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. Here is everything you need to know about 5-HTP supplements.
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 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.
Some people may experience mild side effects with supplementing with high levels (over 350 mg daily) of 5-HTP. Possible 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 Fitore Nutrition Thought Calmer, which contains 100 mg of 5-HTP is manufactured in an FDA Registered Facility, is Good Manufacturing Practices certified (GMP), is a part of the National Products Association (NPA), as well as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Thought Calmer is one of the most science-backed stress relief supplements available today.
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