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    5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) can be converted to serotonin in the body. It is typically used for depression. It has less proof for sleeping disorders and stress and anxiety.

    5-HTP is a chemical by-product of the protein foundation L-tryptophan. It is produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant referred to as Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP operates in the brain and central nerve system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature level, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

    Given that 5-HTP increases serotonin levels, it is utilized for conditions in which serotonin is thought to play an important role. These consist of anxiety, stress and anxiety, and numerous other conditions, but there is no good scientific proof to support most of these uses. [1]


    5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) can be transformed to serotonin in the body. It is often used for depression. It has less evidence for insomnia and stress and anxiety.

    5-HTP is a chemical by-product of the protein foundation L-tryptophan. It is produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP works in the brain and main nerve system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can impact sleep, appetite, temperature level, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

    Because 5-HTP increases serotonin levels, it is used for conditions in which serotonin is thought to play a crucial function. These consist of anxiety, stress and anxiety, and many other conditions, but there is no good clinical proof to support the majority of these uses. [2]


    5-HTP is offered over the counter in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, hunger suppressant, and sleep aid. It is likewise marketed in many European nations for the indicator of major depression under the trade names Cincofarm, Levothym, Levotonine, Oxyfan, Telesol, Tript-OH, and Triptum.

    A 2002 evaluation concluded that although the data assessed suggests that 5-HTP is more reliable than placebo in the treatment of depression, the proof was insufficient to be definitive due to a lack of scientific information fulfilling the extensive requirements of the day. More and larger research studies using current approaches are needed to identify if 5-HTP is truly efficient in dealing with anxiety. In small, regulated trials 5-HTP has also been reported to augment the antidepressant effectiveness of the antidepressant clomipramine. A 2020 meta-analysis discovered oral 5-HTP supplementation had a large effect size on anxiety symptom severity. Nevertheless, the included studies were thought about reasonably weak and the approaches and treatment period varied between the seven research studies taken a look at.

    5-HTP is often taken by individuals boiling down from MDMA to relieve post-MDMA dysphoria. As 5-HTP is a required precursor for the brain to produce more serotonin, and MDMA utilize depletes an individual’s natural serotonin levels, it is thought that taking 5-HTP after taking in MDMA will accelerate serotonin production. DanceSafe claims that the anecdotal evidence is widespread and that the theory is physiologically sensible. Backing up this technique is research performed by Wang, et al. in 2007, which observed that MDMA-induced depletions of 5-HT (serotonin) were restored in rats after administration of 5-HTP, and recommended that this method might be medically helpful in abstinent MDMA users.

    At high dosages, or in mix with carbidopa, it has actually been used off-label to treat obesity (by promoting weight-loss).

    In clinical trials of different design, 5-HTP has actually likewise been reported to deal with fibromyalgia, myoclonus, migraine, and cerebellar ataxia. However, these scientific findings, as for all restorative findings with 5-HTP, are preliminary and need verification in bigger trials. [3]

    Science-Based Benefits of 5-HTP

    5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that your body naturally produces.

    Your body uses it to produce serotonin, a chemical messenger that sends signals between your afferent neuron.

    Low serotonin levels are connected with depression, stress and anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain and other illness.

    Therefore, increasing your body’s production of serotonin may have different benefits.

    For this reason, serotonin-producing 5-HTP supplements have actually ended up being increasingly popular.

    Here are 5 prospective health advantages of 5-HTP, based upon science.

    It Can Aid Weight Reduction by Increasing Sensations of Fullness

    5-HTP might increase sensations of fullness, triggering you to consume less and drop weight.

    Weight-loss can increase the production of hormones that make you feel starving. These feelings of consistent cravings can make dropping weight unsustainable in the long term.

    5-HTP may neutralize these hunger-inducing hormones, working to suppress hunger and help you lose weight.

    In one research study, 20 individuals with diabetes were randomly designated to get either 5-HTP or a placebo for two weeks. The outcomes showed that those who received 5-HTP taken in approximately 435 less calories per day, compared to the placebo group.

    What’s more, 5-HTP primarily hindered the consumption of calories from carbohydrates, which was related to much better blood glucose control.

    Lots of other research studies have actually likewise found that 5-HTP increased feelings of fullness and aided weight loss in overweight or overweight individuals.

    Moreover, animal studies have actually shown that 5-HTP may reduce excessive food intake due to tension or anxiety.

    5-HTP is most likely effective at increasing sensations of fullness, which may assist you eat less and lose weight.

    Aids with Depression by Increasing Serotonin Levels

    The impacts of 5-HTP on signs of anxiety have been well studied.

    While the specific cause of depression is mainly unknown, some researchers believe that a serotonin imbalance may influence your mood in a manner that causes depression.

    5-HTP supplements are believed to treat anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.

    In fact, several small research studies have actually found that 5-HTP decreased symptoms of depression. Nevertheless, 2 of them did not utilize placebos for comparison, limiting the strength of their findings.

    Similarly, another analysis concluded that 5-HTP may help treat anxiety.

    However, much of the research recommends that the prospective antidepressive impacts of 5-HTP are stronger when combined with other substances or antidepressant medications, compared to when they are used alone.

    Additionally, numerous reviews conclude that additional, high-quality studies are needed prior to 5-HTP can be suggested as a treatment for depression.

    5-HTP supplements increase serotonin levels in your body, which might enhance symptoms of anxiety, particularly when used in mix with other antidepressant compounds or medications. Nonetheless, more research is required.

    Enhanced Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

    Supplementing with 5-HTP might enhance symptoms of fibromyalgia, a condition identified by muscle and bone pain, as well as basic weakness.

    There is presently no known cause of fibromyalgia, however low serotonin levels have actually been associated with the condition.

    This has led researchers to believe that increasing serotonin levels through 5-HTP supplements might benefit people with fibromyalgia.

    Undoubtedly, early evidence suggests that 5-HTP might improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, consisting of muscle discomfort, sleep problems, anxiety and tiredness.

    However, insufficient research has been conducted to draw any clear conclusions about the effectiveness of 5-HTP at improving fibromyalgia signs.

    5-HTP can enhance serotonin levels in your body, which might assist eliminate some symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, more research is needed.

    Might Help Reduce Migraine Frequency

    5-HTP is stated to aid with migraines, which are throbbing headaches that are often accompanied by queasiness or disturbed vision.

    While their specific cause is debated, some scientists think they are set off by low serotonin levels.

    One study in 124 individuals compared the capability of 5-HTP and methysergide, a common migraine medication, to prevent migraines.

    It discovered that supplementing with 5-HTP daily for six months avoided or significantly reduced the variety of migraine attacks in 71% of participants.

    In another study in 48 students, 5-HTP produced a 70% decline in headache frequency, compared to an 11% reduction in the placebo group.

    Similarly, numerous other research studies have found that 5-HTP may be an efficient treatment option for people with migraines.

    5-HTP may help you have less migraines by increasing your serotonin levels.

    Can Promote Sleep by Increasing Your Melatonin Production

    5-HTP produces serotonin, which can be converted into the hormone melatonin.

    melatonin plays an essential function in regulating sleep. Its levels begin to increase at night to promote sleep and fall in the early morning to help wake you up.

    Therefore, supplementing with 5-HTP might promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body.

    One human-based study revealed that a mix of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly decreased the time it took to go to sleep, increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality.

    GABA is a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation. Integrating it with 5-HTP likely has a synergistic result.

    In fact, several animal and insect research studies suggest that 5-HTP improves sleep quality and that the result is higher when integrated with GABA.

    While these results are appealing, the lack of human-based research studies makes it difficult to advise 5-HTP for improving sleep quality, particularly when it is used in isolation.

    5-HTP may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production, a crucial sleep-regulating hormone. [3]

    Struggling with unrequited love?

    Research studies have actually shown that 5-HTP can minimize anxiety and panic attacks. For some people, chronic anxiety attack are the outcome of low serotonin. Even for those with general sensations of stress, 5-HTP can be beneficial. One research study looked at the impacts of 5-HTP supplements in young people who did not struggle with depression but had high levels of romantic tension. Out of the 15 individuals, all experienced reduced anxiety after 6 weeks of taking 5-HTP.

    5-HTP can enhance your life

    5-HTP is an important supplement that can help enhance state of mind, regulate appetite, and manage discomfort. Speak to a doctor about how 5-HTP can enhance an individual’s quality of life. [4]

    Dangers and adverse effects

    The prospective dangers and side effects of 5-HTP vary among children, grownups, and individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

    In kids

    According to health professionals, 5-HTP is not safe for kids.

    In adults

    The possible negative effects of 5-HTP in adults consist of the below.

    Serotonin syndrome

    Serotonin syndrome is a life threateningTrusted Source emergency that happens when an individual has precariously high levels of serotonin in their brain. Signs of serotonin syndrome might consist of:.

    • confusion
    • stress and anxiety
    • muscle twitches or convulsions
    • sweating
    • shivering
    • diarrhea

    Serotonin syndrome typically takes place as a result of taking several serotonin-producing drugs. For instance, a person may establish the condition after taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor with one of the following:.

    • another antidepressant
    • 5-HTP
    • John’s wort

    Due to this danger, people who take antidepressants or other serotonin drugs ought to not take 5-HTP.

    Intestinal problems

    Some people report the following gastrointestinal symptoms after taking 5-HTP:.

    • heartburn
    • gas
    • rumbling experiences in the stomach
    • sensations of uncomfortable fullness
    • Heart and blood vessel problems

    Serotonin causes small blood vessels to narrow, which helps promote blood clot. And while this constricting can assist stop bleeding after an injury, it may increase the threat of harmful embolism in some people.

    People with a history of hypertension or other cardiovascular risk factors must consult with a physician before taking 5-HTP.


    Very high levels of serotonin in the blood may lead to osteoporosis, where the bones weaken, specifically in people with other danger aspects for the condition.

    Those with osteoporosis often do not experience any symptoms– the first indication is usually a broken bone following a small fall or another injury.

    A person who already has an osteoporosis medical diagnosis ought to talk with their physician prior to taking 5-HTP.

    Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome

    Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) is an uncommon disease that causes elevated levels of leukocyte called eosinophil in the body’s tissues. These raised levels can lead to the following signs:.

    • muscle discomfort, cramping, and weakness
    • skin rashes
    • breathing difficulties
    • fatigue

    Serious cases of EMS can cause multiple organ failure and death. EMS is the syndrome that resulted in the deaths of at least 30 individuals who took tryptophan supplements in 1989.

    A few individuals who have taken 5-HTP have actually given that reported symptoms of EMS.

    Overdose and toxicity

    Higher doses of 5-HTP increase the danger of severe side effects, consisting of overdose and organ failure.

    The FDA does not control supplements, meaning there may be significant distinctions in content and quality among batches and brands. This disparity increases the risk of overdose and poisoning.


    As with any supplement, it is possible to have an allergy to 5-HTP, while extreme allergies are possible however uncommon.

    Anyone who experiences signs of an extreme allergy, or anaphylaxis, after taking 5-HTP should look for emergency medical attention. These signs may include:.

    • skin rash or hives
    • swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
    • shortness of breath or problem breathing
    • stomach pain
    • abdominal cramps
    • vomiting or diarrhea
    • a feeling of impending doom
    • During pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Researchers have not adequately assessed the security of using 5-HTP when pregnant or breastfeeding. As a result, individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding must prevent taking this supplement. [5]

    How to take 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)?

    Use 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) exactly as directed on the label, or as recommended by your physician. Do not use in bigger or smaller sized quantities or for longer than recommended.

    When considering making use of natural supplements, seek the recommendations of your doctor. You may also think about speaking with a professional who is trained in using herbal/health supplements.

    If you choose to use 5-hydroxytryptophan, utilize it as directed on the package or as directed by your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

    Do not use different kinds (tablets, liquid, cast, teas, etc) of 5-hydroxytryptophan at the same time without medical recommendations. Utilizing various formulations together increases the threat of an overdose.

    Call your medical professional if the condition you are treating with 5-hydroxytryptophan does not enhance, or if it gets worse while utilizing this item.

    If you need surgery, stop taking 5-hydroxytryptophan a minimum of 2 weeks ahead of time.

    Store at space temperature level far from wetness and heat. [7]

    Possible Interactions

    If you are presently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use 5-HTP without first talking with your health care supplier.


    People who are taking antidepressant medications should not take 5-HTP without their company’s guidance. These medications might integrate with 5-HTP to trigger serotonin syndrome, a harmful condition including psychological changes, hot flashes, rapidly changing blood pressure and heart rate, and perhaps coma. Some antidepressant medications that can interact with 5-HTP include:.

    • SSRIs: Citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft)
    • Tricyclics: Amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), imipramine (Tofranil)
    • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Phenelzine, (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate)
    • Nefazodone (Serzone)
    • Carbidopa

    Taking 5-HTP with carbidopa, a medication used to deal with Parkinson illness, might cause a scleroderma-like health problem. Scleroderma is a condition where the skin becomes tough, thick, and swollen.

    Tramadol (Ultram)

    Tramadol, used for discomfort relief, and often prescribed for people with fibromyalgia, may raise serotonin levels too much if taken with 5-HTP. Serotonin syndrome has been reported in some individuals taking the two together.

    Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others)

    Taking 5-HTP with dextromethorphan, found in cough syrups, might cause serotonin levels to increase to dangerous levels, a condition called serotonin syndrome.

    Meperidine (Demerol)

    Taking 5-HTP with Demerol may cause serotonin levels to increase to dangerous levels, a condition called serotonin syndrome.

    Triptans (used to treat migraines)

    5-HTP can increase the danger of adverse effects, including serotonin syndrome, when taken with these medications:.

    • Naratriptan (Amerge)
    • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
    • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
    • Zolmitriptan (Zomig) [8]

    Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    5-HTP might cause low high blood pressure. Caution is advised in clients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.

    5-HTP might interfere with the method the body processes particular herbs or supplements using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high or too low in the blood. It may also modify the results that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.

    5-HTP may increase the amount of sleepiness brought on by some herbs or supplements.

    5-HTP may connect with Alpinia zerumbet, antianxiety representatives (such as St. John’s wort), anticancer representatives, antidepressants (consisting of monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs] and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs], anti-inflammatories, antiobesity representatives, anti-oxidants, antiseizure representatives, antipsychotics, cannabinoids, cholesterol-lowering agents, chromium, herbs that lower the seizure limit, hormone herbs and supplements, jujubosides from Ziziphus jujuba Mill. var. spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex H.F.Chow, L-tyrosine, magnesium, melatonin, niacin, painkillers, protein, SAMe, sedatives, serotonin receptor antagonists, spinosin, theanine, thyroid herbs and supplements, tryptophan, tryptophan-containing foods, or vitamin B6. [9]

    Can You Take 5-HTP While Pregnant?

    5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, is a chemical precursor to the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. It is developed by your body from tryptophan, a vital amino acid acquired from foods. You also can get 5-HTP from dietary supplements made from the seeds of the African tree Griffonia simplicifolia. Due to their function of raising serotonin levels, 5-HTP supplements often are used for depression. If you’re pregnant these supplements may not be safe for you to take. Speak with your medical professional before taking any dietary supplements, including 5-HTP.

    Both the University of Maryland Medical Center and MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, caution against taking 5-HTP during pregnancy, noting lack of evidence concerning 5-HTP’s security. In fact, MedlinePlus advises against taking 5-HTP no matter whether you’re pregnant. Other groups for whom taking 5-HTP supplements might be especially hazardous consist of nursing moms, kids, people with liver illness and those with Down syndrome. Taking 5-HTP with an antidepressant medication also is not recommended, as this drug combination can lead to a dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome. [10]


    5-HTP in the treatment of anxiety has actually languished for years. Intuitively, the capacity is remarkable, however from a practical level effectiveness is no much better than placebo. In review of the science, effective integration of 5-HTP into a client management plan is much more complicated than merely offering some 5-HTP in order to have more serotonin throughout the system.

    Administration of 5-HTP alone is contraindicated for depression and any procedure involving a catecholamine element due to its capability to help with depletion of these neurotransmitters. 5-HTP must be administered carefully in clients because depletion of dopamine and norepinephrine might intensify existing illness processes or speed up start of catecholamine-related problems.

    Administering serotonin or dopamine amino acid precursors ought to never include administration of only one amino acid. Improperly balanced amino acid precursors are associated with decreased efficacy, increased adverse effects, and exhaustion of the nondominant system. [11]



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