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It’s believed that modern lifestyles and bad eating habits reduce serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, OCD or aggressive behaviours.
5-HTP is a nutritional supplement that can help increase serotonin levels (normally extracted from Griffonia Simplicifolia). It’s a natural supplement, safe and tolerated by most of people.
5-HTP is often used like a natural remedy in cases of overweight (diets), premenstrual syndrome, migraine, stress, anxiety, insomnia and addictive behaviours.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a dietary supplement to alleviate depression, improve sleep quality and enhance a relaxing state.
5-HTP supplements are used by millions of people like natural treatments to fight depression and insomnia as well as to lose weight and treat other health problems.
5-HTP increases serotonin synthesis in the brain and the central nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and 5-HTP is used to treat diseases or disorders in which serotonin plays a fundamental role, like fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes severe general body pain, excessive sensitivity, fatigue and cognitive Serotonin levels are so much beneficial for human health as it improves mood, stimulates a greater well-being, and it even suppresses appetite.
Clinical studies have shown that 5-HTP has several positive effects on serotonin related diseases (obesity, overweight, premenstrual syndrome, addictions, migraine and insomnia).
5-HTP Health benefits
5-HTP provides several health benefits:
- Alleviate depression symptoms
- Calming effect
- Fibromyalgia symptoms reduction
- Weight-loss diets support
- Improves sleep quality at night
- Reduces anxiety
- Increases serotonin synthesis
Does 5-HTP alleviate depression symptoms?
5-HTP does help alleviate depression symptoms. This is because 5-HTP increases serotonin concentration, which originates several health benefits and an optimal mood.
Clinical studies have shown that 5-HTP has many health benefits but it specially improves health. 15 different studies showed that half of patients with depression improved significantly after taking 5-HTP for 2-4 weeks.
These are the most common depression symptoms:
- Helplessness and lack of motivation.
- Anxiety, fears.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Loss of interest in normal activities or that the person used to enjoy before.
- Appetite loss.
- Fast/abnormal weight loss or gain
- Mood swings (anger, fear).
- Behavioral changes.
Other researches support that 5-HTP can be as efficient as conventional depression therapies with fluvoxamine (ISRS) and tricyclic antidepressants like clomipramine or imipramine.
5-HTP can provide the following benefits for your health:
- Alleviates depression symptoms
- Improves mood and sleep quality
5-HTP effects on sleep and anxiety
Very often, sleeping problems are linked to anxiety feelings and even, panic attacks. If you don't sleep well this will affect your mood.
Sleep, mood and your performance capacity are all conneceted.
If you sleep and rest properly, you will performe better throughout your day and be in a better mood. On the contrary, those who do not sleep properly, will decrease in their performance, and this on the long term will create problems, such as bad or irritable moods, etc.
5-HTP is very effective against insomnia and improves sleep quality quite considerably as it increases REM sleep duration.
A better sleeps means a better quality of life, better mood, well-being, appetite control, better memory, personal motivation, longevity, as well as a reduced tendency to suffer diseases.
Anxiety and panic disorder symptoms can be significantly reduced with 5-HTP.
Clinical researches have shown that 5-HTP produce significant improvements in patients with panic disorders.
5-HTP has a role in:
- Improving sleep quality
- Prolonging REM sleep.
- Reducing anxiety symptoms and sleep disorders.
- Enhancing calmness and serenity.
5-HTP and fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes severe pain, excessive sensitivity, fatigue, cognitive problems and emotional stress. The causes of fibromyalgia are not yet known, and there is no real “cure” yet, as the treatment is just focused on symptom alleviation.
There are scientific evidences that taking 5-HTP can significantly improve fibromyalgia symptoms, reducing pain, morning stiffness and insomnia.
5-HTP and it benefits for fibromyalgia
- Pain relief.
- Morning stiffness reduction.
- Improves sleep quality.
Who can benefit from 5-HTP?
5-HTP is useful in the following cases:
- If you suffer depression symptoms.
- If you tend to suffer depression episodes.
- If you’re having sleeping problems.
- If you’re often in a bad mood.
- If you’re looking for a natural way to control anxiety and panic.
- If you suffer fibromyalgia symptoms.
- If you’re looking a natural remedy to control your weight.
5-HTP, does it have side effects?
When taking 5-HTP according to the recommended dosage (50-400 mg), side effects are very unusual. On excessively high doses or taking it too fast, can cause heart palpitations, restlessness or hyperactivity, but taking the recommended dose, these side effects will not appear.
Among others, the side effects that can appear are: nausea, gastrointestinal symptoms (smooth intestine movements) and fatigue.
There is no scientific evidence of developing resistance or dependency to 5-HTP after a long-term intake.
5-HTP doesn’t provoke any abstinence syndrome if the treatment stops, unlike sleeping pills, for instance.
5-HTP combinations often contain vitamins, minerals and herbs to improve its effect. If you’re planning on taking 5-HTP, the following ingredients will enhance the effects:
5-HTP interaction with medication
5-HTP can interact with other medications because it stimulates serotonin generation and can react to other drugs that contain high amounts of serotonin.
People taking 5-HTP along with antidepressants can have a higher risk of developing a serotonin syndrome, which has been identified in in patients taking more than 1,200 mg of L-tryptophan and MAO inhibitors.
If you’re taking antidepressants, consult your doctor before taking 5-HTP.
5-HTP contraindications and warnings
You must not take 5-HTP if you’re in any of the following situations:
- During pregnancy or breastfeeding: if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as well as breastfeeding your baby, you must not take 5-HTP.
- In some people with Down Syndrome, 5-HTP can cause convulsions.
- Before having an operation. Consult your doctor before having surgery, as there might be some reaction with medications administered during a surgery operation.
If you’re not completely sure that 5-HTP is suitable for you, consult your doctor.
How much 5-HTP do you need?
As there are different products with 5-HTP, it’s recommended to always read the information on the label to know which dosage is good for you.
Many -HTP dietary supplements contain several vitamin, herbs and mineral blends. So it’s necessary to read the label information.
If you’ve started taking 5-HTP, it’s better to start with a low dose and see how your body reacts for a few days. You should also know that you have to take 5-HTP half an hour before eating.
If you still have doubts about how to take 5-HTP, consult your doctor first.
Which foods contain 5-HTP?
The foods that we eat don’t contain 5-HTP. The body contains 5-HTP from L-tryptophan amino acid, which is found in protein rich protein foods. However, the fact of having more protein rich foods does not increase significantly the amount of 5-HTP in the organism.
5-HTP is found in the seeds of Griffonia Simplicifolia, from which it’s extracted.
If you decide to start taking 5-HTP, make sure that the product contain Griffonia Simplicifolia extract, and avoid supplements with caking agents, fillers or additives. Some 5-HTP products contain manufacturing traces, so it’s recommended to choose trusted brands.
Why should you take 5-HTP?
5-HTP is used as a dietary supplement with the purpose to increase serotonin synthesis capacity.
Research has proved 5-HTP benefits in the following cases:
- Fight depression symptoms.
- Get a healthy sleep.
- Improve sleep quality.
- Improve mood.
- Anxiety and panic reduction.
- Alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Help weight-loss.