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5-HTP is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan (an essential amino acid, which has to be obtained through the diet). After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, the chemical is then converted into another chemical called serotonin (a neurotransmitter, which relays signals between brain cells). 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation

5-HTP is derived from south african seed griffonia plant (recently popular botanical). More than 300mg daily could have contraindications especially if on antidepressants.

Studies support 5-HTP helps brain production of serotonin, helps combat depression and insomnia, helps stabilizes moods, helps child hyperactivity, may enhance growth hormone release, and even may reduce effects of nicotine.

5-HTP is an intermediate in the natural conversion of the essential amino acid, tryptophan to serotonin. Clinical studies have also shown that 5-HTP increases the amount and availability of serotonin produced. Tryptophan is found in high levels in turkey and is associated with sleepiness after eating turkey.

Serotonin, an important neurotransmitter responsible for anti-depression and feelings of well-being, is often inadequately produced or the associated receptor sites damaged from stress, trauma or “weak” genetics.

Brain serotonin is often also depleted with aging leading to depression. Prozac-like drugs are often prescribed to help relieve this age-related serotonin-dependent depression.

5-HTP may be helpful in treating a wide variety of conditions related to low serotonin levels, including the following:


Some small studies indicate that 5-HTP may be as effective as certain antidepressant drugs in treating individuals with mild-to-moderate depression. Like the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which includes fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), 5-HTP increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. One study compared the effects of 5-HTP to fluvoxamine (Luvox) in 63 people and found that those who were given 5-HTP did just as well as those who received the SSRI. In addition, those who took 5-HTP had fewer side effects than those who took Luvox. However, these studies were too small to say for sure if 5-HTP works; more and larger studies are needed.


Three studies have suggested that 5-HTP can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, anxiety, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Many people with fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin, and antidepressants are commonly prescribed. Since 5-HTP, like antidepressants, raises levels of serotonin in the brain, it may be effective as well. However, it does not work for all people with fibromyalgia, and more studies are needed to understand its effect.


In one study, people who took 5-HTP went to sleep quicker and experienced a deeper sleep than those who took placebo.

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 17, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    … we will need lots of bottles of 5-HTP for staff uploading all our Research database and creating [MORE] pages for each item!!!

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