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  • Naturally sourced from the seed of African plant Griffonia simplicifolia
  • Unlike L-tryptophan, 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier increasing central nervous system synthesis of serotonin11
  • Enteric coated to reduce the likelihood of nausea

Feature Summary

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the middle step between tryptophan and neurotransmitter serotonin. Scientific evidence indicates that low serotonin levels are linked to a number of common conditions, including depression, obesity, headache/migraine and fibromyalgia. 5-HTP boosts serotonin levels and may offer a benefit in conditions linked to low serotonin levels.1

5-HTP may help patients unresponsive to standard antidepressant drugs and some evidence suggests it may be comparable, if not superior, to conventional antidepressants, with fewer side effects.2 Taking 5-HTP can also aid pain syndromes such as migraine and fibromyalgia.3 It is thought both conditions reflect a serotonergic defect. Fibromyalgia suffers have experienced improved symptoms including pain severity, morning stiffness, and sleeplessness with 5-HTP supplementation.3,4,5 5-HTP is known to increase sleep quality, which is critical in those patients suffering from depression or fibromyalgia. In fact, 5-HTP is known to promote and maintain sleep in normal subjects, as well as those experiencing insomnia.6

Research has indicated that 5-HTP may aid weight loss. Early animal studies indicated that genetically obese rats had decreased activity of the enzyme that converts tryptophan to 5-HTP and subsequently serotonin, allowing them to over eat.7 The same mechanism exists in genetically predisposed humans. By providing preformed 5-HTP, this genetic defect is bypassed and more serotonin is manufactured. Human clinical trials have corroborated that 5-HTP is able to reduce caloric intake, promote satiety and induce weight loss without conscious effort by subjects to lose weight.8,9,10