5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino acid that is an important precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that plays a crucial role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Generally, 5-HTP supplements are often used to boost serotonin levels and improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. In this article, we will explore the top 7 health benefits of 5-HTP and how to safely consume it. You will come to discover why it is becoming an increasingly popular supplement to improve overall health and well-being.
Sections in This Article
|Origin:||Native to West Africa and Central Africa|
Griffonia simplicifolia extract,
|Supplements that contain this nutrient:||PhenQ PM natural supplement for losing weight while sleeping.|
|Main benefits:||Promotes Weight Loss,|
Reduces Anxiety and Depression,
Enhances Sleep Quality,
Improves Symptoms of Fibromyalgia,
Alleviates Chronic Headaches,
Boosts Serotonin Levels,
Increases Energy Levels.
|Related nutrients:||Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs),|
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs),
Essential Amino Acid Tryptophan.
|Recipes with this nutrient:||Pasta With Tuna and Tomato Sauce,|
Honey Glazed Chicken and Bacon Bites,
Steamed Striped Bass with Ginger and Scallions.
What is 5-HTP? (Griffonia simplicifolia extract)
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Although tryptophan can be found in foods, 5-hydroxytryptophan cannot be obtained through our diet. Even though consuming foods with tryptophan may provide our bodies with some 5-hydroxytryptophan, it is not a significant amount. Instead, 5-HTP is manufactured as a supplement using the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia.
Other Names for 5-HTP
5-HTP is known by a few other names, including:
2-Amino-3-(5-Hydroxy-1H-Indol-3-yl) Propanoic Acid
- Griffonia simplicifolia extract
- Tryptophan precursor
- Serotonin precursor
- Appetite suppressant
L-5 HTP, L-5-Hydroxytryptophan
The History of 5-HTP and its Origins
5-HTP was first discovered in the 1950s when it was found to be a precursor to serotonin. It is derived from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant, which is native to West and Central Africa. According to studies, Tryptophan was discovered by Frederick Hopkins, a Nobel Prize winner, during the early 20th century. He founded and documented Tryptophan, described its structure, and observed that our bodies are unable to produce it on their own.
Eijkman conducted further research based on Hopkin’s discovery. He gave rats a diet that did not contain “accessory food factors”, including Tryptophan. The rats were given all the macronutrient components of milk, such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, but nothing else. The experiment showed that the rats’ growth was stunted. This led to the idea that “accessory food factors”, such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, are essential for growth, one of which is Tryptophan.
Traditional African medicine has been utilizing the plant for its health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and improving sleep, for centuries. This was done before the scientific discoveries were made. Today, 5-hydroxytryptophan supplements are widely used to support overall health, including improved sleep and mood.
5-HTP Nutritional Profile
5-HTP is not found in significant amounts in the diet, but it can be synthesized in the body from the essential amino acid known as tryptophan. Both plant and animal-based proteins contain tryptophan. However, people usually consume more than twice the necessary amount with a daily intake of around 900-1000 milligrams, while the US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) recommends only 250-425 milligrams per day.
Tryptophan can be found in the following foods:
One of the major sources of tryptophan is whole milk, which contains 732 milligrams per quart. 2% reduced fat milk is also a good source with 551 milligrams per quart.
One ounce of canned tuna contains 472 milligrams of tryptophan, making it a good source of this nutrient.
Turkey and Chicken
Turkey is often believed to be the biggest source of tryptophan, but this is not entirely true. Light meat has 410 milligrams of tryptophan per pound (when raw), while dark meat has 303 milligrams per pound. Chicken also has high amounts of tryptophan, with light meat containing 238 milligrams per pound, and dark meat containing 256.
A cup of prepared oatmeal can provide 147 milligrams of tryptophan, making it a good source of this nutrient.
While not as rich in tryptophan as meat or other dairy products, cheddar cheese does contain 91 milligrams of tryptophan in a single ounce.
Nuts and Seeds
In this category, peanuts contain 65 milligrams per ounce, as an example.
A slice of whole wheat bread can have a maximum of 19 milligrams, while a slice of refined white bread can have up to 22 milligrams.
An ounce of chocolate may have as much as 18 milligrams of tryptophan.
Certain fruits are a good source of tryptophan as well. A banana of medium size has about 11 milligrams of it, an apple of medium size has around 2 milligrams of tryptophan, and a prune has 2 milligrams of this amino acid.
Keep in mind, however, consuming foods high in tryptophan alone is not enough to significantly raise serotonin levels in the brain.
The Top 7 Health Benefits of 5-HTP
Promotes Weight Loss
5-HTP has been shown to reduce appetite and enhance weight reduction in several studies. In one study, obese adult subjects treated with 5-HTP lost significantly more weight than those who received a placebo. This effect is thought to be due to 5-HTP’s ability to increase feelings of fullness and reduce cravings for carbohydrates. For anyone who is trying to lose weight, 5-hydroxytryptophan may be an effective and natural way to reduce cravings and promote satiety.
PhenQ PM, a natural supplement, is a great example of a weight loss solution that burns fat while you are sleeping. All thanks to its impressive formula that contain 5-HTP nutrient and other important natural ingredients.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression
5-HTP is a clinically effective serotonin precursor that has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating mood, and low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Studies have shown that supplementing with 5-hydroxytryptophan may help reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and even enhance cognitive performance.
Enhances Sleep Quality
5-HTP has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. This effect is thought to be due to 5-hydroxytryptophan’s ability to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which promotes relaxation and helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. A study revealed that the use of a combination of 5-hydroxytryptophan and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) greatly reduced the amount of time taken to fall asleep, increased the duration of sleep, and enhanced the quality of sleep.
Improves Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that is characterized by widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissues. 5-HTP has been shown to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Research has shown that 5-hydroxytryptophan can effectively improve the symptoms of primary fibromyalgia syndrome and that this effect remains consistent throughout the 90-day treatment period. This effect is thought to be due to 5-HTP’s ability to increase serotonin levels and modulate pain perception.
Alleviates Chronic Headaches
A chronic primary headache is a common condition that is characterized by recurrent headaches that occur for more than 15 days per month. 5-HTP has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of chronic headaches, including a chronic tension-type headache. A study has shown that L-5-HTP is more effective than a placebo in reducing the frequency and severity of headaches. This effect is thought to be due to 5-HTP’s ability to increase serotonin levels and reduce inflammation. If you suffer from chronic headaches, 5-hydroxytryptophan may be an effective and natural way to alleviate the symptoms.
Boosts Serotonin Levels
5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. By increasing the body’s serotonin levels, 5-hydroxytryptophan can help to improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote better sleep. A study has found that 5-HTP treatment can be effective for treating treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Additionally, 5-HTP has been linked to increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and a reduction in sleep disorders.
Increases Energy Levels
5-hydroxytryptophan has been shown to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. This effect is thought to be due to 5-HTP’s ability to increase serotonin levels, which can promote feelings of well-being and reduce stress. Research indicates that 5-hydroxytryptophan has been demonstrated to alleviate depression; however, there is only early evidence that it may also improve anxiety. L-Tryptophan, another amino acid with mood-enhancing properties, is transformed into 5-HTP and serotonin. For those who experience fatigue or low energy levels due to stress or depression, 5-HTP may be a helpful supplement. You are advised to consult a doctor before taking 5-HTP supplements.
How To Take 5-HTP?
The recommended dosage of 5-HTP varies depending on the intended use. For general mood and sleep support, a dosage of 50-100mg per day is typically recommended. For weight loss, a dosage of 300-900mg per day is often used. However, it is important to follow the dosage instructions on the product label and consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-hydroxytryptophan.
Best Time to Take 5-HTP
The best time to take 5-HTP depends on the intended use. For mood and sleep support, it is recommended to take 5-hydroxytryptophan in the evening, as it can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. For weight loss, it is recommended to take 5-HTP 30 minutes to one hour before meals, as it can reduce appetite and promote feelings of fullness.
Forms of Consumption
5-hydroxytryptophan is available in several forms, including capsules, tablets, and powders. It is important to choose a high-quality product from a reputable source to ensure safety and efficacy.
Foods Rich in 5-HTP (Tryptophan)
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is found in protein-rich foods. Some of the best sources of tryptophan include:
These foods can be eaten to increase the body’s levels of tryptophan, which is necessary for the production of serotonin and 5-HTP.
Top 3 Recipes with 5-HTP for 3x Better Health
Check out this list of recipes that are high in tryptophan, which can help increase your 5-hydroxytryptophan levels. They’re great for promoting better health and wellness.
Pasta With Tuna and Tomato Sauce
This meal contains 1.9g of tryptophan per serving.
16 oz of whole-wheat pasta
2 can (15 oz) of tomatoes
4 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
6 oz of tuna
1/2 cup of cheese
1 dash of salt
1/4 cup leaves of whole basil
Cut or rip the fresh basil.
To prepare the sauce, heat butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the can of tomatoes, along with the juice. If you’re using whole canned tomatoes (or fresh ones), crush them with your clean fingers before putting them in the pot. Let the mixture simmer gently for 30 minutes while partially covered.
After you start making the sauce, boil a large pot of salty water. Add the shell pasta to the pot and cook it without a lid until it’s al dente, meaning it’s cooked but still a little firm when bitten. This usually takes a couple of minutes less than what the pasta package suggests. Once done, drain the pasta and keep it aside.
To make the dish, drain the excess oil from the can of tuna and mix it with the tomato sauce. Then, add ricotta cheese and salt to taste, and turn off the heat. In a large bowl, mix the sauce with pasta. Finally, add basil and mix everything together.
Transfer the pasta into a casserole dish that can hold 2 to 3 quarts. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta and place it in the oven under a hot broiler for 4 to 6 minutes. Wait until the cheese has melted and turned a light brown color. Serve the dish while it is still hot.
Source: Eat This Much
Honey Glazed Chicken and Bacon Bites
This dish contains 1.7 g of tryptophan per serving.
1 lb of Chicken breast
3 tbsp of Honey
2 tsp of Dijon mustard
20 strips of Bacon
2 tbsp of Lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips, but be careful not to make them too thin. The bacon needs to turn crisp, and if the chicken is too thin, it might become dry beforehand.
Take a bowl and mix together 3 tablespoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of coarse mustard.
Place the bacon slices around the chicken strips.
Put them on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
Use half of the marinade to brush the chicken bites.
Preheat the oven to 425F and bake the bacon for 10 to 13 minutes until it’s crispy.
Once one side is cooked, remove the tray from the oven.
Turn the meat over and use the remaining marinade to brush it.
Continue baking them in the oven for another 10 to 13 minutes until the other side is crispy. Be vigilant while doing so.
Steamed Striped Bass with Ginger and Scallions
This dish contains 1.6 g of tryptophan per serving.
3 tbsp of Soy sauce
1 cup of White rice
1 tsp of Vegetable oil
4 medium (4-1/8″ long) Scallions
24 oz of Bass
1 tbsp of ground Ginger
3 tbsp of Fresh cilantro
Thinly slice the ginger into matchstick-like pieces. Similarly, slice the scallions lengthwise into matchstick-like pieces (about 1/2 cup).
Place a steamer rack or an upside-down pie plate in a deep 12-inch skillet. Pour 3 cups of water into the skillet and cover it. Heat the skillet until the water boils.
Dry the fillets and place them on a heatproof plate that fits in a skillet with a 1-inch clearance around the plate. Sprinkle ginger and 1/4 cup scallions evenly over the fish. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce and oil together and drizzle it evenly over the fillets. Place the plate with fish carefully on a rack in the skillet and cover tightly. Then, steam over moderately high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Afterward, remove the plate from the skillet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions.
Source: Eat This Much
Top 3 5-HTP Supplements for Maximized Health
We have put together a list of our Top 3 5-HTP supplements to help you find the right one for your health needs.
DR EMIL NUTRITION 200 MG 5-HTP
Dr. Emil, a medical doctor, and expert in supplementation, has formulated these blends using his unique knowledge. The DR EMIL NUTRITION 200 MG 5-HTP is designed to provide excellent results and is always supported by scientific research. You get 200mg of 5-HTP per serving which can help with improved mental clarity, relaxation, healthy sleep patterns, and more.
DR EMIL NUTRITION 200 MG 5-HTP Main Benefits:
Great Quality: Dr. Emil’s products are made in the USA using natural vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts without harmful additives. They are also non-GMO and free of hormones and gluten. All products are made in a GMP-certified laboratory.
Improved Mental Clarity: 5-HTP promotes relaxation and improved mental clarity by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This product provides 200mg of 5-HTP per serving for a powerful dose.
Healthy Sleep Patterns: 5-HTP can help to support healthy sleep patterns by promoting relaxation and reducing stress. This product is an excellent choice if you are looking for improved sleep quality.
DR EMIL NUTRITION 200 MG 5-HTP Price:
At $22.99, DR EMIL NUTRITION 200 MG 5-HTP is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-quality supplement to support their overall health. With its powerful dose of 5-HTP, it can help to improve mental clarity, sleep patterns, and much more.
NOW Supplements, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 200 mg
The NOW Double Strength 5-HTP capsules contain 200 mg of 5-HTP, which is extracted from the seed of Griffonia simplicifolia, an African plant. 5-HTP is the intermediate metabolite between the amino acid known as tryptophan and serotonin. This is twice the amount of 5-HTP found in our regular strength product, which contains 100 mg per capsule.
NOW Supplements, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 200 mg Main Benefits:
Mood Support: The chemical compound called 5-HTP is derived from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. This compound acts as a middle substance between the amino acid tryptophan and serotonin.
GMP Quality Assured: NOW has received NPA A-rated GMP certification, which verifies that its entire manufacturing process has been thoroughly evaluated, including its laboratory and testing procedures for stability, potency, and product formulation.
Packaged in the USA: This product has been packaged by a family-owned and operated company in the USA since 1968.
NOW Supplements, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 200 mg Price:
At $26.19, NOW Supplements, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 200 mg is an excellent choice for those looking to improve their mood and support a healthy sleep cycle.
Nutricost 5-HTP 100mg, 240 Vegetarian Capsules
Each capsule of Nutricost 5-Hydroxytryptophan (also known as 5-HTP) contains 100 MG of powerful and top-notch quality 5-HTP. Additionally, these capsules are free from GMOs and gluten.
Nutricost 5-HTP 100mg, 240 Vegetarian Capsules Main Benefits:
High-Quality 5-HTP Supplement: This product provides 100mg of 5-HTP per capsule, which is processed to purity standards that exceed industry standards.
High Potency: Nutricost’s 5-HTP contains a pure and potent form of supplement. It has been tested for quality assurance so you can be sure that it is safe and effective.
Vegetarian Capsules: These capsules are made with vegetarian ingredients so they are suitable for all diets.
Nutricost 5-HTP 100mg, 240 Vegetarian Capsules Price:
At $18.95, Nutricost 5-HTP 100mg, 240 Vegetarian Capsules is an excellent and affordable choice for those looking to improve their mental clarity and mood.
Risks of Consuming 5-HTP (Side Effects)
While 5-HTP is generally considered safe when taken as directed, it can cause side effects in some people. Common side effects of 5-HTP include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. In rare cases, 5-HTP can cause a condition called serotonin syndrome, which is characterized by high levels of serotonin in the body and can be life-threatening. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-HTP to ensure safety and efficacy.
5-HTP vs. Other Serotonin Boosting Supplements
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are a class of prescription medications that are used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. They work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin, which increases the amount of serotonin available in the brain. While SSRIs are effective for many people, they can cause side effects and are not suitable for everyone.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
MAOIs are a class of prescription drugs that are used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. They work by inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which breaks down serotonin and other neurotransmitters. While MAOIs can be effective for some people, they can cause serious side effects and interact with many other medications and foods.
Essential Amino Acid Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is found in protein-rich foods. It is a precursor to 5-HTP and serotonin, and consuming foods high in tryptophan can help to boost serotonin levels in the brain. However, consuming tryptophan alone is not enough to significantly raise serotonin levels, and 5-HTP supplements are often used to achieve this effect.
5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid that is an important precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. It has been shown to have several health benefits, including promoting weight loss, reducing anxiety and depression, enhancing sleep quality, improving symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic headaches, boosting serotonin levels, and increasing energy levels. While 5-HTP is generally considered safe when taken as directed, it can cause side effects in some people, and it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-hydroxytryptophan.
If you are looking to improve your mood, enhance sleep quality, and increase energy levels, 5-HTP could be the right choice for you. Check out DR EMIL NUTRITION 200 MG 5-HTP, NOW Supplements, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 200 mg or Nutricost 5-HTP 100mg, 240 Vegetarian Capsules today to get the benefits of this powerful supplement. Buy now and take your health and wellness to the next level!
FAQs About 5-HTP
What does 5-HTP do for your body?
5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid that is an important precursor to serotonin. It has been shown to have several health benefits, including promoting weight loss, reducing anxiety and depression, enhancing sleep quality, improving symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic headaches, boosting serotonin levels, and increasing energy levels.
Is 5-HTP safe to take every day?
While 5-HTP is generally considered safe when taken as directed, it can cause side effects in some people, and it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-hydroxytryptophan. It is recommended to take 5-hydroxytryptophan in lower doses (e.g., 100mg per day) and for shorter periods of time (e.g., up to six weeks).
Is 5-HTP melatonin?
No, 5-HTP is not melatonin. It is a naturally occurring amino acid that is an important precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, while melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. While 5-hydroxytryptophan can help to improve sleep quality, it is not the same as melatonin. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking either supplement.
Can 5-HTP cure anxiety?
While 5-HTP has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety, it is not a cure for anxiety. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. 5-HTP can be used to supplement a treatment plan, however, as it has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve related symptoms. It is also important to practice lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and stress management techniques for optimal results in reducing anxiety.
Is it OK to take 5-HTP every day?
While 5-HTP is generally considered safe when taken as directed, it is important to follow the dosage instructions on the product label and consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-hydroxytryptophan. It is recommended to take 5-hydroxytryptophan in lower doses (e.g., 100mg per day) and for shorter periods of time (e.g., up to six weeks).
When should I take 5-HTP benefits?
The best time to take 5-HTP depends on the intended use. For mood and sleep support, it is recommended to take 5-HTP in the evening, as it can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. For losing weight, it is recommended to take 5-HTP 30 minutes to one hour before meals, as it can reduce appetite and promote feelings of fullness.
Will 5-HTP give me energy?
Yes, 5-HTP has been shown to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. This effect is thought to be due to 5-HTP’s ability to increase serotonin levels, which can promote feelings of well-being and reduce stress. Additionally, 5-hydroxytryptophan can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, which can lead to increased energy levels during the day. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-HTP.
Can too much 5-HTP cause anxiety?
While 5-HTP has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety when taken as directed, taking too much 5-hydroxytryptophan can cause side effects, including anxiety. It is important to follow the dosage instructions on the product label and consult with a healthcare provider before taking 5-hydroxytryptophan.