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.
- This drug is considered a great nootropic substance because it enhances the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our brain. Therefore, it boosts our social behavior and mood. Some clinical research also indicates that taking 5-HTP by mouth reduces symptoms of depression. Several studies conclude that doses of 150-3000 mg daily for two weeks can improve symptoms of depression. It is also believed that 5-HTP might be as beneficial as conventional antidepressant therapy for some patients.
- Research shows that use of 5-HTP by mouth daily in combination with carbidopa has potential to reduce anxiety symptoms in people. Furthermore, it is given to insomniac patients to normalize their sleeping cycle.
- Research indicates that taking 5-HTP daily improves the symptoms of a CNS disorder called cerebellar ataxia.
- It is recommended to take of 100 mg 5-HTP orally thrice a day for alleviating pain, tenderness, sleep, anxiety, fatigue, and morning stiffness in people suffering with fibromyalgia.
- Some studies have shown that taking 5-HTP daily reduces pain and severity of migraine attacks.
- Many studies indicate that 5-HTP is helpful in reducing weight, especially those who suffer from obeseity. According to a research, using a specific mouth spray containing 5-HTP and other extracts for 4 weeks reduced weight in about 41% of overweight postmenopausal women.
- Another benefit of 5-HTP is that it reduces stress and helps you to relax. Especially if someone is under pressure of a work deadline or overthinks a lot, this medicine will help to ease the tension.
- If a person was involved in drug abuse of morphine or heroine, taking 5-HTP daily for 6 days in combination with tyrosine, phosphatidylcholine, and L-glutamine may be helpful in treating their withdrawal symptoms and insomnia.
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.
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.
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.