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5-HTP: A Natural Antidepressant Without The Side Effects



5-htp: a natural antidepressant without the side effects

5-HTP, Where can you find it and what does it do?

You can find 5-hydroxytryptophan in high concentrations within Griffonia extract. That is an extract from a vegetable that can be found in Africa. The Griffonia simlicifolia seed is almost a third 5-HTP. That is the hormone that comes right before serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is absolutely essential to reduce pain and improve levels of relaxation. The typical diet includes very little 5-HTP and the body normally can create its own through the consumption of l-tryptophan. That can normally be found in the proteins that you eat but the problem is, eating more l-tryptophan doesn’t change levels of 5-HTP very much.


Serotonin comes from 5-hydroxytryptophan. It can help someone feel better with less anxiety and assist in weight reduction. It’s a natural anti-depressant and in fact, it’s the middle point between l-tryptophan and serotonin. More and more evidence is coming in by the day that suggests the way people typically live is hurting their ability to produce appropriate serotonin in the body. This can come from everything in life like dietary choices, physical activity, and stress levels. All of these can cause problems for serotonin levels when not managed right.


There have been a number of scientists that have suggested low serotonin may be partially to blame for the obesity problems many people face. People that are obese tend to get cravings for carbs. They also show abnormally low levels of serotonin. Many people choose to take a 5-HTP supplement 30 minutes before they eat as it can reduce hunger and help the brain lower the carb cravings it has. That can make 5-HTP a major boost for anyone looking to succeed on a fat loss plan.


When someone uses an addictive product like tobacco, caffeine, some narcotics, and alcohol, their levels of serotonin may rise. As people try to eliminate these habits they’ll have problems when their serotonin levels drop again, causing cravings and stress. These symptoms may be stabilized with the use of a 5-HTP supplement to prevent some problems associated with clearing the system.


When taking this supplement, people that suffer from PMS report fewer issues with emotions and irritability, similar to taking an anti-depressant. Menstruation causes a reduction in serotonin levels. This supplement can work to counter the effects and bring those levels closer to normal.


5-HTP can help a person relax when under stress. That makes it a common choice for people suffering from anxiety and can also work great with sleep. It does not operate as a sedative because it works without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills. It can help prevent insomnia through consumption 60 minutes before bed.

Side Effects

When 5HTP has been taken in very high dosages it has caused problems in animal testing. Guinea pigs have suffered muscle jerking. Mice have suffered diarrhea and muscle jerking. It’s even caused kidney damage to mice that were injected with it. None of these effects have been seen in human consumption.  A very uncommon condition called “serotonin syndrome,” has never been created using serotonin supplementation. Theory suggests that it could be possible. The specific level of this effect is not known at this time.


5-HTP supplements shouldn’t be taken with other serotonin effecting supplements or drugs. That may include an anti-depressant, or fat loss pill. It should also not be used when liver damage may have taken place. 5-HTP can cause too much of an increase in the body in those cases. Proper liver health is essential to managing the levels of 5-HTP in the body and people that has autoimmune concerns may need to be extra careful. It’s usually best to talk to a professional involved in your health conditions before starting the use of this kind of supplement when you have a questionable medical history. It has not been shown to have or not have an effect during breast feeding and pregnancy.

Low Serotonin Conditions That May Be Improved

– Overweight
– Depression
– Fibromyalgia
– Carb Hunger
– Bulimia
– Narcolepsy
Trouble Sleeping
– Sleep apnea
– Tension headache problems
– Migraines
– Daily headaches
– Premenstrual syndrome