Despite the ups and downs of my cycles, for the most part, I’m so much healthier than I’ve ever been. And with this latest cycle, I’ve had two days of Meh, followed by feeling good. Period still hasn’t started yet, but I anticipate its arrival at any time now. (Of course, it could wait until next week at the writing marathon, but I think it will arrive before then, based on how I’m currently feeling.)

Anyway – so I decided that it was finally time to see if I could take fewer pills. Not prescription stuff, but supplements. I’m only going to decrease one supplement at a time, making sure of the effects before trying the next.

I started with the 5-HTP. 5-HTP is a pre-cursor to serotonin. 5-HTP acts as an anti-depressant by giving your body more of what it needs to make the happy chemicals.

IF your brain can make serotonin, but just doesn’t make it in adequate amounts, 5-HTP can be really effective. If your brain has problems making serotonin, 5-HTP will not help you at all.

I found myself getting depressed back in 2005-2006. Thought I’d try the 5-HTP, as I personally know two people for whom it works miracles.

That was the right choice for me. It really helped. However, sometime around 2008 I found myself getting depressed again. I upped my dosage to 2 pills. I’ve been taking 2 pills every morning ever since.

Two weeks ago, I halved my dosage of 5-HTP, from 2 to 1. It took four to five days for my body to stabilize. Then I realized that I was still really happy. I didn’t need the extra 5-HTP.

In a month’s time, I plan on completely eliminating the 5-HTP. I will monitor myself closely, to make sure that I don’t need it. If I do need it, I’ll start taking it again.

The supplement that I’ll stop next will be the fish oil. I’ve already cut the amount of fish oil I take every day in half. Since I make sure to get a lot of fatty fish in my diet, chances are I can do without the fish oil. The last time I tried stopping it, I noticed an increase in inflammation right away. Since I’ve already halved the dose with no side effects, I figure I’ll be good there.

At this point, that’s it. Those are the only supplements that I want to eliminate. The others, when I test them, always come back “this makes you feel better.”

The only one I can’t really test is the Vitamin D. I take a large dose of vitamin D because at one point, I was having blood tests done every month to find the right dosage when we discovered that my bone density is lower than it should be. Which is when we discovered the vitamin D deficiency. (Calcium can only be absorbed by the body in the presence of vitamin D.)

After supplementing regularly with vitamin D, five years later, I had no more bone density loss. So I’ll just keep taking that one as it’s kind of complicated to test.

One warning note about supplements: the majority of supplements do NOT contain what they say that they do. Frequently, they’re full of junk that may actually harm you.

I always recommend the brand Thorne Research. This is the only supplement company that I’m aware of that manufactures its supplements in the same facility where it manufactures its pharmaceutical medications. In other words, it’s regulated. It’s more expensive. It’s also the purest forms of whatever it is that you take.

Some of the supplements I take have been truly game changing for me. Like the 5-HTP. The other is the desiccated liver. Anyone who’s met me knows that I’m a high energy person. The liver makes me more energetic all the way through the day. I would recommend it.

So what supplements do you take that you’d recommend?