5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical manufactured by the body from tryptophan, an amino acid found in chicken, turkey, pumpkins, sunflower seeds, turnips, collard greens, milk, and potatoes.
Although 5-HTP ultimately derives from the ingestion of foods rich in tryptophan, it is difficult to attain therapeutic levels of the chemical from food sources alone. To reap the considerable psychological and pain-related benefits of 5-HTP, it is best to take it as a supplement.
5-HTP Increases Serotonin
Once the conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP is complete in the body, the chemical is then converted to serotonin. Due to its role in regulating mood, serotonin is a critical neurotransmitter.
The pharmaceuticals known as SSRIs – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – are a popular class of antidepressants. Two of the more common SSRIs are fluoxetine (brand name Prozac) and sertraline (brand name Zoloft).
Supplementing with 5-HTP is believed to raise serotonin levels in the brain, offering a positive effect on mood, sleep, appetite, anxiety, and pain sensation.
A Safe Remedy for a Variety of Conditions
Ingesting the supplemental form of 5-HTP – which is made from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia - may improve numerous psychological challenges and pain-related disorders related to low serotonin levels, including the following:
• Depression. Certain studies suggest that 5-HTP may perform as well as SSRIs in treating patients with non-severe cases of depression. In one study, the effects of 5-HTP were compared to fluvoxamine (brand name Luvox) in 63 participants with depression. Those taking 5-HTP fared equally well to those given fluvoxamine.
• Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia brings a host of unpleasant symptoms to its sufferers, such as muscle pain, anxiety, morning stiffness, and severe fatigue. Researchers believe that increasing levels of serotonin can help those with fibromyalgia. 5-HTP was shown to alleviate these symptoms in three separate studies.
• Insomnia. 5-HTP has been found to help patients fall asleep quickly and sleep more deeply. Researchers recommend taking 200-400 mg at bedtime to stimulate serotonin; note, however, that it may take 6-12 weeks for this regimen to become effective.
• Migraines and headaches. In some studies, a connection was found between high doses of 5-HTP and decreased pain associated with a variety of headaches, including migraines.
• Obesity. 5-HTP may be helpful in treating patients with obesity, according to several smaller studies. In one study, participants supplementing with 5-HTP took in fewer calories than those who were given a placebo. Some researchers conclude this is because 5-HTP led subjects to feel more satiety, causing them to eat less.
A follow-up study compared 5-HTP to placebo during a diet and a non-diet period. The results were that those taking 5-HTP lost approximately 2% of their body weight during the non-diet period and a further 3% when dieting. Participants receiving the placebo lost no weight.
Supplement with 5-HTP from CAMFormulas.com
To treat mild to moderate depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia, consider supplementing with 5-HTP from CAMFormulas.com. We offer 5-HTP from several manufacturers, including Douglas Laboratories, PhysioLogics, Karuna Health, Protocol for Life Balance, Pharmax, Metabolic Maintenance and Health Concerns. When you order this important supplement through us, you receive free shipping and our Price Match Guarantee!
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