Have you ever wondered if there was a natural way to possibly boost your mood and fight depression? Or a supplement that might help with anxiety, without the potentially scary side effects of pharmaceuticals? If you’ve looked into it, you may come across 5-HTP.
With its less-than-friendly-sounding name, you might feel hesitant to give it a try. It’s a powerful tool that may have a positive impact on your brain and central nervous system, including your serotonin levels.
In this post, we hope to help you understand what is 5-HTP, and how might it help improve your mood and battle anxiety and depression.* Let’s talk about it!
What is 5-HTP
5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxytryptophan. Your body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid you get from the foods you eat. After your body makes 5-HTP from the tryptophan you eat, it converts it again into serotonin. So, when you eat food that has the essential amino acid tryptophan, your body converts it into 5-HTP and then finally into serotonin.
Serotonin is actually 5-HT, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, and is the feel good neurotransmitter that helps regulate many functions, including mood, anxiety, sleep, digestion and more. So having sufficient 5-HTP helps support sufficient serotonin levels, which may be necessary for emotional wellbeing.
You can get tryptophan from foods such as:
- Whole milk
- Canned tuna
- Turkey and chicken
- Nuts and seeds
On the other hand, you can’t get 5-HTP from food, so you may want to to take a supplement to boost your levels. 5-HTP supplements are typically produced from the seeds Griffonia simplicifolia, a plant native to Africa. While there may not be a supplement that can make you happy, a 5 HTP supplement may possibly give your body the tools it needs to support your mood, ease anxiety and provide other positive benefits.
Taking a 5-HTP supplement has been found to help fight depression, relieve anxiety, support weight loss, and alleviate fibromyalgia side effects.
5-HTP May Help Fight Depression
Research has found a link between depression and a deficit in serotonin levels. Because 5-HTP is converted into serotonin in the body, it's believed to aid in alleviating symptoms of depression. 5-HTP is also well tolerated, making it a desirable tool for those looking for a more natural approach.
5-HTP May Relieve Anxiety
Serotonin isn’t called the feel-good hormone for no reason! Because serotonin helps regulate moods, it can have a powerful impact on depression and anxiety. By supplementing your levels of 5-HTP, you may support healthy serotonin levels, which might take the edge off anxiety.
5-HTP May Aid Weight Loss
One effect that 5-HTP can have on the body is an increased feeling of fullness. This effect may help squash an overactive appetite and reduce overeating. 5-HTP has even been found to reduce calorie intake by suppressing hunger-inducing hormones, and help control blood sugar, which may lead to weight loss.
5-HTP May Fight Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Although there is no known cause of fibromyalgia, research has found a link between low serotonin levels and the condition. It’s believed that increasing serotonin, which is an effect of 5-HTP, may help relieve muscle pain, fatigue and sleep issues associated with the condition.
5HTP Dosage: How Much Should You Take?
It’s easy to see the possibilities that 5-HTP pills offer to improve our well-being, but getting enough of it can be a challenge. How much should you take? Trio Nutrition's Mood Joy ingredients include 5 HTP, St. John's wart, and a proprietary blend that may help people who struggle with depression, anxiety and other mood issues. The starting recommended adult dosage is 1 capsule a day with food and water.
For medical advice on 5 HTP dosage, consult a doctor, nurse practitioner or licensed medical practitioner.
5-HTP is a serotonin precursor that your body makes from tryptophan, an amino acid. This helps support the chemical reactions necessary for mood regulation. It has also been linked to helping ease anxiety, support weight loss, and help with symptoms from fibromyalgia such as muscle pain and insomnia. While you can get tryptophan from food, you cannot get 5-HTP from any food source. This makes 5-HTP supplementation a possible solution for those interested in boosting their intake and reaping the benefits.
*The information in this article and throughout Trio Nutrition’s blog is for informational purposes only, and should never be mistaken for professional medical advice.