Could 5-HTP improve your health?

The stresses and strains of a busy, modern lifestyle could eventually take its toll on your health. Eating on the run, losing sleep, and not allowing your body to rest could lower your immune system, making it harder to fight infections. If you suffer from aches and pains, sleepless nights, depression, and ADHD, 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), often referred to as oxitriptan, may be able to help with your general well-being.

There are many 5-HTP supplements on the market. These supplements are made from the seeds of an African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia. However, it is also important to note that 5-HTP is also a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. It’s produced from the amino acid, tryptophan which we get from foods such as bananas, chicken, and brown rice, and could help increase levels of serotonin, also known as the happy hormone.

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter which relays messages between the central nervous system and the brain. It helps regulate everything from stress levels and sleeping patterns to appetite. Low serotonin levels could therefore have a serious effect on your health.

That is where the 5-HTP supplements come in. They could help boost serotonin levels help with your overall health.

Aches and pains

The older you get the more likely you are to suffer from regular aches and pains, but boosting your body’s 5-HTP supplies will increase serotonin levels which could alleviate pain by aiding in smooth muscle contraction. Trials have also suggested 5-HTP could relieve migraines, morning stiffness and pain caused by fibromyalgia.

Insomnia – Could 5-HTP Improve Your Health?

If you suffer from anxiety, you may find it difficult to sleep. However, an increase in serotonin not only helps reduce stress levels but produces an increase in melatonin – the sleep hormone. A placebo-controlled study found participants taking 5-HTP supplements quickly fell into a deep sleep although the supplement could take between 6 to 12 weeks to be fully effective.


Another way 5-HTP could help your health is weight loss. The results of an Italian study revealed participants taking 5-HTP supplements ate fewer calories and carbohydrates than those on a placebo. Although participants were encouraged to continue with their normal diets, those taking 5- HTP reported feeling more satiated after eating, thus helping with weight loss.

Depression – Could 5-HTP Improve Your Health?

Serotonin’s reputation as the happy hormone means it can play a key role in your mental health and well-being. Therefore, low levels of serotonin could contribute to low moods. 5-HTP is a natural alternative to other anti-depressants and works in a similar way to help alleviate symptoms. However, depression is a serious condition so speak to your doctor about the right treatment for you.


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioural disorders among children. It develops in childhood but can persist later in life with symptoms such as poor impulsive control, a short attention span and problems focusing. Studies have suggested an increase in serotonin could help reduce these symptoms, another benefit of boosting 5-HTP levels.

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