What exactly is 5-HTP?

5  hydroxytryptophan is a chemical compound which is extracted from L-tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to be a building block of protein. It is commercially produced and extracted from the seeds of griffonia simplicifolia. This plant is found on the African continent and is the main source of 5-HTP. 5-HTP is a beneficial health supplement that can help treat many disorders associated with cognitive function and mental well-being.

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It is used to treat conditions such as, insomnia and other Sleep disorders which prevent the individual from getting proper rest. It is also used as a therapeutic treatment for anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, PMS, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders such as epilepsy, tension headaches, and obesity. 5-HTP works on a chemical level within the brain and helps alleviate many of the symptoms associated with the above-mentioned conditions. This provides therapeutic relief for the individual and improves the overall quality of life.

What are the functions of 5-HTP?

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5-HTP is known to work on the central nervous system and within the brain by leading to an increase of the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical compound responsible for appetite, libido, sleep, body temperature and sensations of pain. When the levels of Serotonin are increased throughout the brain and central nervous system via synthesis it is able to effectively treat many of the above-listed conditions.

For those individuals who have a reduced amount of Serotonin in the brain and central nervous system, the likelihood of experiencing insomnia and a lack of appetite increases drastically. A lack of Serotonin is also known to lead to the onset of anxiety and depression, which in turn lead to tension headaches and migraines. When hormonal imbalances occur in the body, a whole host of conditions can arise of which many can be debilitating and affect the individual’s overall quality of life.

It had previously been thought that 5-HTP may be a useful tool to use in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. However, early evidence has shown 5-HTP to be ineffective as a means of treatment for Alzheimer’s. The main condition in which people use 5-HTP to therapeutically treat is depression. Clinical research has shown that 5-HTP by the oral administration can help improve the symptoms experienced by the individual. In fact, it was shown to be so effective in certain instances that it was as beneficial as many traditional antidepressant therapies used by certain individuals.

How to take 5-HTP?

The only way that 5-HTP is to be taken is by mouth. The exact dose will depend largely upon the reason as to why it is being taken and for what condition it is being used to treat. Dosage guidelines can range from between 150 mg to 3,000 mg each day. Typically, doses will be divided into three individual dosages per day over a period of four to six weeks. The typical starting dose is 200 mg, which is then increased gradually in increments of 50 mg over a period of four weeks.

It is important to always start with the lowest dose when beginning a treatment plan using 5-HTP. This is so the individual limits the risk of experiencing any adverse side effects that may be possible. As with all medications and supplements that affect the brain and the central nervous system, side effects are always a possibility. If you are considering using 5-HTP to treat depression or anxiety, or to assist in alleviating the symptoms of insomnia, then you should talk with your medical practitioner before starting any treatment regime.


5-HTP is considered to be a safe health supplement to use on a daily basis when it is used within the recommended dosage guidelines. There is a possibility that 5-HTP may interact with certain prescription medications for the treatment of conditions such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, if you are already using prescribed medication for treating your health condition then, you should first check that it is compatible to use with 5-HTP. As a means of improving the symptoms associated with many conditions in a natural way, 5-HTP will prove to be useful for many individuals.



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