5-HTP is a natural compound that your body makes. Your body uses 5-HTP to make both serotonin and melatonin. These important hormones are responsible for maintaining healthy moods and healthy sleep, respectively. People use 5-HTP for a number of benefits. These include supporting a healthy mood, maintaining healthy sleeping patterns, and reducing appetite.
5-HTP does not cure or treat any disease or ailment. However, it is a powerful dietary supplement. Some people even consider 5-HTP as a Nootropic. Increasing serotonin levels is usually a safe way to improve your mood, but can be dangerous if you’re taking certain prescription medication.
Benefits and Effects
1. Supports a healthy mood
5-HTP is the precursor compound to both melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps to promote healthy sleep, while serotonin is known to aid in maintaining a good mood. The result is that 5-HTP supplements produce a noticeable mood boost.
However, the idea that 5-HTP can be used for depression is highly disputed and has come under severe scientific scrutiny. There are not enough studies to back this claim up, and some scientists argue that it may be detrimental to certain forms of depression.
We don’t condone using 5-HTP for any illness or ailment. However, many people love that it is an effective dietary supplement for supporting a healthy mood.
2. May help suppress appetite
Again, 5-HTP increases serotonin levels. This is known to reduce cravings of hunger, especially for foods that are high in carbohydrates. A number of studies have shown 5-HTP’s potential to decrease cravings for carbohydrates. This is beneficial to anybody who is looking to lose weight, or on a diet. It may also be helpful to people who are training or looking to build muscle.
There have been a few human studies looking at the effects of 5-HTP on appetite. One study on 20 obese patients found that 5-HTP supplements resulted in significant weight loss and less consumption of carbohydrates.
3. May help maintain healthy sleep
When you take 5-HTP, your body turns the 5-HTP into melatonin. Melatonin is the ‘sleeping hormone’, which your body produces to regulate sleeping patterns. Put simply, more melatonin equals better sleep.
This is a great way to help people who are struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep. The added bonus of using 5-HTP to help with sleep is that you get a mood boost too. Difficulty sleeping can often cause a bad mood and irritability, and 5-HTP is the perfect dietary supplement for this.
The typical dosage for 5-HTP is around 300-500mg once daily. You can also use lower doses and split them up over the course of the day. For appetite suppression, you can take 5-HTP with food, as there is some evidence that it increases the feeling of ‘fullness’.
Side Effects and Warnings
5-HTP is a safe dietary supplement to use as a mood-booster and to help reduce appetite. Side effects may include heartburn, stomach ache, and nausea. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.
NB: Do not take 5-HTP if you are using prescription medication, especially not with SSRIs as the combination can be fatal.
In conclusion, we can see that 5-HTP is a great supplement to take to help with improving mood, maintaining healthy sleep, and potentially useful for weight loss. The recommended 5-HTP dosage is around 300-500 mg daily.
5-HTP is a safe supplement but it is not recommended to exceed the daily dosage, and it can cause serious interactions with some prescription medication.
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