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Also known as: 5-Hydroxytryptophan

5-HTP is the precursor to neurotransmitter serotonin. It is a safe and easy product used to increase brain serotonin levels which lead to improved sleep, reduced stress, and increased mood.

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What Is It?

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan is derived from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia, an African plant from Africa. It is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor within the human body. 5-HTP is popularly sold over the counter to help people improve quality of life, and it has been used by athletes to increase their recovery by helping them sleep better and suppressing their appetite

What Does It Do?

5-HTP affects the central nervous system (CNS) and brain by increasing serotonin production. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter involved in numerous physiological processes including sleep, appetite, pain sensation, body temperature, and many more. Supplementation with 5-HTP has also been documented lift mood, lower anxiety, and even alleviate symptoms of PMS for females.

Once ingested, 5-HTP is decarboxylated to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) by the enzyme aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase in conjunction with vitamin B6 in the liver and nervous tissue. 5-HTP easily crosses the blood-brain barrier,where it begins the conversion to serotonin and proceeds to be utilized by the body.

Sources of 5-HTP

Unfortunately, 5-HTP is not readily found in any food sources. Instead, the body uses thee amino acid tryptophan to make 5-HTP. Tryptophan, though, can be found in chicken, turkey,potatoes, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, milk, and even seaweed.

Supplemental forms of 5-HTP made from extracts of the seeds of the African tree Griffonia simplicifolia which are then incorporated into multi-vitamins and other herbal medicines.

Uses of 5-HTP

  • Improve Sleep Quality

  • Decrease time to induce sleep

  • Suppress Appetite

  • Relieve Stress

  • Decrease Anxiety

  • Alleviate Symptoms of Depression

  • Increase Satiety

How Much?

Although there is no optimal or clinically prescribed dose of 5-HTP, the general recommendation is 100-200mg at bedtime to improve sleep quality and to help relax before sleep.

Wrap Up

Whether you're looking to improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety or boost your mood, 5-HTP fits the bill. It's a multi-faceted supplement that's widely recognized to help ameliorate a number of common problems facing everyone.

One last note, due to 5-HTP's role in the production of serotonin, be careful if you take medications that increase levels of serotonin, as this can result in some adverse side effects.

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