What is 5-HTP?
5-HTP, also known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is an amino acid the body naturally produces. The body uses 5-HTP to produce serotonin, our brain and body’s feel-good chemical. 5-HTP is naturally occurring in the body and is also derived from the seeds of an African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia, to be used in supplements. It was approved by the FDA as an over-the-counter supplement in 1995.
What are the benefits?
Many people take 5-HTP to receive benefits to their mental health, sleep quality, weight management, and other health issues.
Taking 5-HTP as a supplement increases serotonin levels in the body. As doctors have identified several medical conditions, including depression, as being linked to a lack of serotonin, getting extra doses of the natural chemical could be very beneficial for many people.
5-HTP produces serotonin, which can then be turned into melatonin. Melatonin is an important natural chemical that helps regulate sleep. Studies show supplementing with 5-HTP may make it easier to fall asleep, as well as enhance sleep quality and length. Studies have also shown 5-HTP to be effective in treating sleep disorders.
Some studies suggest that 5-HTP could encourage behaviors that support weight loss. Participants in the studies who took 5-HTP reported feeling more satisfied. One study showed those taking 5-HTP ate 435 fewer calories per day.
Anxiety & Panic disorders
Other studies suggest benefits in reducing panic and anxiety. This makes sense as doctors point to a lack of serotonin as playing a role in anxiety and panic.
Some studies suggest 5-HTP could possibly offer relief for those experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia. Although doctors do not currently know what causes fibromyalgia, low serotonin levels have been linked to the condition. Studies show taking 5-HTP may relieve fibromyalgia symptoms including muscle pain, sleep problems, fatigue and anxiety.
Having low serotonin levels is also linked to migraines and many studies have found 5-HTP may be an effective treatment. In one study of those who took 5-HTP daily for six months, 71% of the participants reported a reduced number of migraine headaches.
How does it work?
The body naturally produces serotonin through chemical steps, beginning with an amino acid, L-tryptophan. 5-HTP is one of the chemicals on the way from transforming L-tryptophan to serotonin. This means 5-HTP is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that helps create serotonin and it can now be taken as a supplement as well.
How can I get 5-HTP?
Although 5-HTP occurs naturally in the body, it cannot be found in foods. Manufacturers derive the supplement from seeds of the African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia.
ENP’s Mood Boost formula contains 5-HTP as well as other natural vitamins and minerals known to have mood-boosting properties. It has been specifically designed to encourage positive moods and increased mental focus.
“The Health Benefits of 5-HTP: For Sleep, Weight Loss, and Depression.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324025#overview.
Walle, Gavin Van De. “5 Science-Based Benefits of 5-HTP (Plus Dosage and Side Effects).” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-htp-benefits.