Dr. Shippy Approved
5-HTP is a drug-free amino acid derived from a plant that naturally increases the body’s level of serotonin, the chemical messenger that affects emotions, behavior, appetite, and sleep.
Today’s stress-filled lifestyles and dietary practices may negatively affect how the body handles serotonin.
Mood and Comfort: Serotonin regulates many normal brain activities, increases norepinephrine and dopamine, and is important in regulating mood and behavior. Adequate levels of serotonin are associated with normal calmness and relaxation.*[1-5]
Several studies have demonstrated that 5-HTP supports a healthy frame of mind, good energy levels, ease of movement, and restful sleep.
Published studies (dose~100-600 mg/day) have also demonstrated the effectiveness of 5-HTP supplementation in supporting cerebral comfort.*
Appetite: Used in a high dose (i.e., 300 mg/three times a day), 5-HTP decreased food consumption and reduced weight. This result may relate to the effect of 5-HTP in supporting normal hypothalamic regulation, which includes appetite homeostasis.
However, nausea at this relatively high dose was a common complaint. In other research, sublingual 5-HTP administered five times per day for eight weeks in adult overweight women significantly supported feelings of post-meal hunger satisfaction.*
Hormones and Sleep: 5-HTP is thought to effect the HPA axis, as it has the ability to raise plasma cortisol levels, to cause transient increase in growth hormone (at 150 mg dose), and in men only, to support healthy levels of thyroid stimulating hormone.
Serotonin is also converted to melatonin; thus, supplementation has similar effects. Support of sleep quality is likely related to 5-HTP’s ability to increase the length of rapid eye movement (REM).
Regular use of 5-HTP CR helps promote a more positive outlook and greater appetite control.
5-HTP CR has a controlled release delivery system that releases 5-HTP slowly and steadily over a period of time.
1. Juhl JH. Fibromyalgia and the serotonin pathway. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Oct;3(5):367-75. [PMID: 9802912]
2. Gutknecht L, Jacob C, Strobel A, et al. Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 gene variation influences personality traits and disorders related to emotional dysregulation. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Jun;10(3):309-20. [PMID: 17176492]
3. Birdsall TC. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80. [PMID: 9727088]
4. Agren H, Reibring L, Hartvig P, et al. Low brain uptake of L-[11C]5- hydroxytryptophan in major depression: a positron emission tomography study on patients and healthy volunteers. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1991;83(6):449-55. [PMID: 1882697]
5. Zmilacher K, Battegay R, Gastpar M. L-5-hydroxytryptophan alone and in combination with a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor in the treatment of depression. Neuropsychobiology. 1988;20(1):28-35. [PMID: 3265988]
6. Caruso I, Sarzi Puttini P, Cazzola M, et al. Double-blind study of 5-hydroxytryptophan versus placebo in the treatment of primary fibromyalgia syndrome. J Int Med Res. 1990 May-Jun;18(3):201-09. [PMID: 2193835]
7. Puttini S, Caruso I. Primary fibromyalgia syndrome and 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan: a 90-day open study. J Int Med Res. 1992 Apr;20(2):182-89. [PMID: 1521674]
8. Ribeiro CA. L-5-hydroxytryptophan in the prophylaxis of chronic tension-type headache: a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled study. Headache. 2000 Jun;40(6):451-56. [PMID: 10849040]
9. Nagata E, Shibata M, Hamada J, et al. Plasma 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in migraine during an attack-free period. Headache. 2006 Apr;46(4):592-96. [PMID: 16643553]
10. Nicolodi M, Sicuteri F. L-5-hydroxytryptophan can prevent nociceptive disorders in man. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999;467:177-82. [PMID: 10721054]
11. Schott DA, Nicolai J, de Vries JE, et al. Disorder in the serotonergic system due to tryptophan hydroxylation impairment: a cause of hypothalamic syndrome? Horm Res Paediatr. 2010;73(1):68-73. [PMID: 20190542]
12. Cangiano C, Ceci F, Cascino A, et al. Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Nov;56:863-67. [PMID: 1384305]
13. Cangiano C, Laviano A, Del Ben M, et al. Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Jul;22(7):648-54. [PMID: 9705024]
14. Rondanelli M, Klersy C, Iadarola P, et al. Satiety and amino-acid profile in overweight women after a new treatment using a natural plant extract sublingual spray formulation. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Oct;33(10):1174-82. [PMID: 19752879]
15. Lee MA, Nash JF, Barnes M, et al. Inhibitory effect of ritanserin on the 5-hydroxytryptophan-mediated cortisol, ACTH and prolactin secretion in humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1991;103(2):258-64. [PMID: 1851310]
16. Mashchak CA, Kletzky OA, Spencer C, et al. Transient effect of L-5- hydroxytryptophan on pituitary function in men and women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Jan;56(1):170-76. [PMID:6600170]
17. Wyatt RJ, Zarcone V, Engelman K, et al. Effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan on the sleep of normal human subjects. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1971 Jun;30(6):505-09. [PMID: 4105646]
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