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5-HTP Benefits, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions

5-HTP Benefits, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions

The low levels of serotonin, which transmit neurotransmitters, are thought to contribute to a number of mental and physical health problems such as depression, insomnia and obesity, so raising serotonin levels seems to be one way of treating these problems. A possible way to promote the synthesis of serotonin in the body is to take a 5-HTP supplement.

According to an article in Nutrition Review magazine, serotonin chains improve well-being, peace of mind, personal safety, relaxation, self-confidence and concentration. Although research into the effectiveness of 5-PHT is generally mixed, its benefits may include promoting the reduction of overeating and weight gain, sleep problems, anxiety, chronic pain and much more.

What is 5-HTP?

5-HTP (which stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan) is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It consists of the amino acid (building blocks of proteins) of tryptophan.

Tryptophan is first converted to 5-HTP by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase, and then 5-HTP is converted to serotonin by the enzyme L-aminoacid decarboxylase.

It is supplemented by a number of other names, including Gryphonia extracted from plant seeds, Simplified Gryphonia and Oxytryptan.

What is 5-HTP used for? In most cases, 5-HTP preparations are taken for the treatment of symptoms and conditions such as

  • Insomnia, including insomnia.
  • Mood problems such as depression and anxiety.
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Obesity and overeating
  • Pain, also due to fibromyalgia and PMS or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • The symptoms of ADHD
  • the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological problems.
  • Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
  • seasonal affective disorder


What does 5 VTP do for your body? First of all it works by increasing the synthesis of serotonin, the neurotransmitters feel good. It can therefore have a potentially positive effect on mood, energy levels, motivation, appetite, sleep and the functioning of the nervous system.

Although serotonin cannot be taken as a supplement because it cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, taking 5-HTP is a way to provide the body with the resources it needs to do more on its own.

Learn more about some of the best 5-HTP applications and how to use them:

1. May help in coping with anxiety and depression

It may not work for everyone, but there are indications that 5-WTF supplements can help reduce feelings of stress, depression, anxiety symptoms and panic attacks in some people.

Why do we have to worry about 5 VTP? It can help stimulate the synthesis of serotonin in the brain. This may have a significant effect in some cases, but in other cases it may not work better than prescription drugs.

According to

Some studies also support the use of 5-BTP for the treatment of depression, but the studies are based on small groups of people, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn about the potential benefit of 5-BTP as a general treatment of depression.

How does this relate to SSRI drugs (for the treatment of anxiety/depression symptoms)? SSRIs do not work by increasing serotonin production, but by preserving serotonin already present in the brain and preventing enzymatic breakdown of synaptic serotonin. On the other hand, 5-HTP can help the brain to produce more serotonin.

Doctors often recommend taking 5-HTP at the same time as other antidepressants or medications for extra support. 5-HTP can also be used by people who are resistant to SSRIs for depression.

2. Can help improve sleep quality

Does the 5 HTP make you sleepy? It doesn’t work as a sleeping pill, which can make you very sleepy, but it can help you feel more relaxed – so you can sleep more easily.

It has been shown to be particularly effective against insomnia when taken with GABA and valerian root, which also have a calming effect. This combination helps shorten the time to fall asleep.

One way to improve sleep is to convert serotonin into melatonin, a hormone that is important for regulating your circadian rhythm (your internal clock).

3. May relieve pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia

Some studies have shown that 5-HTP, taken three times a day in doses of at least 100 milligrams per day, can help reduce the number of symptoms of fibromyalgia such as pain, tenderness, anxiety, fatigue and stiffness. In one study, almost 50% of patients experienced consistent clinical improvement during treatment.

It is assumed that the supplement, to be most useful, should last at least a few weeks to a few months.

It may also help alleviate the symptoms of migraine in some cases, another condition likely caused by serotonin levels. One study showed that supplementation led to a significant improvement in 71% of 5-HTP-treated participants.

4. May contribute to reducing obesity

Some studies have shown that 5-HTP can contribute to weight loss by increasing satiety and reducing appetite and calorie intake in obese adults.

In one study, a 5-HTP spray (which contained other extracts) taken for four weeks by overweight postmenopausal women significantly increased weight loss and reduced body weight.

Another study of participants taking 750 milligrams of 5-PVT for two weeks showed that taking food supplements was accompanied by a decrease in the amount of food, especially carbohydrates, and less weight loss.

Possible side effects

Is 5-HTP safe? In general, it seems safe for most adults to take up to 400 milligrams per day in the mouth over a year.

However, there are some potential side effects of 5-HTP that you should be aware of, for example

  • digestive and gastric problems
  • Heartache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • sexual disorder
  • Muscle cramps and dysfunctions

It is thought that high doses can also contribute to muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities in rare cases.

The supplement should not be taken by pregnant women or people undergoing surgery within two weeks.

It is also very important for people taking antidepressants/antidepressants to avoid taking 5-HTP supplements. Antidepressants may contain SSRIs and MAOIs.

Because 5-HTP increases both serotonin and antidepressants, it can lead to high levels that can cause side effects such as abnormal mental function and behavioral problems.

Avoid taking this supplement if you are taking any of these medicines:

  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Amitriptylin (Elavil)
  • Clomipramine
  • imipramine
  • Sedatives
  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin)
  • meridin

Is 5-HTP harmful for the liver? It is not thought to contribute to liver toxicity, but the associated supplement (L-tryptophan) has in the past rarely been associated with liver problems due to infection problems.

Although tryptophan preparations have now proved safe in most cases, they are still banned in some countries. 5-HTP is considered to be a good alternative to tryptophan preparations and may have a similar effect on mood improvement.

Dosage and additives

As an additive, 5-HTP can be produced from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia.

Dosage recommendations vary depending on a person’s symptoms, but most studies generally use a safe range of 150 to 800 milligrams per day. Although there are sprays, the most popular are pills that are taken in the mouth.

People usually take a dose of 300 to 500 milligrams. Sometimes you may need higher doses, up to 3000 grams per day, but it is best to consult your doctor before taking high doses, especially if they last more than a few weeks.

Most people start with 5-HTP within two to six weeks. Depending on the amount taken, it may be necessary to divide the total dose into two or three doses per day.

It is recommended to start with a small dose and gradually increase it every 1-2 weeks until the desired dose is reached.

If your goal is to satisfy yourself with your meal and help you lose weight, try taking 5-HTP supplements before or during your meal.


  • 5-HTP is the pre-stage of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is produced from the amino acid tryptophan.
  • Although not all studies have shown its effectiveness in most people, the potential benefits of 5-HTP can be a reduction in anxiety, depression, overeating, weight gain, pain, headaches, sleep disorders and neurological problems.
  • People usually take a dose of 300 to 500 milligrams. Although there are sprays, the most popular are pills that are taken in the mouth.
  • Although this supplement is generally safe, side effects such as stomach problems, indigestion and muscle problems can occur. 5-HTP should never be taken with antidepressants without medical supervision.