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Medically reviewed by Drugs. Written by Cerner Multum. Other uses not proven with research have included insomniaalcohol withdrawalheadaches, premenstrual syndromebinge-eating related to obesityattention deficit disorderand muscle spasms in the mouth.

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The brain uses serotonin to regulate:.

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What is 5-htp?

Your body uses it to produce serotonin, a chemical messenger that sends als between your nerve cells. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain and other health problems 12. Weight loss can increase the production of hormones that make you feel hungry. These feelings of constant hunger can make losing weight unsustainable in the long term 345.

In one study, 20 people with diabetes were randomly ased to receive either 5-HTP or a placebo for Htp weeks. The showed that those who received 5-HTP consumed approximately fewer calories per day, compared to the placebo group 7. Many other studies have also found that 5-HTP increased feelings of fullness and aided weight loss in overweight or obese people 8910 Moreover, animal studies have shown that 5-HTP may reduce excessive pill intake due to stress or depression 12 While the exact cause of depression is largely unknown, some researchers believe that a serotonin imbalance may influence your mood in a way that le to depression 14 In fact, several small studies have found that 5-HTP reduced symptoms of depression.

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However, two of them did not use placebos for comparison, limiting the strength of their findings 161718 Similarly, another analysis concluded that 5-HTP may help treat depression However, much of the research suggests that the potential antidepressive effects of 5-HTP are stronger pill Htp with other substances or antidepressant medications, compared to Htp they are used alone 172122 Moreover, many reviews conclude that additional, high-quality studies are needed before 5-HTP can be recommended as a treatment for depression 24 Nonetheless, more research is needed.

Supplementing with 5-HTP may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by muscle and bone pain, as well as general weakness. There is currently no known cause of fibromyalgia, but low serotonin levels have been associated with the condition This has led pills to believe that increasing serotonin levels through 5-HTP supplements may benefit people with fibromyalgia Indeed, early evidence suggests that 5-HTP may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including muscle pain, sleep problems, anxiety and fatigue 2829 However, not enough research has been conducted to draw any clear conclusions about the effectiveness of 5-HTP at improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

While their exact cause is debated, some researchers believe they are triggered by low serotonin levels 31 One study in people compared the ability of 5-HTP and methysergide, a common migraine medication, to prevent migraines Similarly, many other studies have found that 5-HTP may be an effective treatment option for people with migraines 3035 Melatonin plays an important role in regulating sleep.

Its levels begin to rise in the evening to promote sleep and fall in the morning to help wake you up. Therefore, supplementing with 5-HTP may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body. One human-based study showed that a combination of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid GABA ificantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality GABA is a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation.

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Combining it with 5-HTP likely has a synergistic effect In fact, several animal and insect studies suggest that 5-HTP Htp sleep quality and that the effect is greater when combined with GABA 38 While these are promising, the lack of human-based studies makes it difficult to recommend 5-HTP for improving sleep quality, especially when it is used in isolation. Some people may experience nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain when taking 5-HTP supplements.

These side effects are dose-dependent, meaning they get worse when increasing your dose To minimize these pill effects, start with a dose of 50— mg two times per day and increase to the appropriate dose over a two-week period Some medications increase serotonin production.

Combining these medications with 5-HTP may cause dangerous serotonin levels in your body. This is called serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition Since 5-HTP may also promote sleep, taking it with prescription sedative medications, such as Klonopin, Ativan or Ambien, may cause too much sleepiness. Due to the potential for negative interactions with other medications, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking 5-HTP supplements.

These are third-party companies that ensure supplements contain what they claim on the label, without impurities. Some people may experience side effects when taking 5-HTP supplements. These supplements are not the same as L-tryptophan supplementswhich may also increase serotonin levels L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in protein-rich foods, such as dairy products, poultry, meat, chickpeas and soybeans.

On the other hand, 5-HTP is not present in foods and can only be added to your diet through a supplement Your body converts 5-HTP into serotonin, a substance that regulates appetite, pain sensations and sleep. Higher serotonin levels may provide many benefits, such as promoting weight loss, improving the symptoms of depression and fibromyalgia, decreasing the frequency of migraine attacks and helping you sleep better. Minor side effects have been linked to 5-HTP, but they can be minimized by starting with smaller doses and increasing the dosage gradually.

Some supplements can have powerful effects.

Here is a list of 4 natural supplements that are just as effective as pharmaceutical drugs. Researchers have studied numerous herbs, supplements, and vitamins to determine if they can benefit people with depression. Learn what they've found. This simple 3-step plan can help you lose weight fast. Read about the 3-step plan, along with other science-backed weight loss tips, here.

There are several effective supplements that can help you burn body fat. This article lists 5 natural fat burners that are supported by science. Here is a detailed look at 10 evidence-based natural appetite suppressants that can help you lose weight. Here are 7 serotonin-boosting foods including turkey and cheese. Learn more…. Standard fibromyalgia treatments don't always provide a perfect solution. Learn complementary therapies that may help. The role of diet in migraines is controversial, but studies suggest that what you eat may affect their frequency.

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Being unable to sleep is incredibly frustrating, and it can make you feel miserable the next day. Here are 20 simple tips to fall asleep as fast as…. For this reason, serotonin-producing 5-HTP supplements have become increasingly popular. Here are 5 potential health benefits of 5-HTP, based on science. Share on Pinterest. The effects of 5-HTP on symptoms of depression have been well studied. Summary 5-HTP supplements increase serotonin levels in your body, which may improve symptoms of depression, especially when used in combination with other antidepressant substances or medications.

Improved Symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Summary 5-HTP can boost serotonin levels in your body, which may help relieve some symptoms of fibromyalgia. Could Help Reduce Migraine Frequency.


Summary 5-HTP may help you have fewer migraines by increasing your serotonin levels. Summary 5-HTP may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production, an important sleep-regulating hormone. Summary Some people may experience side effects when taking 5-HTP supplements. The recommended dose for 5-HTP depends on your reason for taking it.

Here are some general guidelines to get you started: Weight management: — mg, 30 minutes prior to a meal 7. Mood enhancement: 50— mg, 3 times per day with meals. Use for at least one week to notice a beneficial effect Fibromyalgia symptom relief: mg, 3—4 times per day with meals. Use for at least two weeks to notice a beneficial effect Migraines: — mg, 2—3 times per day with meals. Use for two to three weeks to notice a beneficial effect Sleep aid: — mg, 30—45 minutes before bed.

Stack with GABA to increase effectiveness Summary How much 5-HTP you should take depends on your reason for using it. The Bottom Line. Supplementing with it is an effective way to boost your serotonin levels.