One of the best things, so far, that has come to me from raving is the knowledge of a substance called 5-htp (aside from lots of good times and good friends). Basically, this is an amino acid that is a direct precursor to serotonin. If you have trouble synthesizing tryptophane into serotonin, a large number of low serotonin symptoms can occur. The most serious of them are migraine headaches, depression and fibromyalgia.
As soon as I started taking it, all of the physical and psychological ailments that ever afflicted me began to disappear. Within a month, my mood had stabilized to a happy glow, and all my arthritis symptoms had left me. In six months, I had begun to lose weight, rapidly. And now my self-perception and confidence are at all-time highs. This change in me was so profound that my boss was compelled to call me into her office and request that whatever I had done to instigate it, I should continue.
I was first turned on to this substance by a wonderful woman, and fellow raver. She had heard of people using it to recover from the effects of Ecstasy. I did some investigation [starting at the above links] and began taking it immediately. At first I bought it at GNC and Rite-Aid, but then, I discovered iherb.com and started saving some money on it. Now, I can so easily afford it's beneficial effects on me, and on rollers, that I carry a supply to share at parties.
Update (may 2005):|
I've recently been doing some more investigation,and I think that I know what caused my serotonin deficiency in the first place: Iodine deficiency.
Here's how it works: Iodine is one of the substances the body stores in great quantity. It can hold up to 8 grams but only uses about 150 micrograms or 0.15 milligrams or 0.00015 grams a day. One of the things iodine does is regulate the thyroid. Too much iodine can cause it to become hyperactive (rare), too little can cause hypothyroidism. In this case, the body becomes cold intolerant, stores fat readily, basically is constantly bracing itself for a really bad winter.
One of the side effects of this is the production of the hormone T3 stops. When T3 stops, the body is incapable of producing Tryptophane Hydroxylase - the necessary ingredient for converting Tryptophane into 5-htp. And as we already know, no 5-htp, no serotonin.
When I was in Jr high, my father had his 7th heart attack. The doctor put him on a diet that utterly eliminated iodine (by accident): no SALT, no eggs, no seafood. My mother put me on the same diet as him to help us all "be healthier". Dad snuck Salmon into his diet because he loved it. I hated the taste and didn't get the Iodine boost from it. His diet became my loss of all dietary Iodine.
I have since started cooking with salt again (first time in 20 years), supplementing with one of the few vitamins that contain Iodine, but not Tin (linked to alzheimers), and checking myself regularly with Topical Iodine. Iodine tincture is commonly used in first ai