Benefits of 5-HTP backed by science
Can aid weight loss by increasing feelings of satiety
Losing weight can increase the production of hormones that make you feel hungry. These persistent feelings of hunger can make weight loss unsustainable in the long run.
5-HTP may counteract these hunger-causing hormones, thereby suppressing your appetite and helping you lose weight.
In an earlier study, 20 people with diabetes were randomly assigned to receive 5-HTP or a placebo for two weeks. Results showed that patients receiving 5-HTP consumed approximately 421 fewer calories per day compared to the placebo group.
What's more, 5-HTP primarily inhibits carbohydrate caloric intake, which is associated with better blood sugar control.
Many other studies have also found that 5-HTP can increase satiety and aid weight loss in overweight or obese people.
Additionally, an older animal study found that 5-HTP can reduce excessive food intake due to stress.
May help treat depression by increasing serotonin levels
While the exact cause of depression is largely unknown, some researchers believe that a serotonin imbalance may affect your mood, leading to depression.
However, keep in mind that other studies have produced conflicting results on the relationship between low serotonin levels and depression.
Still, 5-HTP supplements are thought to treat depression by increasing serotonin levels.
For example, one study of 15 women found that combining 5-HTP with creatine improved symptoms of depression after 8 weeks.
Another small study in people with Parkinson's disease concluded that 5-HTP could help improve symptoms of depression compared with a placebo.
May improve symptoms of fibromyalgia
Supplementing with 5-HTP can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a disease characterized by muscle and joint pain, as well as extreme fatigue and brain fog, also known as "fibro fog."
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but low serotonin levels have been linked to the disorder.
This leads researchers to believe that increasing serotonin levels may benefit fibromyalgia patients.
In fact, early evidence shows that 5-HTP can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including muscle pain, sleep problems, anxiety, and fatigue.
However, not enough research has been conducted to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of 5-HTP in improving fibromyalgia symptoms.
Helps reduce migraine frequency
5-HTP is said to help treat migraines, which are often accompanied by nausea or visual disturbances.
While its exact cause is debated, some researchers believe low serotonin levels may play a role.
An earlier study of 124 people compared the ability of 5-HTP and methiserg, a common migraine medication, to prevent migraines.
The study found that daily supplementation with 5-HTP for 6 months prevented or significantly reduced the number of migraine attacks in 71% of participants.
However, recent research on the effects of 5-HTP on migraines is limited.
However, many studies have shown that the potential antidepressant effects of 5-HTP are greater when used in combination with other substances or antidepressant medications than when used alone.
In addition, according to a recent meta-analysis, evidence supporting the use of 5-HTP to treat depression is limited and more high-quality placebo-controlled studies are needed.
5-HTP produces serotonin, which is converted into melatonin.
Melatonin plays an important role in regulating sleep. Its levels start to rise at night to promote sleep and fall in the morning to help wake you up.
Therefore, supplementing with 5-HTP can promote sleep by increasing the production of melatonin in the body.
A 2010 study showed that a combination of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly shortened the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep time, and improved sleep quality.
GABA is a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation. Combining it with 5-HTP may produce a synergistic effect.
In fact, multiple animal studies have shown that 5-HTP can improve sleep quality, especially when combined with GABA.
While these results are promising, the lack of human-based studies makes it difficult to recommend 5-HTP for improving sleep quality, especially when used alone.
Some people who take 5-HTP develop a serious health condition called eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS). Some believe EMS may be caused by accidental contamination in certain 5-HTP products. But there's not enough scientific evidence to say whether EMS is caused by 5-HTP, pollutants or other factors. 5-HTP should be used with caution until more information is learned.
Dosage and supplement instructions
These supplements are different from L-tryptophan supplements, which may also increase serotonin levels.
L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in protein-rich foods such as dairy, poultry, meat, chickpeas, and soybeans.
5-HTP, on the other hand, is found in some foods, but in very small amounts.
There are no official recommendations on how much 5-HTP you should take. While more recent studies of higher quality are needed, these are the doses used in various studies:
Weight Management: 250–300 mg 30 minutes before each meal, or 750 mg daily Mood Enhancement: 100 mg twice daily Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief: 100 mg 3-4 times daily with meals for at least 2 Weekly migraine: 600 mg daily for at least 6 months Sleep aid: 100–300 mg before bed
Special Precautions and Warnings
Some people who take 5-HTP develop a serious health condition called eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS). Some believe EMS may be caused by accidental contamination in certain 5-HTP products. But there's not enough scientific evidence to say whether EMS is caused by 5-HTP, pollutants or other factors. 5-HTP should be used with caution until more information is learned. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding : There is not enough reliable information to know whether 5-HTP is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding . Stay safe and avoid using.
Children : 5-HTP is probably safe in children when taken by mouth at appropriate doses. In children under 12 years of age, a daily dose of 5 mg/kg of 5-HTP appears to be safe for up to 3 years.
Surgery : 5-HTP can affect a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications used during surgery can also affect serotonin. Taking 5-HTP before surgery may cause too much serotonin in the brain and may cause serious side effects, including heart problems, tremors, and anxiety. Instruct patients to stop taking 5-HTP at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Use this combination with caution
Carbidopa (Lodosyn) interacts with 5-HTP
5-HTP affects the brain. Carbidopa also affects the brain. Taking 5-HTP with carbidopa increases the risk of serious side effects, including rapid speech, anxiety, and aggression.
Sedative drugs (central nervous system depressants) interact with 5-HTP
5-HTP may cause drowsiness and slowed breathing. Some drugs called sedatives can also cause drowsiness and slowed breathing. Taking 5-HTP with sedating medications may cause breathing problems and/or excessive drowsiness.
Serotonin Drugs Interact with 5-HTP
5-HTP may increase a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications also have this effect. Taking 5-HTP with these medications may increase serotonin excessively. This can cause serious side effects, including heart disease, seizures, and vomiting.