A supplement that can help alleviate low mood, soothe headaches, improve sleep and relieve discomfort.
🕒 2 min read
5-HTP is a unique amino acid that has only two natural sources; the human body and the seeds of the West African medicinal plant, griffonia simplicifolia.
Unlike other amino acids we do not use it as a protein building block. Instead, it stimulates the production of important brain chemicals such as serotonin, melatonin, and endorphins, which are involved in our mood, behaviour, appetite, sleep and pain perception.
How does it work?
The most commonly prescribed class of antidepressant drugs are known as SSRIs(selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors), and work by raising levels of serotonin in the brain. However, rather than increasing the amount of serotonin made, they block the re-absorption of serotonin once it is released into the communication gaps (synapses) between brain cells. If you are not making or releasing much serotonin, SSRIs are therefore not that effective.
In contrast, high quality 5-HTP supplements may help to provide a boost to our natural production of serotonin in the brain. As a result, it tends to work faster than SSRI drugs and often produces results in people who have not previously responded to anti-depressant drugs.
What can it help?
Several studies show that 5-HTP supplements have a positive effect on low mood, and are better than placebo at alleviating depression. Out of more than 500 people with depression, over half showed significant improvement in mood, with benefits usually occurring within two weeks.
Serotonin has effects on blood vessel dilation in the brain which can relieve pounding headaches. By increasing serotonin production, 5-HTP can improve chronic daily headache, tension headache and migraine. It also helps to fight any pain by boosting production of the brain’s own morphine-like endorphins.
5-HTP also boosts the production of melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone. This helps to extend the amount of time spent in REM (rapid eye movement, aka dreaming) sleep so you wake in the morning feeling more refreshed. In some people it may trigger vivid dreams.
Low serotonin levels and sleep disturbances are features of fibromyalgia, a medical condition characterised by chronic pain, which has been shown to respond to 5-HTP treatment. Supplements help to improve pain, the number of tender points, morning stiffness, sleep patterns, anxiety and fatigue.
Converted in the body into serotonin
- Pure, vegan and botanical-source of 5-HTP
- Vitamins C, B3, B6, biotin and folic acid support nervous and psychological functions
- With added zinc for cognitive support
Start with 100mg at night. It may take a few weeks to notice effects. Use for three months, stop for one month and review.
5-HTP should not be taken at the same time as prescription anti-depressant drugs.