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  • Supports a healthy, positive mood
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Promotes healthy sleep patterns


5-HTP or 5 Hydroxytryptophan is a naturally occurring amino-acid that is extracted from Griffonia Simplicifolia key in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and melatonin. Benefits of 5-HTP, sometimes also called HTP 5, include: mood-lift, improved stress levels, promotion of healthy sleep patterns, appetite suppression, and supporting a healthy metabolism. 5 HTP Dosage is recommended at around 100-600mg daily in two to three separate servings.  5-HTP Side effects are limited but may include slight gastrointestinal effects. Do not take with SSRIs.


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5 HTP reviews


“What better way to promote the healthy levels of tryptamine activity in the brain than with the direct precursor to 5-HO-tryptamine (serotonin); also with the ability to cross the brain blood barrier it's bioavailability is quite sound for someone looking to function in everyday life via a stable mood and keen instinctual connection to the body's homeostasis.” – Thomas, LiftMode review


5-HTP product reviews


  • 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino-acid involved in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and melotonin


  • Benefits of 5-HTP use include mood-lift, promotion of healthy sleep patterns and appetite suppression, among others


  • Dosage is recommended at around 300-900mg daily in two to three separate servings


  • Side effects are limited but may include slight gastrointestinal effects


What is 5-HTP?


5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino-acid that is made from Griffonia Simplicifolia and is the key intermediate step in the formation of both serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan (one of the 22 major amino acids). 5-HTP is sold over the counter and online to support a healthy, positive mood in many developed countries, and has been studied for the potential to support healthy stress levels  5 HTP is also considered one of the most potent natural appetite suppressors available. Because 5HTP is involved in the biosynthesis of both serotonin and melatonin, its effects include mood-lift and promotion of healthy sleep patterns. Serotonin is responsible for the mood-lift and appetite suppression, while melatonin functions naturally to promote healthy sleep. The great thing about HTP 5 is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which makes it more effective than taking pure serotonin.[1] Where to buy 5 HTP? At Liftmode, of course!


5 HTP benefits / effects


Appetite reduction and supporting a healthy weight

One primary benefit of 5-HTP use is in appetite suppression and the potential to support a healthy weight. The boost of serotonin not only increases mood but also suppresses appetite.

In a six-week clinical study with obese patients, those who supplemented with 5-HTP were able to reduce carbohydrate intake, which contributed to significant weight loss” (Gant)[2]

Once again, it is important to remember that 5 HTP cannot be patented and therefore large pharmaceutical companies have no financial incentive to provide funding for 5-HTP research. Therefore, there is a need for more extensive research.

Laboratory studies on rats found that rats given 5HTP ate less and more slowly after receiving the 5-Hydroxytryptophan.

Another human study found that patients who were given 5-HTP had decreased appetite for up to three days after the serving was given.

An important factor in 5-HTP use for weight loss is its apparent ability to suppress cravings for carbohydrates specifically. This may be linked to the so-called ‘sugar-haze’ – a release of serotonin from eating carbohydrates. Since 5-HTP naturally increases serotonin, there is no longer a craving for the carbohydrate-induced serotonin ‘boost’. (Gant)


Healthy serotonin levels

Another of 5HTP’s major benefits is to support a healthy, positive mood. 5-HTP is relatively safe, does not have a history of severe side effects, and can be bought over the counter. 5-HTP cannot be patented, so pharmaceutical companies lack the financial incentive to market it and to fund major research into it.



Studies have shown that after supplementing with 5-HTP, serum serotonin levels are considerably higher.[3] 5-HTP’s major role as a direct precursor to serotonin and its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier are reasons suggested for the increase in serum serotonin levels. Serotonin is a major chemical found in the gastrointestinal tract, red blood platelets and the central nervous systems of all animals and humans. It is responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being, among others. There are many chemicals that can be bought both legally and illegally that alter the levels of serotonin in the brain either by causing a release of more serotonin or by inhibiting the brain from ‘recycling’ all the serotonin that is released. Some chemicals that release serotonin are used to cause an intense feeling of being high, whereas others that prevent the brain from breaking down serotonin or removing it from the synapse are used for a more subtle mood-lift effect.


Research into supporting healthy stress levels

A recent study found that use of 5-HTP could have the potential to be used to support healthy stress levels. Volunteers given doses of 5-HTP were seen to react positively in the relief of feelings of anxiety, while the control subjects found no change. [4]


Promotion of healthy sleep

The above mentioned study also monitored serum melatonin levels after the doses of 5-HTP. Melatonin levels were found to have increased significantly in blood tests on patients given 5-HTP. Melatonin is another important naturally occurring chemical that is found in all animals and is used for the regulation of healthy sleep patterns. Many people today suffer from irregular sleeping patterns, often due to the stressful lives that we are living. Melatonin supplements can be used but, as with serotonin, Melatonin has limited ability to cross over from the intestine into the blood-stream and then from the blood into the brain. 5-HTP is a precursor of melatonin, and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, making it possibly more effective than melatonin supplements in the promotion of healthy sleep patterns.[5]


5-HTP dosage


Normal supplementation of 5-HTP is around 100-600mg daily, ideally separated into two to three servings. Some sources recommend combining 5-HTP with Green Tea Polyphenols - EGCG, a major Green Tea Polyphenol, can help inhibit the enzyme which converts 5-HTP to serotonin in the periphery of the body, while allowing conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin in the brain.  Prolonged exposure to excess levels of serotonin in the body is speculated to potentially cause negative effects on the cardiovascular system, and Green Tea Polyphenols may prevent 5-HTP from producing excessive serotonin levels in the body.


5-HTP side effects and warnings


5-HTP is considered mostly safe for use because it is found naturally in the body as a metabolic precursor and amino acid. However, excessive amounts of 5-HTP are known to cause gastrointestinal side effects including nausea and stomach cramps. If you have any existing gastrointestinal problems, speak to your physician before taking 5-HTP supplements. Also, if you are taking any other anti-depressants, including SSRIs or MAOIs, it is advisable to consult with your physician before using 5-HTP - especially with SSRIs, as the combination can cause potentially fatal side effects.[6]



[1] “5-HTP” examine.com accessed 10-12-2014

[2][2] “The Role of 5HTP as a Precursor for Serotonin and Melatonin in the Treatment of Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Sleep Disorder, Weight Management, Fibromyalgia, Migraine and Withdrawal from Antidepressant Medication” by Charles Gant, MD, PhD, NMD

[3] “5-Hydroxytryptophan plus SSRIs for interferon-induced depression: Synergistic mechanisms for normalizing synaptic serotonin” Erick H. Turnerl, Aaron D. Blackwell, Medical Hypotheses, 2005 Volume 65, Issue 1, Pages 138–144

[4]  “Behavioral, neuroendocrine, and biochemical effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan administration in panic disorder” Johan A. den Boer, Herman G.M. Westenberg, Psychiatry Research, March 1990 Volume 31, Issue 3, Pages 267–278

[5] “Neuroendocrine response to L-5-hydroxytryptophan challenge in prepubertal major depression. Depressed vs normal children.” Ryan ND, Birmaher B, Perel JM, Dahl RE, Meyer V, al-Shabbout M, Iyengar S, Puig-Antich J, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992 Nov;49(11):843-51.

[6] “5-HTP efficacy and contraindications” Marty Hinz, Alvin Stein, and Thomas Uncini, Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2012; 8: 323–328.