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5-HTP: Natural Brain Booster

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5 HTP for Mood Support

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytyrptophan) is a supplement that can be used for a variety of conditions. 5-HTP is a by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan and may help promote production of serotonin in the brain.

The body naturally makes 5-HTP from tryptophan and converts it to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is naturally produced in the body. Serotonin can help improve mood and also suppress hunger.

  • 5HTP Uses
    • Depression
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Migraines
    • Sleeping disorders
    • Weight loss and weight management
  • Interactions
    • If you are already taking an SSRI anti-depressant you should not take 5-HTP. Taking these two together can cause too great of an increase in serotonin. Talk with your physician before going off of an anti-depressant and before you begin taking 5-HTP.
  • Sources
    • You cannot get 5-HTP directly from food however the amino acid tryptophan (used by the body to make 5-HTP) can be found in milk, potatoes, chicken, turkey, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnips and seaweed.
  • Dosage
    • It is typically recommended that 50mg of 5-HTP be taken 1-3 times per day.
  • Side Effects
    • The development of Eosinophilic Myalgia Syndrome (EMS) has been associated with the usage of tryptophan. This is a serious condition that affects the blood, muscles, skin and organs. Symptoms can include acute pain, myalgias, neuropathy, tremors and peripheral edema. While this is a rare side effect it's important to be on the lookout for any of the associated symptoms.
    • Other mild side effects can include nausea, heartburn and gas.

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Quick Facts

  • 5-HTP is an amino acid, substances that build proteins in your body
  • 5-HTP is associated with serotonin, a brain chemical that influences mood, sleep, and pain
  • It is not found in food
  • Your body produces it from another amino acid, tryptophan, which can be found in many foods
  • However, eating foods with tryptophan may not have much effect on 5-HTP levels
  • Don't mix 5-HTP with antidepressants