|In stock - free shipping $75+|
5-Hydroxytryptophan- The Immediate Serotonin Precursor
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is derived from the seed of Griffonia simplicifolia, a small shrub tree that grows off the Ivory Coast and Ghana. 5-HTP is then processed in France. 5-HTP can also be made synthetically in a laboratory. 5-HTP is all-natural, and is devoid of any "peak" x contaminants.
It is well-established that one of the basic physiological causes of depression is low serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels may also be associated with conditions other than depression, including anxiety, insomnia, aggressiveness, migraine headaches, and some obsessive-compulsive and appetite disorders.
Unfortunately, serotonin taken as a supplement cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, naturally derived 5HTP, a serotonin precursor, is well absorbed orally (70%) and penetrates the BBB, where it is converted into serotonin. Food does not interfere with its absorption.
Pharmacology / Clinical Applications
Over 19 studies, mainly conducted in Europe, have evaluated the clinical effects of 5HTP. A Swiss study found that a 300mg daily dose was slightly superior to fluvoxamine, a standard selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) with lower incidence of side-effects. 5-HTP has also been compared to tricyclic antidepressants (clomipramine and imipramine) and has been found to be as effective as these prescriptive antidepressants.
Another advantage of 5-HTP is the quicker onset of action compared with conventional treatments. E.g. in one study, 50% of the patients began to improve after 3 days, and 80% within 2 weeks, whereas conventional antidepressants take much longer to achieve therapeutic response.
A Norwegian study found 5-HTP improved sleep as effectively as did L-Tryptophan. Melatonin is a down-stream metabolite of 5-HTP, which explains this effect.
A Spanish study compared 5-HTP with the drug methysergide and found comparable improvement (over 70% of both groups) with considerably fewer side-effects in the 5-HTP group. The researchers concluded 5-HTP to be the preferred preventive measure against migraine attacks. An Italian study confirmed these results.
Fibromyalgia patients have been found to have low serotonin levels and have shown symptomatic improvement with the use of tricyclic and SSRI antidepressants. Several clinical trials have confirmed significant improvement in symptoms, including pain, morning stiffness, anxiety, and fatigue. An Italian study showed significant improvement following a total dose of 300mg for 30 days. A longer 12-month study using a daily dose of 400mg of 5-HTP found the supplement to be as effective as amitriptyline and/or phenelzine (MAOI). No patient withdrew from the study.
Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters involved in satiety. The administration of 5-HTP leads to decreased food intake although fairly high doses have to be used. In one study, 20 obese patients were randomly assigned to receive either 900mg of 5-HTP in three divided doses thirty minutes before food or placebo. There was a significant weight loss in patients with reduced carbohydrate intake. Nausea was the most common side-effect.