Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Will the Real St. John Please Stand Up?

Circumstances have led me to take three different brands of St. John’s Wort products – see below. If faulty memory serves this is the order of things. When I was blogging about notable increases in mood I was on Nature Made. When I ran out of that I went to the store and picked up the only thing I could find with SJW in it, the Nature’s Way product. I have no remarkable memory of the time during which I was taking this but I do know that it was during a few months that were especially stressful for other reasons. Now I’m on the store brand and generally maintaining. The sting of my lows is blunted a little bit and since it seems most like the Nature Made product I suppose this is the best that I’ll get from SJW. I’m tempted to pull receipts and actually compare the timeline to what I’ve reported here.

It’s frustrating that there is no regulation of herbal supplements here in the US – or at least that’s how I understand it. Having little basis for this conclusion I nevertheless assume that stems carry far less of whatever in SJW is effective than the leaves. But there is no requirement that products claiming to contain X amount of SJW carry the good bits or the bad bits.

I think that I’ll order the Nature Made again and see if I notice the change I did the first time I took it. But it appears that I’ve taken SJW about as far as it will go. I should try walking again

Nature Made – St. John’s Wort 75 Capsules
Supplement Facts
Serving Size 2 Capsules
Servings Per Container 37
Amount Per Serving
St. John’s Wort Aerial Parts Extract (Hypericum Perforatum) 300mg
Hypericin (by UV) 0.9 mg
Other Ingredients
Cellulose Gel, Gelatin (non-bovine), Maltodextrin, Stearic Acid, Magenissium Stearate, Tribasic Calcium, Phosphate, Water

Nature’s Way – Mood Aid with 5-HTP & St. John’s Wort
Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 Capsule
Servings Per Container 60
Amount Per Serving
Thiamin (as Thiamin HCI) 250 mcg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 284 mcg
Niacin ( as Niacinamide) 3.33 mcg
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCI) 330 mcg
Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin)1 mcg
St. John’s Wort extract (stem, leaf, flower)
0.3% dianthrones measured as hypercin 300 mg
Skullcap (stem, leaf, fruit) 100 mg
Korean Ginseng extract (root) 33 mg
L-5-Hydroxytryptophan 3 mg
Other Ingrediants: Gelatin (capsule), Millet, Magnesium Stearate

Store Brand – Natural St. John’s Wort
Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 Caplet
Amount Per Caplet
St. John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum) (aerial parts) Standardized extract (0.3% hypericin) 300 mg
Other Ingredients
Dicalcium Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Tricalcium Phosphate, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Hypromellose, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Polyethylene Glycol

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