5-HTP: An Energy Boosting Alternative To Anti-depressants

5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP

Rather than using self-destructive and brain eating drugs to relieve your tensions, psycho-active drugs like 5-HTP are a much better choice to stimulate your mood. They work by enhancing serotonin levels in your body, which will elevate your spirit and make you feel more energetic.

However, before you start taking a Nootropic drug like 5-HTP, you must be aware of what it is and how it will affect your brain and body? What regimen you follow, or the foods and drugs you will have to avoid if you take this medicine should also be carefully considered.

This article will be your comprehensive guide to every aspect of 5-HTP. So, let’s hop on right to it.


5-Hydroxytryptophan also called 5-HTP is a chemical by-product of L-tryptophan in our body, which means tryptophan breaks into 5-HTP. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid not produced inside the body. Therefore it needs to be obtained from foods we eat, such as red meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, beef, milk, cheese and perch. Plant sources of tryptophan are chickpeas, oats, spinach, bananas, lentils, tofu, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, beans and chia seeds.

It is also synthetically produced from the seeds of a plant Griffonia simplicifolia.

Mechanism of action

5-HTP acts mainly by boosting levels of serotonin within the central nervous system. Other neurotransmitters for example, melatonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and beta-endorphin also tend to increase after oral administration of 5-HTP. This chemical not only increases serotonin levels in the brain but also others like dopamine and norepinephrine.

benefits of 5-htp


Safe doses

Oral dose for adults: Several studies have recommended doses of 150-3000 mg daily in up to three divided doses for 2-6 weeks. Doses have also been gradually increased from 150 mg daily for 2 weeks up to 400 mg daily for 4 weeks.

Side effects

Use oh 5HTP by pregnant and breastfeeding women is considered risky and to be avoided. Due to the probability of causing seizures in patients of Down’s syndrome, its’ use is also contraindicated for these individuals.

Most people can intake this drug without any side effects at prescribed doses. However, in some cases mild side effects have been observed which include the following: Vomiting and nausea, Stomach upset, Heart burn, Diarrhea, Flatulence, Epigastric distress, Anorexia or lack of appetite, Allergic skin reactions.

These side effects can be dangerous if you are taking the drug in higher dosages or in short intervals. In most cases, these side effects will go away if you continue taking 5-HTP at a lower dosage.

Bottom line

Your body transforms 5-HTP into serotonin, a chemical substance that controls your hunger, pain sensations and sleep. Using this as a supplement is an effective method to boost serotonin levels in your body.

Enhanced serotonin levels will provide many health advantages such as weight loss, avoiding the complications related to fibromyalgia, depression management and migraine attacks. It also helps you in coping with sleep disorders. Minor side effects have been linked to 5-HTP, but they can be minimized by staying at smaller to moderate doses and increasing the dosage gradually with consultation of a health care professional. 5-HTP can also interact with several other medications, so talk to your doctor if you are on some other medication and make sure that it is safe for you to use.


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