5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a substance that the body produces from tryptophan (an important amino acid, that you get from food). After tryptophan is modified into 5-HTP, the substance is then modified into another substance named as serotonin (a neuro-transmitter, which relays signals among the brain cells). 5-HTP dietary products help increase serotonin amounts in the brain. Since serotonin makes it possible regulate the behavior and the mood, 5-HTP might have a good effect on mood, anxiety, appetite, pain sensation, and sleep.
5-HTP is certainly not found in the foods we consume, though tryptophan is. Consuming foods with tryptophan does not enhance 5-HTP amounts so much, however. As a nutritional supplement, 5-HTP is from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia.
Back in 1989, the existence of a toxin named Peak X was discovered in tryptophan products. Scientists believed that an break out of eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS, a really deadly disease that influences the blood, muscles, organs, and skin) can be tracked to the infected tryptophan, and the United States Food and Drug Administration removed all tryptophan products from the market. Now, Peak X have also been located in a few 5-HTP products, and there were some records of EMS connected with taking 5-HTP. Anyways, the amount of Peak X in 5-HTP wasn’t high enough to result in any ailments, except extremely high dosages of 5-HTP were taken. Due to this concern, you must consult to your doctor first before taking 5-HTP, and be sure you get the supplement from a trusted company.
5-HTP could help in treating a large variation of conditions associated to low serotonin levels, such as the following, but there isn’t much facts for any of these applications:
A few minor investigations show that 5-HTP might work along with some certain antidepressant drugs to cure individuals with slight to average depression. Including the type of antidepressants termed as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), including sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac), 5-HTP improves the amounts of serotonin in the brain. One review examined the special effects of 5-HTP to fluvoxamine (Luvox) in 63 individuals and learned that those who were provided 5-HTP did just together with those who obtain Luvox. They even had less side effects compared to the Luvox group. Still, these investigations were not enough to say for sure if 5-HTP is effective. Much more and greater investigations are needed.
Three surveys have recommended that 5-HTP could improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as anxiety, morning stiffness, fatigue, and pain. Most people having fibromyalgia acquire low amounts of serotonin, and physicians often suggest antidepressants. Since 5-HTP, the same as antidepressants, increases amounts of serotonin in the brain, it might work too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for all individuals with fibromyalgia, and more investigations are required to understand its effect.
In one research, individuals who took 5-HTP have gone asleep easier and slept more deeply compared to those who took sleeping pills. These researchers suggest 200 to 400 mg at bedtime to increase serotonin, but it would take 6 to 12 weeks to be fully efficient.
Migraines and Headaches
Antidepressants are often times recommended for headaches and migraine. Some surveys advise that high dosages of 5-HTP could help individuals with different types of headaches, such as migraines. Still, the explanation is confusing, with other surveys showing no effect.
Some minor researches have looked at whether 5-HTP could help individuals to lose weight. In a certain study, those who obtained 5-HTP had less calories, even though they were not attempting to have a diet, unlike those who took medicine. Experts believe that 5-HTP offered individuals to feel full (satiety) right after eating, so they consumed less.
A follow up survey, that reviewed 5-HTP to medicine during a non-diet and diet period, learned that those who received 5-HTP dropped about 2% of body weight throughout the non-diet period and the other 3% when they dieted. Those having medicine didn’t lose any weight. Though, dosages used in these research were high, and many individuals had nausea as the side effect. If you are extremely obese, talk to your doctor before buying any weight-loss product. Do not forget that you need to correct your eating and exercise programs to eliminate more than a few pounds.