FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter July 2005
SSRI’s and TAAT
SSRI’s (and SNRI’s) have been well established in the medical community. In some patients they provide symptom relief for depression and anxiety related problems. However many patients fail to find the relief they are looking for on the meds, which may become ineffective over time even at higher doses. So let’s look at that issue.
SSRI’s block the reuptake of serotonin (SNRI’s block norepinephrine) from the synapse into the neuron allowing more serotonin to be available to bind with serotonin receptors. However, it is important to note that they do not add to the total serotonin supply in the body. Several studies have shown that SSRI functioning is dependent on serotonin stores in the body. In one study tryptophan (serotonin precurser) was removed dietarily from patients taking SSRI’s. Depressive symptoms worsened in that patient population.
So what is TAAT? TAAT stands for targeted amino acid therapy. As you can surmise from that last study, tryptophan supplementation in the form of 5 HT tryptophan can greatly enhance SSRI therapy. Other amino acids like tyrosine are used in the synthesis of epinephrine and norepinephrine, theanine helps with GABA which is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter. Different combinations of amino acids and herbs can help push different pathways of neurotransmitter synthesis.
SSRI and TAAT is a powerful combination in depression and anxiety. SSRI’s work to maintain increased synaptic neurotransmitter levels, while TAAT supplies amino acids for neurotransmitter synthesis thereby increasing supply.
Next month we will look at different testing that can help evaluate individual needs for amino acid and neurotransmitters.
Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith