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What is 5-HTP? Why do we need it?
5-HTP is an amino acid that occurs in the body. The body
makes 5-HTP from tryptothan (an essential amino acid) and
coverts it to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. 5-HTP
supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain, which
may have a positive effect on many body functions.
5-HTP may be helpful in treating a wide variety of conditions
related to low serotonin levels. Studies suggest it as effective
as some antidepressant drugs in treating mild to moderate
depression, with patients reporting improvements in mood,
anxiety, insomnia, and physical symptoms.
5-HTP may also benefit fibromyalgia patients. The primary
cause of fibromyalgic pain is believed to come from low serotonin
levels. 5-HTP has been shown to increase tolerance to pain,
improve the quality of sleep, and relieve anxiety and depression
associated with fibromyalgia.
How much 5-HTP should I take?
Many health experts recommend between 50-100 milligrams of
5-HTP per day for most conditions. Certain conditions may
require higher doses; however, make sure to consult with your
health practitioner before taking more than 100 milligrams
What are some good sources of 5-HTP?
5-HTP is extracted from the seeds of griffonia simplicifolia,
an African plant. The extract is purified and sold in individual
supplements, or as part of a multivitamin. Dietary supplements
of 5-HTP should be manufactured to a purity level of at least
What can happen if I don't get enough
5-HTP is the immediate precursor of serotonin. A lack of
5-HTP can lead to lowered serotonin levels and associated
conditions such as depression, increased anxiety, moodiness
and sleep disorders.
What can happen if I take too much?
Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?
5-HTP can cause mild nausea and flatulence. If you have high
blood pressure or diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; and are
taking antidepressant drugs or selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors (SSRIs), make sure to consult your health care
provider first. 5-HTP should also not be given to children
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