Functions in the Body:
What do depression, the inability to fall asleep, and compulsive eating have in common?- low serotonin levels.
Because the brain, through the amino acid decarboxylase, naturally converts 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) into serotonin, many researchers are looking into its therapeutic use.
Studies have found that 5-HTP may be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of headaches, eating behaviors, depression, symptoms of fibromyalgia, anxiety, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
5-HTP is a natural compound derived from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia tree primarily found in West Africa. 5-HTP is an intermediate L-tryptophan metabolite, easily absorbed to support serotonin levels (70% of oral 5-HTP enters the blood stream).
5-HTP helps keep serotonin at optimal levels. When serotonin drops too low, sleep problems develop, you experience a lower threshold for pain, anxiety increases, and many notice abnormal weight gain.
When you restore your serotonin levels, your mood improves, anxiety disappears, and you feel calm and assured. Now, with the use of 5-HTP supplements, you may be able to positively affect your serotonin balance.*
In recent clinical studies, therapeutic administration of 5-HTP was confirmed effective in treating depression, fibromyalgia, the binge eating associated with obesity, chronic headaches, and insomnia.*
Furthermore, 5-HTP may also aid in weight control through the same serotonin-increasing mechanism found in prescription weight-loss products.*
A breakthrough in the treatment of depression came with the development of the SSRI (serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) such as Prozac®. These effective antidepressants work by increasing the serotonin level in the brain, which is many times found to be low in those with depression.
There is, however, a natural alternative to SSRIs that may also increase the brain's serotonin level: 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan).
5-HTP readily passes into the brain where it is converted into serotonin.
We know low serotonin levels can result in sad moods. Supplementing with 5-HTP stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain to enhance mood. A Swiss study compared the administration of 5-HTP with fluvoxamine (an SSRI used to enhance mood) among 36 subjects over six weeks. Researchers found both treatment groups had similar results with a 50% improvement in mood; therefore, 5-HTP can be a safe alternative to other mood enhancers.
Several studies were conducted in Europe in the late 1970's and early 1980's finding 5-HTP enhanced mood.,, Overall, the studies found 5-HTP had a positive effect on balancing mood among 55%-60% of patients, while there was no improvement in the placebo groups.
One such study that examined the effectiveness of 5-HTP as an antidepressant involved 59 depressed patients who where given 150-300 mg of 5-HTP daily. The result was astounding. Forty of the patients (68%) showed a favorable response, most within one week.
After six weeks, both groups showed about the same success rate. When the numbers were totaled at the end of the study, the mean percentage was slightly greater for patients treated with 5-HTP.
Adverse affects where found to be mild, usually disappearing within the first few days, with 5-HTP being more well tolerated then the SSRI. Tolerance of 5-HTP was assessed as being good or very good in 95% of the patience.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by general aching, fatigue, morning stiffness, and sleep disturbances.
It appears that low serotonin and tryptophan levels may be a contributing factor to fibromyalgia, indicating that 5-HTP may be useful in treating this debilitating malady. Studies have shown this to be the case.
5-HTP caught the attention of diet researchers, over 35 years ago, as a method of appetite control.  It has been found that the craving for carbohydrates and the resulting binge eating may be associated with low serotonin levels that accompany dieting.
Increasing the level of serotonin in the brain may therefore contribute to the success of a weight loss program.
A study conducted by the University of Rome found 5-HTP reduced night terrors in children. Forty-five children participated in the study finding 93.5% of the treatment group had a reduced amount of night terrors after one-month in the treatment group, while 83.9% were night terror-free after six-months of treatment.
Chronic headaches, especially migraines, are thought to be the result of low serotonin levels. 5-HTP has been used successfully in the prevention of chronic headaches of various types, including migraine, tension headaches, and juvenile headaches.
A double-blind study recruited 65 patients with headaches finding subjects that took 5-HTP supplementation used less pain relievers and had a reduction in the number of headaches after two weeks of treatment, in comparison to the placebo group.
Another study compared 5-HTP to Propranolol (a beta-blocker used to treat headaches) among 39 patients in a double-blind trial. Researchers found a significant reduction in headaches among both the 5-HTP and Propranolol groups over a four-month period suggesting 5-HTP is a safe alternative to other therapies.
Other Ingredients: Celluose, gelatin, magnesium stearate, and water.
for a month's supply.
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