5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid produced in your body and which leads to the production of serotonin, an important hormone for regulating your mood. 5-HTP is the short name for 5-Hydroxytryptophan. To produce the supplement, a naturally occurring substance derived from the seed pods of griffonia simplicifolia, a West African shrub, is used. It is fairly well known for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant and sleep aid. It is also marketed in many European countries for the indication of major depression.
This vital amino acid converts directly into serotonin in the brain and it replenishes and increases production of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for feelings of well being and satisfaction and for normal sleep patterns. It can be very helpful for people with chronic sleep disturbances.
This supplement has had many studies for over 30 years. In Europe, it has been used for treating for depression for decades. For some 5-HTP has been reported to work as good as some of the commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs for depression. It may be a natural way to accomplish the same results. Unlike traditional antidepressants, 5-HTP doesn’t have the unpleasant side effects that many of these drugs have, making it easier to tolerate. Serotonin has been shown to help ease withdrawals from alcohol and drugs and well as decreasing the need for them.
It has been shown to be effective in reducing many symptoms of Fibromyalgia, anxiety and panic attacks, obesity, chronic headaches, migraines, depression, insomnia and addictive behavior. It is also often recommended for reducing hot flashes in menopausal women and for relief of PMS symptoms. Serotonin plays an important role in controlling anger and aggression. As well, it is recognized as be an appetite suppressant, lessening carb, sugar and fat cravings, which may help in limiting your calorie intake.
For those with sleep issues, such as irregular sleep patterns or insufficient deep sleep, 5-HTP tends to have a calming effect and can improve quality of sleep, leaving you more well rested and refreshed.
It is recommended to take 5-HTP 30 mins before going to bed. Beneficial dosages start from 100 mg. Its effects can usually be felt within 10 to 30 mins. Always consult your healthcare provider before adding 5-HTP to your regimen.
Veronika – Medical Product Specialist