5Htp (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid which aids in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan. It is a prescription free nutritional supplement which is available over the counter in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. 5Htp has been proven to aid in the treatment of depression in many double-blind placebo scientific trials.
Put simply, 5htp aids in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, increasing its volume in the body. It works by creating increased levels of the building block material needed to make the serotonin. Due to serotonin’s association with several disorders such as; depression, anxiety and insomnia and migraines, 5Htp has been used by individuals who are experiencing such difficulties. As previously mentioned, 5Htp has been proven to aid with mood elevation and may relieve some symptoms of depression.
It is also used by people who have sleeping difficulties and those wishing to have help with weight loss. Sufferers of sleep problems such as insomnia may find it beneficial to take 5Htp as serotonin is converted into melatonin in the pineal gland, and melatonin regulates sleep cycles. It has also been suggested that high serotonin levels can aid in reducing appetite, which may in turn assist weight loss.
Precautions should be taken if considering taking 5htp, as it should not be taken in conjunction with some other treatments and it should also not be used if the individual has certain disorders. 5Htp should not be taken alongside alcoholic beverages, and these two should certainly not within 6 hours of each other.
However, if these precautions are adhered to, and you fit in the criteria of someone who is able to take the nutritional supplement 5Htp, then there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that it may aid with several negative conditions and symptoms.