Fenton reactions and OCD.

St John's Wort treatment (5x333mg pd) only became anti-OCD when ferrous fumarate was added.1. (2 to 5x14mg iron pd), suggesting radical releasing of serotonin was crucial, as on MAOIs.2. Gut Fenton reactions in the presence of free iron produce hydroxyl radicals, (carbonate radical anions around pH7 in the duodenum.3.), activating TRPA1 receptors, releasing serotonin and CCK. Replacement of ferrous fumarate (70mg iron pd) by equivalent amounts of ferrous sulfate did not change the cure. Change to ferrous gluconate (70mg iron pd) increased anti-OCD effects strikingly. This suggests the greater comparative amount of labile iron on ferrous gluconate improves the cure, (iron pd is the same), due to much greater Fenton radical induction.4. Resulting serotonin (and also possibly CCK) release leads to crucial vagal changes, which affect the hippocampus et al, bringing back greater "neural noise" and consequent ability to "change gear" mentally, both into default mode, and out to externals.


  1. Journal of Brief Ideas."Oxidative stress, MAOIs and OCD", "OCD, St John's Wort and Iron", "OCD, radicals and TRPA1 receptors".
  2. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research. 5(4):181, 8(4):185, 10(4):149.
  3. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 131: 1-6.
  4. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. 119:412.


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Published: 1 Dec, 2020

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