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5- Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

October 09, 2015

Over the past 40 years or so a number of clinical trials have indicated tht 5-HTP may be useful for a broad range of health problems. Ironically, however 5-HTP does not perfrom any specific function within the body. 5-HTP actually acts within the body as a raw material, used by some cells within the body to make the important neurotransmitter serotonin. Therefore when looking at the benefits of 5-HTP we are in essence looking at the benefits of serotonin. 5 HTP is commercially produced from the seeds of a West African medicinal plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia.

The benefits of 5-HTP

  • Depression- The vast majority of studies on 5-HTP have focused on its use as a natural antidepressant with encouraging results. 

  • Insomnia- Serotonin levels are very important in controlling our normal sleeping pattern and the use of 5- HTP has shown considerable benefits in cases of sleeping disturbances and insomnia.

  • Anxiety- An emotional state that is related to Serotonin disturbances. Improvements in the symptoms of anxiety, particulary panic attacks, have been noted when 5-HTP is used.

  • Fibromyalgia- People with fibromyalgia often show low levels of Serotonin in their blood. 

  • Appetite Control and Weight Reduction-Overeating and low brain Serotonin levels are linked and studies have shown a reduction in food intake when 5-HTP is ised and consequently a reduction in body weight.

  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)- Research carried out in the 1980's strongly links Seratonin levels with PMS.


The properties of 5-HTP are centred around the fact that it is a direct precurser of serotonin, Serotonin is one of around tweleve neurotransmitters and is also used by some cells outside the brain. The vast majority of the body's Serotonin-using neurons are found within the intestinal tract, where Serotonin is used to help regulate peristalsis (waves of concentration that moves food along the digestive tract) and digestion.

Contra-indications/ Precautions

5-HTP should not be taken with anti-depressants,migraine medication, Parkinson's Disease drugs, weight control drugs, other serotonin-modifying agents or substances known to cause liver damage. Should not be used during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding. Can cause drowsiness do not drive or operate machinery if affected. Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans [shopify product=]  

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