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Ultimate FAQ - 5-HTP for Mood: 7 Best Questions Answered

5-HTP is an important substance that your body makes from the dietary amino acid L-tryptophan. People use 5-HTP for improving mood, reducing appetite and supporting healthy sleeping patterns. There is still a need for more research into 5-HTP and how it works.

People have left great reviews about their experiences with 5-HTP, and many believe that it is one of the best dietary supplements available. In this article, we’ll look at some of the top 5-HTP questions. It’s always good to do some background research before starting with a new supplement. We’ll help answer some of your questions.

happy couple on 5-htp Many people use 5-HTP for its mood-lifting properties

1.    What can you use 5-HTP for?

5-HTP can be used for a number of great benefits. You can use 5-HTP to boost your mood and focus, as well as to help aid in promoting healthy sleep. Some people also use 5-HTP to help with supporting a healthy metabolism.


2.    How does 5-HTP work?

Your body converts 5-HTP into two hormones: serotonin and melatonin. This process occurs naturally every day. 5-HTP is an important compound that your body produces from the amino acid L-tryptophan.[1] Using a 5-HTP supplement helps to increase both serotonin and melatonin levels in your body.[2]


3.    How much 5-HTP should I take?

The recommended dosage of 5-HTP is around 300-500 mg, once daily.[3] You can also divide this dosage into smaller doses and take them two to three times throughout the day. 5-HTP is soluble in water, so a great way to take it is in a glass of water or juice.

pure Liftmode 5-HTP 5-HTP powder from Liftmode.com, 99%+ purity

4.    Is 5-HTP safe?

5-HTP on its own is a very safe dietary supplement. It is a natural chemical produced by your body every day and is important for the production of two key hormones: serotonin and melatonin. You can take 5-HTP as a daily dietary supplement to help with your mood.

However, 5-HTP is not safe to use with certain prescription medications, especially SSRIs. If you are using SSRIs or any prescription antidepressant medication, please talk to your doctor before starting with a 5-HTP supplement as the combination can be very dangerous.[4]


5.    How much 5-HTP for sleep?

Scientists have not yet confirmed the correct dosage of 5-HTP for sleep. This is simply because of a lack of studies so far. We’d recommend using a low dose, closer to around 200 mg, and seeing how you go with this. If required, you can always increase the dose later.


6.    Can you use 5-HTP for weight loss?

A number of studies have examined the effects of 5-HTP on weight. These studies mostly looked at obese and overweight people taking 5-HTP supplements. The studies found a mild, yet significant improvement in metabolism in people taking 5-HTP supplements.[5]

woman lost weight Studies have shown that 5-HTP may be beneficial in helping with weight loss programs

The main way that people seem to lose weight from 5-HTP supplements is from the appetite suppression effect. This may be due to increased serotonin levels.


7.    What is 5-HTP found in?

5-HTP is produced by our bodies from the amino acid L-tryptophan. You can’t get 5-HTP from food sources. However, your body will produce 5-HTP from foods that are high in L-tryptophan. These foods include chicken, potatoes, sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, and seaweed. The best way to increase your 5-HTP levels is by taking a high-quality 5-HTP supplement.[6]



In conclusion, we see that 5-HTP is a great dietary supplement for boosting mood, reducing appetite, and helping to maintain healthy sleeping patterns. 5-HTP is converted into serotonin and melatonin, two vitally important brain hormones for good health. The recommended daily dosage for 5-HTP is around 300-500 mg. 5-HTP is safe on its own but should not be used in combination with antidepressants or SSRIs.




[1] Serotonin Biosynthesis, By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD, news-medical.net, retrieved on 23 September, 2016

[2] Effect of orally administered L-tryptophan on serotonin, melatonin, and the innate immune response in the rat, S Esteban et al., Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Dec;267(1-2):39-46.

[3] 5-HTP, Examine.com, retrieved on 22 September 2016

[4] 5-HTP, WebMD.com, retrieved on 22 September 2016

[5] The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects, Ceci F et al., J Neural Transm. 1989;76(2):109-17

[6] 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), University of Maryland Medical Centre online, Stephen D. Elrich, NMD, retrieved on 22 September 2016