Authored by Athena Nagel
Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate mood, joy, and anxiety. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, and it is produced naturally by the body through a series of chemical reactions. The medicine was previously only available with a prescription. Companies have been selling 5-HTP capsules as a dietary supplement since 1995. Serotonin deficiency has been related to several behavioral and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideas, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). There are a few potential benefits to taking 5-HTP, and there is some evidence to back it up. They are promoting weight loss, aiding in the treatment of depression, and improving sleep quality.
Sleep: Animal models have been used in several studies on the health effects of 5-HTP and sleep. A 2018 study on fruit flies, mice, and rats looked at 5-HTP and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) effects. After inducing sleeplessness with caffeine, the researchers administered the GABA/5-HTP mixture. They discovered that the combination could induce sleep while also improving sleep quality and duration.
Obesity: According to research, 5-HTP may reduce eating behaviors, reduce caloric intake, and promote weight loss in obese people. It will make you feel fuller, which will cause you to eat less and lose weight. Weight loss facilitates the growth of hunger-stimulating hormones. Constant craving can seriously hinder long-term weight loss. 5-HTP can help to reduce appetite and aid weight loss by combatting these hunger-inducing hormones. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that 5-HTP can reduce stress- or depression-related overeating.
Fibromyalgia: Supplementing with 5-HTP can help with fibromyalgia symptoms, including bone and muscle pain and muscle fatigue. Fibromyalgia as a cause has yet to be identified, but it has been linked to low serotonin levels. Researchers have concluded that taking 5-HTP supplements to boost serotonin levels can benefit people who have fibromyalgia. Early research indicates that 5-HTP may reduce the number of tender points, anxiety, and pain intensity and improve sleep, fatigue, and morning stiffness. More research is required before a conclusion can be reached.
Alcoholism: According to preliminary research, 5-HTP may help with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. More research is needed before concluding anything.
Cerebral ataxia: 5-HTP has been shown to help some people with cerebellar ataxia who have difficulty standing or walking. Current evidence, however, is contradictory.
Diet sources: 5-HTP is not found in food. Tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make 5-HTP, is located in turkey, chicken, milk, potatoes, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnip and collard greens, and seaweed.
5-HTP is found in: 5-HTP is synthesized in the body from tryptophan or taken as a supplement. Extracts of the seeds of the African tree Griffonia simplicifolia are used to make supplements. 5-HTP can also be found in a variety of multivitamins and herbal supplements.
While no adverse side effects have been reported, individuals should consult with their doctor before taking 5-HTP capsules. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and those who are breastfeeding should seek medical advice before using these supplements. Many people who have medical issues should first consult with their doctor to determine any potential risks. If a person takes any other prescription drugs, such as antidepressants, they should consult a doctor because supplements can interfere with their work.