5-HTP information

5-HTP Griffonia simplicifolia extract

5-HTP is a compound that our body produces in a small amount from the amino acid tryptophan. It is well-known because it can be converted in our body to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is also often referred to as the happiness hormone because it is an important regulator of mood, confidence, appetite and sleep. 5-HTP is often used as an effective way to increase serotonin levels, since the conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP is very limited in our body.

5-HTP is also known as:
5-hydroxytryptophan
Oxitriptan
Griffonia simplicifolia extract

Functions of 5-HTP

Serotonin increase
This supplement is mainly used for its ability to increase serotonin [1]. Increasing serotonin can result in many positive effects, since serotonin is an important neurotransmitter [2]. Among other things, serotonin is involved in the communication between almost all our brain cells and is also found in large quantities in the cells of the intestines and in platelets. As a result, serotonin is believed to have a variety of psychological and physiological effects [2].

Mood enhancement
Some users choose a 5-HTP supplement to boost their mood. This choice is not suprising since research shows that a serotonin imbalance can negatively affect mood [3][4]. The effect of this supplement is so strong that it can even reduce symptoms of depression [5][6][7][8]. According to some researchers, it may also help in the treatment of depression [9]. Despite its many positive effects, it is important to realize that this is a supplement. It is not a miracle or medicine.

Appetite suppression
5-HTP is also seen as an effective weight loss aid. Several studies have indicated that this is possible because it can effectively suppress appetite [10][11]. The appetite of users is suppressed because 5-HTP provides a feeling of fullness or satiety [10][11]. Experiments have shown that users of 5-HTP supplements have voluntarily reduced their calorie intake by up to 38% [12][13][14].

Sleep improvement
Serotonin can be converted in the body into the hormone melatonin, which is known to have a strong influence on our sleep patterns. As a result, several studies have shown that 5-HTP can improve sleep quality [15][16]. It has also been established that a combination of GABA and 5-HTP has even stronger effects. This is because this combination may lead to a longer sleep duration and even better sleep quality [17]. The study has also shown that it takes significantly less time to fall asleep when this combination is used [17].

Other functions
5-HTP has many other potentially positive functions that should be studied further. For example, it may help with withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol addiction [18]. In addition, it has been noted that it may be able to reduce hot flashes and menopausal symptoms [19][20][21]. It has also been suggested that serotonin may be acutely protective against panic attacks [22][23].

Who can use 5-HTP ?

Users mainly choose this supplement to improve mood and sleep quality. In addition, it is also sometimes used to suppress appetite. Due to its different functions, it is an interesting supplement for different people.

How should I use 5-HTP ? / Dosages

The amount you use, should depend on the desired effect.

Mood enhancement
For mood enhancement, 50-200mg per day is recommended. This may be spread over 3 doses during the day. For a optimal effect, it should be consumed during a meal. It should be used for at least one week for a clearly noticeable effect [24].

Weight management
For weight management, 50-200mg per day is recommended. This may be spread over 3 doses during the day. For a optimal effect, it should be consumed approximately 30 minutes before a meal.

Sleep improvement
For sleep improvement, 25mg-100mg is recommended. One dose should be taken approximately 30-45 minutes before going to sleep.

How does this supplement work ?

5-HTP mainly works by increasing our serotonin levels. Once in our body, this supplement is decarboxylated / converted to serotonin. This provides the positive effects.

Stacking / combining

It is often recommended to use 5-HTP in combination with an EGCG supplement, usually green tea extract is chosen for this. It is argued that the green tea extract ensures that the extra serotonin actually goes to our brain instead of our intestines. As a result, the effects may be more noticeable, and the chances of possible side effects are smaller. It is also often recommended to use vitamin B6. This is recommended since vitamin B6 can improve the synthesis of 5-HTP to serotonin [32]. This may result in more serotonin being available.

It can also be combined well with Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa) or tyrosine. It is often combined with Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa) or tyrosine since this can potentially enhance the effects. This is possible because Mucuna Pruriens and tyrosine are able to increase our dopamine levels. This results in a balanced increase in both dopamine and serotonin. This is also important since 5-HTP can potentially reduce our dopamine levels if it is used consecutively for a very long time [31].

This supplement can also be combined with various other supplements without any problems. For example, it can be combined with protein powder, creatine, vitamins and BCAAs. However, this product should not be used in combination with other serotonin enhancers such as tryptophan or antidepressants. This can cause an excessive increase in serotonin with possible side effects.

Where does 5-HTP come from ?

5-HTP supplements are made from the seeds of an African shrub known as Griffonia simplicifolia [25]. In addition, 5-HTP is found to a very small extent in our food. A certain amount of 5-HTP is also produced in our body by the amino acid tryptophan. However, this amount is only minor.

Safety & competitive use

Safety
At normal dosages, this supplement has been shown to be safe with virtually no side effects [26][27][28][29][30]. Nevertheless, recommended dosages should not be exceeded. Serious side effects can occur if the recommended amount is exceeded.

Correct use
A dietary supplement can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle. However, it should not be a substitute for a healthy lifestyle and a varied diet. The recommended dosage should not be exceeded, since side effects may occur otherwise. Temporary side effects of 5-HTP can include: palpitations, stomach pain, nausea, mood swings, and sleepiness. In rare cases, these side effects can also occur with normal doses. If unwanted side effects occur, consumption should be discontinued.

As with any supplement, we advise users to consult a physician before use. In particular if you use medication or have health complaints. This product should not be used in combination with other serotonin enhancers such as tryptophan. Furthermore, it should not be combined with antidepressants, as these often function by increasing serotonin. In addition, this supplement should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Furthermore, this product should not be used by persons under 18 years of age and must be kept out of the reach of children. Keep this product in a cool and dry place to maintain the quality.

References

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  2. Berger, M., Gray, J. A., & Roth, B. L. (2009). The expanded biology of serotonin. Annual review of medicine60, 355-366.
  3. Cowen, P. J., & Browning, M. (2015). What has serotonin to do with depression?. World Psychiatry14(2), 158.
  4. Albert, P. R., & Benkelfat, C. (2013). The neurobiology of depression—revisiting the serotonin hypothesis. II. Genetic, epigenetic and clinical studies.
  5. Van Hiele, L. J. (1980). L-5-hydroxytryptophan in depression: the first substitution therapy in psychiatry?. Neuropsychobiology6(4), 230-240.
  6. Kious, B. M., Sabic, H., Sung, Y. H., Kondo, D. G., & Renshaw, P. (2017). An open-label pilot study of combined augmentation with creatine monohydrate and 5-hydroxytryptophan for SSRI-or SNRI-resistant depression in adult women. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology37(5), 578.
  7. Van Praag, H. M., Korf, J., Dols, L. C. W., & Schut, T. (1972). A pilot study of the predictive value of the probenecid test in application of 5-hydroxytryptophan as antidepressant. Psychopharmacologia25(1), 14-21.
  8. van PRAAG, H. M., & Korf, J. (1974). 5-hydroxytryptophan as an antidepressant: The predictive value of the probenecid test. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
  9. Shaw, K. A., Turner, J., & Del Mar, C. (2002). Tryptophan and 5‐hydroxytryptophan for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1).
  10. Rondanelli, M., Klersy, C., Iadarola, P., Monteferrario, F., & Opizzi, A. (2009). Satiety and amino-acid profile in overweight women after a new treatment using a natural plant extract sublingual spray formulation. International journal of obesity33(10), 1174-1182.
  11. 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-Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity17(1), e22-e28.
  12. Ceci, F., Cangiano, C., Cairella, M., Cascino, A., Del Ben, M., Muscaritoli, M., … & Fanelli, F. R. (1989). The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects. Journal of neural Transmission76(2), 109-117.
  13. Cangiano, C., Laviano, A., Del Ben, M., Preziosa, I., Angelico, F., Cascino, A., & Rossi-Fanelli, F. (1998). Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. International journal of obesity22(7), 648-654.
  14. Cangiano, C., Ceci, F., Cascino, A., Del Ben, M., Laviano, A., Muscaritoli, M., … & Rossi-Fanelli, F. (1992). Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. The American journal of clinical nutrition56(5), 863-867.
  15. Hong, K. B., Park, Y., & Suh, H. J. (2016). Sleep-promoting effects of a GABA/5-HTP mixture: Behavioral changes and neuromodulation in an invertebrate model. Life sciences150, 42-49.
  16. Hong, K. B., Park, Y., & Suh, H. J. (2016). Sleep-promoting effects of the GABA/5-HTP mixture in vertebrate models. Behavioural brain research310, 36-41.
  17. Shell, W., Bullias, D., Charuvastra, E., May, L. A., & Silver, D. S. (2010). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep. American journal of therapeutics17(2), 133-139.
  18. Jukić, T., Rojc, B., Boben-Bardutzky, D., Hafner, M., & Ihan, A. (2011). The use of a food supplementation with D-Phenylalanine, L-Glutamine and L-5-Hydroxytriptophan in the alleviation of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Collegium antropologicum35(4), 1225-1230.
  19. Speroff, L., Gass, M., Constantine, G., & Olivier, S. (2008). Efficacy and tolerability of desvenlafaxine succinate treatment for menopausal vasomotor symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Obstetrics & Gynecology111(1), 77-87.
  20. Freedman, R. R. (2010). Treatment of menopausal hot flashes with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Maturitas65(4), 383-385.
  21. Freedman, R. R., & Wasson, S. (2007). Miniature hygrometric hot flash recorder. Fertility and sterility, 88(2), 494-496.
  22. Miller, H. E. J., Deakin, J. F. W., & Anderson, I. M. (2000). Effect of acute tryptophan depletion on CO 2-induced anxiety in patients with panic disorder and normal volunteers. The British Journal of Psychiatry176(2), 182-188.
  23. Schruers, K., Klaassen, T., Pols, H., Overbeek, T., Deutz, N. E., & Griez, E. (2000). Effects of tryptophan depletion on carbon dioxide provoked panic in panic disorder patients. Psychiatry research93(3), 179-187.
  24. Shaw, K. A., Turner, J., & Del Mar, C. (2002). Tryptophan and 5‐hydroxytryptophan for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1).
  25. Fellows, L. E., & Bell, E. A. (1970). 5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptamine and L-tryptophan-5-hydroxylase in Griffonia simplicifolia. Phytochemistry9(11), 2389-2396.
  26. Aliño, J. L. I., Gutierrez, J. A., & Iglesias, M. M. (1976). 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and a MAOI (nialamide) in the treatment of depressions. International pharmacopsychiatry11, 8-15.
  27. Kline, N., & Sacks, W. (1980). Treatment of depression with an MAO inhibitor followed by 5‐HTP—An unfinished research project. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica61(S280), 233-241.
  28. Nicolodi, M., & Sicuteri, F. (1996). Fibromyalgia and migraine, two faces of the same mechanism. In Recent Advances in Tryptophan Research (pp. 373-379). Springer, Boston, MA.
  29. Quadbeck, H., Lehmann, E., & Tegeler, J. (1984). Comparison of the antidepressant action of tryptophan, tryptophan/5-hydroxytryptophan combination and nomifensine. Neuropsychobiology11(2), 111-115.
  30. Nardini, M., De Stefano, R., Iannuccelli, M., Borghesi, R., & Battistini, N. (1983). Treatment of depression with L-5-hydroxytryptophan combined with chlorimipramine, a double-blind study. International journal of clinical pharmacology research3(4), 239-250.
  31. Hinz, M., Stein, A., & Uncini, T. (2012). 5-HTP efficacy and contraindications. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment8, 323.
  32. Hartvig, P., Lindner, K. J., Bjurling, P., Långström, B., & Tedroff, J. (1995). Pyridoxine effect on synthesis rate of serotonin in the monkey brain measured with positron emission tomography. Journal of Neural Transmission/General Section JNT102(2), 91-97.

Author

Mario Klasens Author XBR