5-Hydroxytryptophan or in short 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid that contributes to chemical processes that take place inside us. Amino acids have their role in the human body as protein synthesis and energy supply. 5-HTP is also an essential nutrient that participates in enhancing the production of serotonin.


A low serotonin level often is considered as the reason for various mental malaise such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, also some physical issues such as weight gain and other serious diseases. Therefore, by stimulating the production of serotonin, all those irritative troubles might diminish. Unfortunately, there are no sources of food hiding 5-HTP inside, except African shrub Griffonia simplicifolia seeds. However, our body uses another nutrient - tryptophan - for 5-HTP manufacturing and otherwise than the manufactured product, tryptophan occurs in some types of meat, milk and other foods.



Benefits of 5-HTP


1. Depression

At the beginning, you have already got to know 5-HTP as a serotonin promoter. So taking 5-HTP might be beneficial to your mental disorder treatment as anxiety or depression. Same goes with not so serious issues such as stress coping. For example, the research made in 2013 claims that patients who have faced the first episode of depression experienced alleviation of depression.


However, we have to emphasize the need to discuss with a professional about 5-HTP adding to your treatment, some combinations with other drugs can be riskier than you think.


2. Weight loss

The main reason why 5-HTP is put on the market today is its feature to help to get rid of unwanted kilograms. By using 5-HTP, your stomach will receive a fake message of fullness, thus suppressing appetite. Adding 5-HTP to your daily diet might cause less eating and desired results achievement. Going towards more severe issues, this supplement might help you to cope with certain diseases provoked by being overweight.


According to a 1998 study, 20 from 25 patients successfully reduced weight, because 5-HTP has decreased the daily energy intake by lowering carbohydrate. However, more fresh study have shown other findings - 5-HTP stimulates our brain when we see food and in such a way, shifts our focus from high-calorie foods.


3. Migraine

Another benefit unfolds in case of headache or Migraine as 5-HTP tends to reduce such pain. Even serious conditions might be fought with using 5-HTP supplements consistently. The theory says that Migraine appears at the same time when serotonin levels decrease. Patients with Migraine have noticed some changes regarding the duration and intensity of attacks, but not the frequency. Even so, the effect is undeniable.


4. Fibromyalgia

5-HTP supplement might be advantageous for the people who have to deal with musculoskeletal pain disease called Fibromyalgia. Such findings were made with reference to 5-HTP property boosting serotonin. The improved mood appears to have an impact on pain reduction. The study made in 2003 shows that 5-HTP does help people with Fibromyalgia.


5. Sleep

In the case of insomnia or sleeping malaise, 5-HTP might serve as well. Sleepy mode arrives from released hormone melatonin that has a connection with already mentioned serotonin. In fact, serotonin molecules produce melatonin, and after some converting process in the brain, we have those essential melatonin levels that regulate our sleep.


A lot of people have to cope with sleeping problems because of various wrong lifestyle conditions. You may read more about melatonin and sleeping issues here: WHAT IS MELATONIN? ALL SECRETS REVEALED. According to some research, people can combine 5-HTP with another nootropic for better effect. Some examinations claim that 5-HTP and GABA resulted in better sleeping quality and calmness.



Side Effects of 5-HTP

If you are planning to add 5-HTP supplement to your daily diet, be aware of possible side effects. Even if it is a rare case of them appearing, be prepared to recognise when it happens.

Among those side effects of 5-HTP were recorded nausea, diarrhoea, drowsiness, digestive issues, sexual dysfunction, also muscle or stomach pain. There is also a risk to experience reverse effects of supplement usage as those issues might get worse. However, mostly those side effects strike because of overdose or prolonged usage, for example, many conditions related to serotonin levels can occur as the cause of that, those conditions include anxiety, heart issues, obesity or shivering. So supervise yourself carefully and always follow the label.


According to some users, 5-HTP could cause EMS or eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, which is the name for inflammation in particular body parts such as lungs, muscles or skin. This supplement may also evoke blood-related issues. Do not take 5-HTP at least two weeks before any surgery.



Dosage of 5-HTP

We recommend not to take 5-HTP with other serotonin stimulants, especially antidepressants. Consult before starting to take this supplement if you are already taking or took in the past carbidopa. However, you should discuss it with your doctor if you are taking any other medication to avoid unwanted worsening. Moreover, for people with Down syndrome it is not recommended to take 5-HTP as it is linked to seizures.


According to studies, the daily dosage of 5-HTP varies from 50mg to 300mg. For adults with depression, dosage varies from 150mg to 800 mg daily, but only taking for 2-6 weeks. You should split the dosage and take it 2-3 times, depending on the doctor. But only for a mood boosting, daily dosage is 50-100 mg, the whole dosage should be also split and taken three times a day. For weight loss dosage varies between 250 mg and 300 mg, you should take it at least half of an hour before sleep. For Migraine - 100-200 mg (2-3 times), Fibromyalgia - 100 mg (3-4 times), and sleep - 100-300 mg at least an hour before bedtime. Bear in mind that these dosages are preliminary, the specific dosage depends only on your condition, physical parameters and so on. Hence, always consult your doctor.