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Big Thoughts are Free

The Authorized Biography of Milan Panic

Mark Axelrod

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Chapter 7. The Rise of ICN

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·7·

THE RISE OF ICN

The $200 Miracle: 1950s–1960s

Panić had already started the precursor to ICN in his garage as early as 1958. While some people might have been working on cars in their garage, Panić, in his spare time, was making 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan, which is often used as an anti-depressant (“5-Hydroxytryptophan,” n.d.). Not the sort of thing one might usually be producing in a garage.

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