- Supports healthy serotonin levels and healthy moods.
- Better balance and appetite management.
- Supports joint and muscle health.
5-HTP,or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is a naturally occurring amino acid that is converted by the body into serotonin. 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and increases central nervous system synthesis of serotonin—a neurotransmitter responsible for regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, and some cognitive functions including memory and learning.
Serotonin performs many vital functions for health and well being. When the walls of blood vessels are damaged, serotonin is released from the platelets to constrict the blood vessel and prevent hemorrhage. In the tissue of the intestine, serotonin acts as a stimulant to make the smooth muscle contract. And most famously, serotonin acts in the brain as a neurotransmitter that aids in the transmission of nerve impulses between synapses.
Serotonin helps regulates moods, memory, and other important functions. Serotonin affects deep sleep and appetite, and plays a significant role in mood regulation.
5-HTP also is suspected to be valuable in appetite management, since serotonin helps you stop eating after consuming an adequate amount of food. Low serotonin levels stimulate appetite control centers in the brain, resulting in strong cravings for carbohydrates in particular.
In research studies, 5-HTP supplementation has been shown to promote weight loss by increasing a sense of fullness, leading to fewer calories being consumed at meals.
- 5-HTP is generally well tolerated, but there is a risk of several side effects. Some of these are potentially serious, although most have been reported only rarely. It is recommended that 5-HTP be used only under the supervision of a qualified health care provider because of these potential risks.
- 5-HTP should not be used concurrently with any antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). 5-HTP should not be used within two weeks of discontinuing MAOIs.
- 5-HTP should not be used concurrently with serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonists, including naratriptan, sumatriptan and zolmitriptan, nor by those taking carbidopa (used for Parkinson's disease).
- 5-HTP should be avoided by those with ischemic heart disease, coronary heart spasm, uncontrolled hypertension, and any other significant cardiovascular disease.
- 5-HTP should be avoided by pregnant and nursing mothers.
- 5-HTP may cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, etc.