5-Hydrotryptophan, also know as 5-HTP is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. Your body uses 5-HTP to produce serotonin—a chemical that has a variety of functions in the human body. It is often referred to as the happy chemical because it contributes to overall well-being and happiness. In this article we discuss 5-HTP benefits as well as some 5-HTP side effects.
The positive benefits of 5-hydrotryptophan on the symptoms of depression has been extensively studied over the years. 5-hydrotryptophan supplements are thought to help treat depression as well as stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.
There have been several recent scientific studies done to determine whether 5-hydrotryptophan and tryptophan are move effective than a placebo in treating depression and whether or not they are safe to treat depressive disorders in adults—both young and old. The studies concluded that 5-HTP is much more effective than a placebo in treating depression and that both when taken together are more effective than when consumed alone.
It is estimated that roughly twelve percent of the American population—including children, suffer from migraines each year. Eighteen percent of American women, 6 percent of men, and 10 percent of children experience migraines on a yearly basis. The exact cause of migraines still tend to cause some disagreement, however, many researchers believe they are triggered by low serotonin levels.
One recent study that included 124 people compared the ability of 5-hydrotryptophan and methysergide, a common migraine medication, and found that supplementing with 5-HTP daily for six months prevented or at least significantly decreased the number of migraine attacks in nearly 72 percent of participants. Another similar but unrelated study that included 48 participants found that it produced a 70 percent decrease in headache frequency, compared to only an eleven percent decrease in the placebo group.
As mentioned earlier, 5-hydrotryptophan produces serotonin and serotonin can be converted into melatonin—a hormone naturally made by your body and is produced in the brain by the pineal gland and is also found in other areas including the eyes, gut, and bone marrow. Melatonin is oftentimes referred to as the "sleep hormone" because having and maintaining high levels of it can help you fall asleep and more importantly, stay asleep. For this reason, supplementing with 5-HTP may help promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body.
A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in eighteen patients with sleep disorders showed that a combination of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) "significantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep duration, and improved sleep quality."
5-HTP has shown the ability to increase feelings of fullness allowing you to eat less and thus lose weight. During weight loss or a weight loss journey, the production of hormones that make you feel hungry can increase making your weight loss unsustainable in the long-term. Fortunately, 5-HTP may counteract these hunger-inducing hormones, helping suppress your appetite, making it easier to lose weight. There have been numerous studies done to confirm these findings.
Taking 5-HTP supplements may improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by general weakness as well as muscle and bone pain. Although there is currently no known cause of fibromyalgia low levels of serotonin are associated with the condition.
Studies suggests that 5-HTP may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia including muscle pain and aches, sleep problems, anxiety, and fatigue. The following supplements may also be used with 5-HTP:
Some people may experience mild side effects with supplementing with high levels (over 350 mg daily) of 5-HTP. Possible 5-HTP side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. As noted by Healthline, "these side effects are dose-dependent—meaning they will get better or worse depending on the dose."
The overall consensus is that 5-HTP is effective with mild (if any) side effects. It pairs great with stress-relieving botanicals and is only needed is small doses to help reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, and aid in weight loss.
The recommended 5-HTP dosage recommendations range from 50 mg for mood enhancement to 300 mg for sleep and weight management.
When used for anxiety the recommended 5-HTP dosage amount slightly varies from 100-200 mg taken once or twice daily.
For depression, the recommended amount is relatively similar to anxiety; 100 mg - 200 mg once or twice daily.
Other common dosage amounts of 5-HTP include:
Thought Calmer contains 100 mg of 5-HTP and is manufactured in an FDA Registered Facility, is cGMP, and is a part of the National Products Association (NPA). Thought Calmer is an award-winning stress relief supplement with a mix of stress and anxiety-relieving botanicals like ashwagandha, l-theanine, rhodiola rosea, and magnesium citrate.
5-Hydrotryptophan, also know as 5-HTP is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. Your body uses 5-HTP to produce serotonin—a chemical that has a variety of functions in the human body. There are many 5-HTP benefits. These benefits include:
Some people may experience mild side effects with supplementing with high levels (over 350 mg daily) of 5-HTP. Possible 5-HTP side effects can include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. These side effects are dose-dependent, however.
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