5-HTP

5-HTP is needed by the body to make the brain chemical serotonin, from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. Serotonin appears to play significant roles in sleep, emotional moods, pain control, inflammation, intestinal peristalsis, and other body functions.

5-HTP is not present in significant amounts in food, however, L-tryptophan is found in most dietary proteins including meat, fish and dairy foods. 5-HTP levels are not significantly increased by eating more of these foods. Supplemental 5-HTP is naturally derived from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia, a West African medicinal plant.

What it does

  1. Depression & Anxiety: Disruptions in emotional well-being, including depression and anxiety, have been linked to serotonin imbalances in the brain.
  2. Inflammation control: People with fibromyalgia often have low serotonin levels in their blood. Supplements of 5-HTP may increase serotonin synthesis in these cases.
  3. Migraines: The cause of migraine headaches is related to abnormal serotonin function in blood vessels, and 5-HTP may help correct this abnormality.
  4. Insomnia: Insomnia has been associated with tryptophan deficiency in the tissues of the brain.

Potential Uses

Depression Insomnia Migraines
Fibromyalgia Tension Headache Weight loss and obesity
Seasonal Affective disorder Anxiety

Cautions

Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

5-HTP should not be taken with antidepressants, weight-control drugs, other serotonin-modifying agents, tramadol, or substances known to cause liver damage, because in these cases 5-HTP may have excessive effects.

People with liver disease may not be able to regulate 5-HTP adequately and those suffering from auto-immune diseases such as scleroderma may be more sensitive than others to 5-HTP. Do not take 5-HTP without first consulting your doctor.

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