An amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living. The lifestyle and dietary practices of many people living in this stress-filled era results in lowered levels of serotonin within the brain. As a result, many people are overweight, crave sugar and other carbohydrates, experience bouts of depression, get frequent headaches, and have vague muscle aches and pain. All of these maladies are correctable by raising brain serotonin levels. The primary therapeutic applications for 5-HTP are
- Carbohydrate craving
- Sleep apnea
- Migraine headaches
- Tension headaches
- Chronic daily headaches
- Premenstrual syndrome
Several peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that 5-HTP is equal to or better than standard antidepressant drugs and the side effects are much less severe. The study with the most significance was one that compared to fluvoxamine, a "selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor" like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. In the study, subjects received either 5-HTP (100 mg) or fluvoxamine (50 mg) three times daily for 6 weeks (5). The percentage decrease in overall depression scores was slightly better in the 5-HTP group (60.7% vs. 56.1%). More patients responded to 5-HTP than fluvoxamine and 5-HTP was quicker acting than the fluvoxamine.
The real advantage of 5-HTP in this study was the low rate of side effect. Here is how the physicians described the differences among the two groups:
"Whereas the two treatment groups did not differ significantly in the number of patients sustaining adverse events, the interaction between the degree of severity and the type of medication was highly significant: fluvoxamine predominantly produced moderate to severe, oxitriptan [5-HTP] primarily mild forms of adverse effects."
The suggested serving size for 5-HTP is 50 to 200 mg daily with food, or as otherwise indicated by a physician.
Due to varying import regulations, not all of our supplements are available to international customers. This product is restricted for sale in the following countries:
- New Zealand
Provided suggested serving sizes are adhered to, this supplement is safe to take. However, excessive use may cause mild side effects such as nausea, stomach pain, drowsiness and diarrhea. Should any of these issues occur, reduce dosage accordingly.