What Is 5-HTP? Exploring the Wellness Benefits of 5-Hydroxytryptophan

In today’s high-tech society, sleep deprivation is a big issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep every night.

According to the most recent research performed by the CDC, however, adults aren’t getting enough rest. Across a considerable segment of the country, 30-percent to 40-percent of survey respondents regularly sleep less than seven hours.

People want a solution. However, a growing number of people also want a natural alternative to synthetic drugs such as sleeping pills. Resultantly, some people want to know the answer to the question, ” What is 5-HTP?”

To learn about the wellness benefits of 5-HTP, read on.

What is 5-HTP?

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a purported remedy for depression, sleeplessness and weight loss. The human body produces 5-HTP naturally. Some consumers believe that taking it as a supplement can help to improve mental health and quality of rest.

In the body, 5-HTP comes from an amino acid called tryptophan. It’s a component of both serotonin and melatonin – natural compounds that aid with the sleep-wake cycle.

Manufacturers extract 5-HTP from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia – a plant that is native to Africa. As a supplement, 5-HTP is becoming increasingly popular. Many consumers believe that it can help boost internal serotonin levels.

5-HTP works similar to antidepressants in the way that it increases serotonin that’s made available to the brain. Because of this effect, some people believe that the compound can help with a range of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Excessive weight
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Hot flashes
    • Insomnia
    • Migraines

To date, there’s not enough research to confirm that 5-HTP can help treat these conditions.

Also, a considerable segment of 5-HTP retailers sells subpar products. If you want to try 5-HTP, it’s important to source it from an ethical retailer. For example, if you’re wondering where to buy SugarBearHair vitamins that are authentic, click the link.

What Is 5-HTP Used For?

Some clinical trials have revealed that 5-HTP works as well as antidepressants. Furthermore, the studies show that the compound has fewer side effects than synthetic antidepressants.

Researchers have also found that 5-HTP works well for treating migraines. However, they must do more studies to confirm existing evidence.

So far, researchers have not gathered enough information to recommend an ideal 5-HTP dosage. However, most clinical depression study participants consumed 150 mg to 800 mg of 5-HTP every day. The trials typically lasted anywhere from two to six weeks.

Everyone’s different. If you speak with your physician about taking 5-HPT, they will weigh various factors such as your age, gender, and medical background. It’s important that you talk with your care provider before starting any new supplements.

5-HTP Side Effects

There are some reported side effects of 5-HTP. Manufacturers design the compound for oral consumption.

Even when consuming 5-HTP correctly, however, some people have experienced side effects. For example, some consumers have developed eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) after taking the compound. The condition causes extreme muscle tenderness and blood abnormalities.

People have also reported other minor side effects. These effects might include:

  • Diarrhea
    • Heartburn
    • Muscle problems
    • Nausea
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Sleepiness
    • Stomach cramps
    • Vomiting

Furthermore, it’s possible that it’s unsafe to take large doses of 5-HTP. For example, physicians have linked doses of 5-HTP that range from 6 grams to 10 grams with serious stomach problems and muscle spasms.

Children may take 5-HTP safely by mouth. Research shows that infants and children up to the age of 12 have consumed 5-HTP safely for a period not exceeding three years.

However, children also face the same risk as adults. It’s possible that children who consume 5-HTP can contract EMS.

There is no available research regarding whether it’s safe for pregnant mothers to consume 5-HTP. Because of this, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid the 5-HTP supplement altogether if you’re pregnant.

5-HTP Interactions

It’s important to note that you should also exercise caution in consuming 5-HTP if you’re planning on having surgery. Some of the drugs used for surgery also affect serotonin.

By combining these drugs with 5-HTP, you may develop adverse symptoms. These symptoms may include anxiety, heart problems, and shivering.

As a rule of thumb, you should stop taking the compound two weeks before the procedure. It’s highly advisable to inform your physician if you’re taking 5-HTP and planning on having surgery.

It’s worth revisiting the fact that 5-HTP increases serotonin. Antidepressants also increase the presence of this chemical in the brain.

Too much serotonin can also cause side effects such as anxiety, shivering, and heart problems. Accordingly, it’s important not to take 5-HTP if you’re taking one of several antidepressants. These drugs may include:

  • Anafranil
    • Elavil
    • Paxil
    • Prozac
    • Tofranil
    • Zoloft

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) also produce excess serotonin, so you should avoid consuming 5-HTP if you already take drugs in this class.

You should also avoid taking 5-HTP with Lodosyn. You may experience side effects such as anxiety, aggressiveness and rapid speech when you consume the two drugs together.

It’s also inadvisable to take 5-HTP with Demerol. These two drugs can cause an overload of serotonin when combined, resulting in adverse symptoms. The same applies to Talwin and Ultram.

Learn More About Health and Your Body

Now you’ve learned the answer to the question, ” What is 5-HTP?” Reportedly, it may help with depression and can even help you get some rest.

However, you can never learn enough about wellness. WorldOfFemale.com is your one-stop-shop for all things female.

Visit the site often to learn more facts about health, lifestyle, gossip and entertainment. New stories arrive daily!

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