I don't often have good answers for them. Like what people should do if they do happen to work jobs that require them to you know, be up at night. And so I just want to if you can just repeat that, you know, because because I think it's it was so useful so methylcobalamin, which is the you know more by oh, you know available form of B12 in the morning.
When then would you take the 5-HTP and then when would you take the Melatonin if you happen to be a shift worker?
We have your ship shift worker. I would go right to the to the Melatonin unless you're dealing with some of the other situations that are linked to low serotonin levels. If you if you're using 5-HTP for for weight loss depression carbohydrate Cravings, fibromyalgia headaches if you're taking 5-HTP.
You probably won't need the the Melatonin if you don't have any of those other issues and you're just a shift worker, then I would just take 3 to 5 milligrams of melatonin 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed. And I take the 325 milligrams of methyl cobalamin first thing upon
arising got it. So I'm imagining for a somebody who works a night shift. They're going to bed. I don't know run 7 a.m. Or something like that. So you would take
Take the Melatonin at that point right because your brain is not going to be producing it because it's light out, right you've just commuted home. So you've been sitting, you know in your car when the Sun is up. So your brains not make melatonin. So you'd say take the middle tone and go to bed. And then whatever it is that you wake up take the vitamin B12. And then when would you take the 5-HTP
then then if you're using it
so you don't necessarily need it here.
I didn't
take it 20 minutes and most of the time I recommend it 20 minutes before meals. So we take it on an empty stomach three times a day. I generally start out at 50 milligrams for the three times a day for the first two weeks and then go to a hundred milligrams. It's not necessary. A lot of times people just want to jump jump jump in and there's no risk to it. It's just for a lot of people that 50 milligrams is an effective dose.
Dose and they don't need to go they don't need to go higher again. It's like it's like turning on a light switch. You just trying to turn on that that light switch and boost some people just need a little boost and that serotonin to have that light switch turn on other people. They're going to need to take the higher dosage and they may need to take a little bit longer.
Wow, so you don't but you don't need the 5-HTP then it's basically the cocktail in general if you are a shift worker the B12 and the Melatonin
Yes, and why B12 again the beat
B12 that active form of B12 really shuts down a daytime brain melatonin production. And so we don't want if you if you look at melatonin secretion by the pineal gland in people that have sleep-wake cycle disorders or shift workers. It's it's disrupted and when you have melatonin being manufactured
Third and secreted in the brain during the day it leads to daytime sleepiness. And because it's being secreted in the not during the day at night. You haven't built up that that Reserve that Reservoir and it's at night like you were saying you're supposed to get this this this flood of melatonin, you know being being released in the brain to promote a good night's sleep and just doesn't happen because
The pool has been run dry due to do today time release.
Wow, and when it comes to vitamin B12 supplementation, a lot of I mean one of the things that we know is that you have to have a healthy gut really to to optimally absorb vitamin B12. Is there a I mean aside from the the methylated form of it, which you recommended any other tips to support B12 absorption.
Yeah, it's you know, for most people it's not not an issue all you know, by the way more and more people are becoming vegans and all vegans need to take B12. And I recommend this this particular form of B12 because it is the most active and all vegans should be taking at least a thousand micrograms or 1 milligram of this methyl cobalamin for this effect and sleep.
Cycle disorders the dosages are 325
milligrams. But if you're like, for example, one of the millions of people on acid blocking medications, don't you need stomach acid, you know adequate stomach acid, for example to absorb vitamin B12. If you're taking it in pill form.
Yeah, if if in the pill form to get it from our food, we have this intrinsic factor that secreted by the same cells that secrete acid. So there's that
at correlation, but at this high dose that were using you you're able to absorb that deep B12 through a process called diffusion. So it's kind of like when you're in one corner of a room and someone sprays a perfume bottle it eventually diffuses across the entire room with the higher concentration of B12 that we're taking in this in these supplemental forms. We absorb a small
Of that and that that absorption is enough to produce these these effects. So sublingual is best. Methylcobalamin is best and you know, as far as the B12 that we would get in other, you know supplements. We just need such a small amount for most people they would be able to absorb it through this process of diffusion without the need of hydrochloric acid.
Or even intrinsic
factor hmm good to know a question. I get asked a lot is in regard to mall tonin. It's whether or not it's safe for younger people to take especially children.
Yeah, the the latest data is absolutely and we're learning more and more about melatonin melatonin, even though we think of it as a brain chemical we make 400 times the amount of melatonin in our gut each day than we do.
Our brain and melatonin exerts significant benefits not only in the promotion of sleep, but also as an antioxidant is an is an aid to mitochondria which helped to produce cellular energy. Melatonin is gaining a lot of notoriety right now in this covid-19 pandemic because it it has an ability to enhance the immune response, but it also dampens what's called The cytokine Storm.
Warm so it can prevent the overactivity of the immune system that we're seeing in in certain viral infections. And then that there's actually two studies that are that are have just started with melatonin in the treatment of covid-19. And I expected to show some benefit. I don't think it'll be a Magic Bullet in the Panacea, but it will show some benefit
that is fascinating. Yeah. I mean just goes to show you like the restorative power and the healing power.
Sleep if you are trying to cheat sleep you're really cheating yourself.
Yes, yes, and you know you were mentioning younger people. They take it for granted but they're affected. If you look at the effects of sleep deprivation. A lot of those studies were done in college age students and the effects were really significant in terms of physical effects psychological effects effects on mood and just overall.
Quality of life that come with with just even minor sleep deprivation. So yeah, let's get a good night's sleep everybody for sure.
Well, we don't have a lot of time left. I want to give a shout out to iherb, which is the site that it's a great place to get, you know, any of your to fulfill any of your supplement needs. They are the company that linked you and I together and I'm so grateful that they did because this was a really enlightening conversation. Is there anything that I didn't ask you that you'd like to touch on before?
Before we go because I know that you have a you have a heart out in 10 minutes. Yeah. Well, I just want to encourage everybody
to utilize the information that's on I her by herb has great resources and I've written a number of blog articles and people can go to iherb.com and search not only find great products, but also find great information and I've written some some articles on 5-HTP. I've written articles on melatonin I've talked about
Sleep-wake cycle disorders. So yeah get to iherb not only for a great product selection but also for super good information on these use of these natural products.
That's awesome. And you know what? I like it's not like you're talking about supplements that are proprietary like as you mentioned 5-HTP is a natural compound melatonin is natural and you know that is to say that these can't be they can't be patented and so they're actually pretty inexpensive there.
Like very inexpensive ways of you know, trying, you know, they offer a way to self-treat, you know before you reach for you no more intense pharmaceutical treatment.
Yeah, and we're learning more and more max that we looted to this at the beginning. It just makes sense to utilize diet lifestyle psychological therapies the proper use of dietary supplements before jumping into something that can often.
Lead to more harm than good. And that's just the truth. When you look at the the side effects and the long-term effects of many of these drugs.
Yeah, I've written about the cholinesterase inhibitor drugs, you know, many take the a drug in that category to to fall asleep, you know, a lot of a lot of over the counter sleep aids fall under that category and they can dramatically increase your risk for dementia, you know, all kinds of bad stuff. So this is super
Super useful, I think I'm glad to now finally have an answer for people who work the night shift in terms of what they can do to you know, support their antioxidant systems to get quality sleep in a way that you know isn't really going to have any collateral side effects.
Exactly and I hope to speak to you again Max. I really appreciated
it. So damn, well where can listeners find you on social media? Yes. We're going to find your
books. Yeah, I would recommend everybody get to dr. Murray Dot.
Dio ctor mu are ra y.com or just done Dr. Murray.com again, I'd love them to get there to my site become part of my community. I put out by Weekly Newsletter on really important topics that people should know about things that can really dramatically improve their health or avoid, you know catastrophe so get to my website. Dr. Murray.com.
Lots of free resources on that site. So I look forward to seeing everybody there
love that in the last question that gets asked everybody on this show. What does it mean to you? Dr. Marty to live a genius
life genius lied to me it you know, I think it means to live a genius life would be to do really smart things and I was funny I first thing that came to my mind Max was someone asked me the other day. Do you ever eat anything?
I think bad and I said well if it's bad, I'm yeah, I'm not going to eat it. That wouldn't be smart. Now. It's every there's a lot of things that there are fine if we eat them in moderation and I keep that in mind but I think a genius life is one that's lived smartly and there's no greater evidence of that than living a life where you value your health you value your lifestyle you value your brain your liver your
your heart and you treat your body with the respect and love that. It deserves by being really loving and good to it. And if you do that, you'll get
rewarded here here couldn't agree more. What a great. What a great way to end the show. Thank you. Dr. Murray for being here to all you guys out there and podcast land. Thank you for your time and attention spread the word about this episode of the show. If you learn something, you know, share this episode on your social media tag doctor Mari tag myself. I'll repost it if I see it.
Text me to let me know what you thought about this episode of the show at 310 2999 401 and I will catch you on the next episode Peace.