5-Hydroxytrtophan (or 5-HTP, for short), is often used in the treatment of depression, insomnia and anxiety. It’s a chemical compound made by the body by breaking down the amino acid Tryptophan. Once only available by prescription, 5-HTP can now be found in many health and wellness supplementations.
5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid… but it cannot be found in the foods we eat. However, it is found in the seeds of the Griffonia plant, and that’s how the substance is integrated into 5-HTP supplementations like The Relax Capsules.
What is 5-HTP used for?
If someone wants to increase their levels of 5-HTP to combat their struggles with insomnia, depression or anxiety, supplements that contain the amino acid like The Relax Capsules are hugely beneficial. This is because it can be converted by the body into serotonin: the hormone responsible for stabilising and boosting your mood.
It’s the happy hormone, if you will.
After this, serotonin is converted by the body into something called melatonin. Which leads us on pretty nicely to our next point, actually.
Can 5-HTP help you sleep?
Absolutely! 5-HTP is used for sleep as it’s hugely beneficial in regulating your circadian rhythm (aka your sleeping patterns). This is because our levels of melatonin (as we just mentioned) are increased by this amino acid, and melatonin is extremely influential in promoting sleep (and good quality sleep, at that).
Amazingly, 5-HTP has also been proven to significantly reduce night terrors. In a study published in the European Journal of Paediatrics, it was found that 83% of the children with sleep terrors left the assessment entirely sleep terror free after integrating 5-HTP treatment into their routine.
Whether you use 5-HTP for sleep, boosting your mood or otherwise, the benefits of the naturally occurring amino acid are huge.
Six 5-HTP benefits you might not know
- Promotes feelings of fullness that can assist with weight loss
- Boosts your mood
- Helps fight symptoms of depression
- Improves symptoms of fibromyalgia
- Reduces the effects of migraines
- Enhances melatonin production
Are there any side effects of 5-HTP?
As with everything you consume, if you take 5-HTP improperly, or are perhaps ingesting too much of the amino acids, you may experience some side effects. Noted side effects of 5-HTP include the below:
- Sexual problems
As a result of the risk of these issues, we recommend that you stick to taking the recommended daily dose of up to 400mg daily. It’s best to take 5-HTP supplementations such as The Relax Capsules late in the day, perhaps before you go to bed, to ensure that you are not at risk of feeling drowsy throughout the day.
5-HTP supplements are also rapidly absorbed by the body, so it’s recommended to take 5-HTP supplementations on a daily basis to ensure that you are maintaining stable levels of the compound in your body.
Why should you take 5-HTP supplementations?
5-HTP supplementations such as The Relax Capsules are a great alternative to other serotonin-boosting prescriptions, offering an effective natural alternative to smart drugs that sometimes have unwanted and unpleasant side effects.
Research into the effectiveness of 5-HTP supplementations
There’s been research into 5-HTP benefits and the effectiveness of the compound in treating depression and insomnia, as well as its effect on weight management.
One study published in the Journal of Eating and Weight Disorders discovered that women involved in the study who took 5-HTP supplementations reported feeling a greater feeling of ‘fullness’ after eating, which led to an overall decrease in their food intake (and inevitably, greater weight loss due to their calorie deficit).
In terms of treating anxiety with 5-HTP, research published in the Psychiatry Research Journal in 2002 identified that taking 5-HTP supplements reduced feelings of anxiety and panic in participants.
Overall, if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, low mood and weight management, test out 5-HTP supplements like The Relax Capsules. Struggling with the symptoms of these issues can have a hugely detrimental effect on your overall health and wellbeing, so making sure that you are addressing them to ensure your performance is in tip-top shape, both mentally and physically.
Mental health resources
If you’re struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety, there are a great number of resources out there to help you, including the below:
At Innermost, we are always trying to enhance our community’s (and our own) understanding of mental health. Check out our article with Katie Strang, a mental health professional, who gives us tips about opening up and talking about our mental health.
If you, or someone you know is suffering, it’s always important to talk to a professional, too.
- Bruni, O., Ferri, R., Miano, S. et al. (2004). L -5-Hydroxytryptophan treatment of sleep terrors in children. Eur J Pediatr 163, 402–407. Click here.
- Rondanelli, M., Opizzi, A., Faliva, M., Bucci, M., & Perna, S. (2012). Relationship between the absorption of 5-hydroxytryptophan from an integrated diet, by means of Griffonia simplicifolia extract, and the effect on satiety in overweight females after oral spray administration. Eating and weight disorders : EWD, 17(1), e22–e28. Click here.
- Schruers, K., van Diest, R., Overbeek, T., & Griez, E. (2002). Acute L-5-hydroxytryptophan administration inhibits carbon dioxide-induced panic in panic disorder patients. Psychiatry research, 113(3), 237-243. Click here.