L-5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a precursor to the chemical serotonin. It is a naturally occurring chemical by-product of the amino acid L-Tryptophan and its supplement form is created from the seeds of a plant found in Africa known as Griffonia Simplicifolia.
5-HTP gets to work within the brain by naturally increasing the production of Serotonin, a chemical which helps to stabilize our mood, improve our wellbeing and balances our sleep patterns. Serotonin levels naturally decline by age but outside factors such as stress can also have a drastically negative impact, therefore making it important to supplement.
Here are a few benefits of supplementing with 5-HTP:
Helps With Weight-Loss
Supplementing with 5-HTP has been found to help with weight loss as it is a very effective appetite suppressant, which causes us to consume fewer calories. This, combined with a naturally pleasant mood (lowered stress=reduced cortisol) creates a favorable environment for fat-loss. 500-800mg daily have been taken in obese individuals to assist with fat loss.
Decreased levels of Serotonin have been linked to a higher possibility of clinical depression. Since 5-HTP raises Serotonin, it has been found to be a good alternative to many anti-depressant drugs, which can have their own negative side-effects. Take up to 300mg daily to combat depression.
When combined with GABA, 5-HTP reduces the time needed to fall asleep as it promotes a calm and a relaxed mental state, which improves the duration and quality of sleep. 300mg an hour before bed seems to be the most effective way to treat sleep disorders.
Improves Fibromyalgia Symptoms
A few studies have suggested that taking 100mg 3x daily improves the painful symptoms of Fibromyalgia. It was found to reduce the intensity of the pain, lower anxiety and reduce fatigue.
As always, if your conditions are serious or at an advanced stage, do not self-medicate. Always seek the opinion of a trusted professional and do a lot of your own research.