Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

5-HTP quick review
Description: the intermediate metabolite of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan (LT) in the biosynthesis of serotonin.
Health benefits: used by the human body to make serotonin, helps raise serotonin levels in the brain, decreases fat and carbohydrate intake.

Sources & dosage: red meats, poultry, and seafood, cottage cheese, peanuts, cashews, and avocados.
Side effects : confusion, agitation, diaphoresis, tachycardia, myoclonus and hyperreflexia.
5-HTP 100 mg by Source Naturals
5-HTP is an intermediate in the natural conversion of the essential amino acid, tryptophan, to serotonin. Clinical studies have shown that 5-HTP increases the amount and availability of serotonin produced by the body. Source Naturals 5-HTP is naturally derived from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia. Source Naturals 5-HTP is manuafactured according to the highest pharmaceutical standards and uses only the best quality raw ingredients. Click here for more information.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the intermediate metabolite of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan in the biosynthesis of serotonin. 5-HTP is used by the human body to make serotonin, an important substance for normal nerve and brain function. The body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan (an essential amino acid) and converts it to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter (brain chemical). 5-HTP easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and effectively increases central nervous system (CNS) synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter, manufactured in the brain, that helps support mood and appetite balance, and sleep functions. Serotonin levels have been implicated in the regulation of sleep, depression, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

5-HTP functions, uses, and health benefits

5-hydroxytryptophan dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain, which may have a positive effect on functions and processes including sleep, mood, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. 5-HTP may be helpful in treating a wide variety of conditions related to low serotonin levels.

Low levels of serotonin in the brain can contribute to the development of depression. 5-HTP may be as effective as certain antidepressant drugs in treating individuals with mild to moderate depression. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, increased appetite and fatigue are all common symptoms and are all indicators of low serotonin levels. This occurs due to physical changes during this time that decrease the availability Serotonin. With 5-HTP, Serotonin levels can return to normal leading to the individual feeling normal again.

5-HTP has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce pain, stiffness, anxiety, and depression in individuals with fibromyalgia. Primary fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by general musculo-skeletal aching, multiple tender points, fatigue, morning stiffness, and sleep disturbances. Taking 5-HTP can generally improve or reduced these conditions.

Supplementation with tryptophan before bedtime can induce sleepiness and delay wake times. Decreasing serotonin levels in the brain disrupt normal sleep patterns. 5-hydroxytryptophan is able to promote sleep with out the drugged or hangover feelings associated with powerful sedatives. Melatonin also helps promote sleep and some of the increased serotonin produced by the body as a result of ingesting 5-HTP is converted directly into melatonin. Thus at least of the sleep inducing effects of 5-HTP is a result of increased melatonin levels.

5-hydroxytryptophan has been used successfully in the prevention of chronic headaches of various types, including migraine, tension headaches, and juvenile headaches. 5-HTP may be useful in the treatment of chronic headaches, which have been linked to low serotonin levels. Serotonin acts to constrict blood vessels and relieve pain. 5-HTP's effects on serotonin make it a valuable asset in preventing these types of headaches. 5-hydroxytryptophan reduces the frequency and severity of migraine headaches with fewer side effects than migraine headache drugs.

Supplementation with 5-hydroxytryptophan may decrease fat and carbohydrate intake by promoting a feeling of satiety (fullness). 5-HTP administration causes a significant increase in the hormone leptin. Leptin plays an imporant role in the regulation of appetite and other physiological processes, and various factors can alter leptin secretion. 5-HTP administration results in significant increases in insulin, corticosterone, and prolactin levels, and all of these hormones can increase leptin levels. 5-HTP can help prevent this dieting-associated decline in serotonin, thus enhancing weight loss.


Dietary sources of 5-hydroxytryptophan

5-HTP is not present in significant amounts in a typical diet. The human body manufactures 5-HTP from l-tryptophan, a natural amino acid found in most dietary proteins. 5-HTP can be obtained with the use of supplements, an amino acid that leads to its natural production, tryptophan, can be found in a number of food sources. These include red meats (beef, pork, lamb, and wild game), poultry (chicken and turkey), and seafood (tuna, salmon, halibut and shrimp), as well as cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, peanuts, cashews, and avocados. However, eating food that contains L-tryptophan does not significantly increase 5-HTP levels. The major dietary source of 5-HTP is the African plant Griffonia simplicfolia.


5-HTP dosage, intake

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) has not been established for glutathione. Dosage ranges from 50 to 600 milligrams daily. The amount depends on the purpose of using this supplement. People who have a proven glutathione deficiency may require administration of glutathione. The exact dose should be prescribed by a healthcare professional.


Glutathione deficiency

Follow the directions indicated on product packages and consult a qualified healthcare provider for advice. Initial dosage for 5-HTP is usually 50 mg three times per day with meals. Some patients may experience mild nausea when initiating treatment with 5-HTP, it is advisable to begin with 50 mg doses and titrate upward. For depression, 300 mg per day is often effective. For insomnia, a single 100-mg nighttime dose of 5-HTP was sufficient to improve the duration and depth of sleep in one placebo-controlled trial. For migraine headaches, amounts ranging from 400–600 mg per day have been shown to be effective at reducing the frequency and severity of attacks in most clinical trials. Appetite reduction and weight loss (averaging 11 pounds in 12 weeks) has occurred with amounts of 600–900 mg daily.


Toxicity, side effects, interactions, and contraindications

5-HTP may cause mild gastrointestinal disturbances including nausea, heartburn, flatulence, feelings of fullness, and rumbling sensations in some people. Large doses of 5-HTP may significantly increase serum levels of serotonin, and theoretically, this may result in the serotonin syndrome. Symptoms and signs of the serotonin syndrome, include confusion, agitation, diaphoresis, tachycardia, myoclonus and hyperreflexia. 5-HTP should not be taken with antidepressants, weight-control drugs, other serotonin-modifying agents, or substances known to cause liver damage, because in these cases 5-HTP may have excessive effects.