- 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP )is a herbal supplement, derived from the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia. It is a naturally occurring amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and serotonin. 5-HTP safely and effectively boosts serotonin levels and may offer benefit in conditions linked to low serotonin levels. In today’s busy world, low serotonin levels are becoming more common due to peoples increased stress, anxiety and poor diet. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of several processes within the brain including, depression, mood, emotions, sleep, appetite, anxiety, and memory.
What is 5-HTP used for?:
5-HTP has been used therapeutically for a wide range of conditions related to low serotonin levels in the brain. It is known to be the precursor (gets converted) to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Neurotransmitters are messenger molecules used by the nervous system to communicate with the rest of the body. Serotonin plays a major role in the regulation of important bodily functions like appetite, sleep and mood. 5-HTP also helps to relieve headaches, migraines and symptoms of fibromyalgia.
For many people, 5-HTP acts as an appetite suppressant by increasing levels of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin. 5-HTP also seems to specifically control carbohydrate cravings, by increasing serotonin levels.
There is strong amount of documents and studies supporting that 5-HTP is an excellent anti-depression agent. Studies indicated that like the class of anti-depressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), which includes fluoxetine, 5-HTP increases the levels of serotonin in the brain and was in fact quicker acting. Studies have compared the effects of 5-HTP to fluvoxamine and found that those who were given 5-HTP did just as well as those who received fluvoxamine. They also had fewer side effects than the fluvoxamine group. Since serotonin helps regulate mood and behaviour, 5-HTP may have a positive effect on mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensation.
Fibromyalgia known as chronic body wide pain is a common cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Studies have suggested that 5-HTP can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, anxiety, morning muscle stiffness and fatigue. Many people with Fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin and have been prescribed anti-depressants by doctors. Since 5-HTP, like anti-depressants, raises levels of serotonin in the brain, it is an excellent source to use.
Headaches , Migraines & Sleep:
For chronic headache or migraine sufferers, several clinical studies have shown that 5-HTP is very effective in the prevention of migraine and headaches. In addition, several clinical studies have shown 5-HTP to produce good results in promoting and maintaining sleep in normal subjects as well as those experiencing insomnia.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is involved in the regulation of several processes within the brain including, depression, mood, emotions, sleep, appetite, anxiety, and memory. Serotonin regulates these processes through pathways that connect to different brain regions. Because serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that affects a person’s mood, ability to sleep, energy level, like most other biological components, a proper balance must be struck between serotonin and tryptophan and other nutrients in the brain for optimum function.
What Causes Low Serotonin Levels?
There are many factors that can affect serotonin levels; lower levels can cause depression, fatigue, addictive behaviour, insomnia and a number of other problems. Some of the primary factors in lower serotonin can be stress, lack of sleep, inadequate exercise, anxiety and a hectic schedule are all factors that can greatly contribute to stress and severely lower the levels of serotonin. A healthy balanced diet, decreased exposure to sunlight, drugs and medications are also all factors that if not managed properly can lead to low levels of serotonin.
- Promotes healthy mood balance ; by raising low levels of serotonin
- Promotes and maintains sleep patterns
- An excellent natural anti-depressant
- Boosts the rate of serotonin synthesis in the brain
- Naturally sourced- isolated from a seed from an African plant(Griffonia simplicifolia)
- Relieves symptoms of fibromyalgia
- May help headache and migraine sufferers