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How much 5 htp should i take: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) Information | Mount Sinai


5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) Information | Mount Sinai


5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan (an essential amino acid that you get from food). After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, the chemical is changed into another chemical called serotonin (a neurotransmitter that relays signals between brain cells). 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

5-HTP is not found in the foods we eat, although tryptophan is found in foods. Eating foods with tryptophan does not increase 5-HTP levels very much, however. As a supplement, 5-HTP is made from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia.

In 1989, the presence of a contaminant called Peak X was found in tryptophan supplements. Researchers believed that an outbreak of eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS, a potentially fatal disorder that affects the skin, blood, muscles, and organs) could be traced to the contaminated tryptophan, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pulled all tryptophan supplements off the market. Since then, Peak X was also found in some 5-HTP supplements, and there have been a few reports of EMS associated with taking 5-HTP. However, the level of Peak X in 5-HTP was not high enough to cause any symptoms, unless very high doses of 5-HTP were taken. Because of this concern, however, you should talk to your health care provider before taking 5-HTP, and make sure you get the supplement from a reliable manufacturer. (See “Precautions” section.)

5-HTP may help treat a wide variety of conditions related to low serotonin levels, including the following:


Preliminary studies indicate that 5-HTP may work as well as certain antidepressant drugs to treat people with mild-to-moderate depression. Like the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which includes fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), 5-HTP increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. One study compared the effects of 5-HTP to fluvoxamine (Luvox) in 63 people and found that those who were given 5-HTP did just as well as those who received Luvox. They also had fewer side effects than the Luvox group. However, these studies were too small to say for sure if 5-HTP works. More research is needed.


Research suggests that 5-HTP can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, anxiety, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Many people with fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin, and doctors often prescribe antidepressants. Like antidepressants, 5-HTP raises levels of serotonin in the brain. However, it does not work for all people with fibromyalgia. More studies are needed to understand its effect.


In one study, people who took 5-HTP went to sleep quicker and slept more deeply than those who took a placebo. Researchers recommend 200 to 400 mg at night to stimulate serotonin, but it may take 6 to 12 weeks to be fully effective.

Migraines and Other Headaches

Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed for migraine headaches. Studies suggest that high doses of 5-HTP may help people with various types of headaches, including migraines. However, the evidence is mixed, with other studies showing no effect.


A few small studies have investigated whether 5-HTP can help people lose weight. In one study, those who took 5-HTP ate fewer calories, although they were not trying to diet, compared to those who took placebo. Researchers believe 5-HTP led people to feel more full (satiated) after eating, so they ate less.

A follow-up study, which compared 5-HTP to placebo during a diet and non-diet period, found that those who took 5-HTP lost about 2% of body weight during the non-diet period and another 3% when they dieted. Those taking placebo did not lose any weight. However, doses used in these studies were high, and many people experienced side effects such as nausea. If you are seriously overweight, see your health care provider before taking any weight-loss aid. Remember that you will need to change your eating and exercise habits to lose more than a few pounds.

Dietary Sources

You can’t get 5-HTP from food. The amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses to make 5-HTP, can be found in turkey, chicken, milk, potatoes, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnip and collard greens, and seaweed.

Available Forms

5-HTP is made from tryptophan in the body, or can be taken as a supplement. Supplements are made from extracts of the seeds of the African tree Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP can also be found in many multivitamin and herbal preparations.

How to Take It


5-HTP should not be given to children.


Because 5-HTP can be toxic at high doses, you should talk to your health care provider before taking 5-HTP. Your provider can help determine the right dose for you.


Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of your health care provider.

Tryptophan use has been associated with the development of serious conditions, such as liver and brain toxicity, and with eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS), a potentially fatal disorder that affects the skin, blood, muscles, and organs (see “Overview” section). Such reports prompted the FDA to ban the sale of all tryptophan supplements in 1989. As with tryptophan, EMS has been reported in 10 people taking 5-HTP.

Side effects of 5-HTP are generally mild and may include nausea, heartburn, gas, feelings of fullness, and rumbling sensations in some people. At high doses, serotonin syndrome, a dangerous condition caused by too much serotonin in the body, could develop. Talk to your provider before taking higher-than-recommended doses.

People with high blood pressure or diabetes should talk to their doctor before taking 5-HTP.

If you take antidepressants, you should not take 5-HTP (see “Possible Interactions” section).

People with liver disease, pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding should not take 5-HTP.

Possible Interactions

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use 5-HTP without first talking to your health care provider.


People who are taking antidepressant medications should not take 5-HTP without their provider’s supervision. These medications could combine with 5-HTP to cause serotonin syndrome, a dangerous condition involving mental changes, hot flashes, rapidly fluctuating blood pressure and heart rate, and possibly coma. Some antidepressant medications that can interact with 5-HTP include:

  • SSRIs: Citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Tricyclics: Amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Phenelzine, (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Nefazodone (Serzone)


Taking 5-HTP with carbidopa, a medication used to treat Parkinson disease, may cause a scleroderma-like illness. Scleroderma is a condition where the skin becomes hard, thick, and inflamed.

Tramadol (Ultram)

Tramadol, used for pain relief, and sometimes prescribed for people with fibromyalgia, may raise serotonin levels too much if taken with 5-HTP. Serotonin syndrome has been reported in some people taking the two together.

Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others)

Taking 5-HTP with dextromethorphan, found in cough syrups, may cause serotonin levels to increase to dangerous levels, a condition called serotonin syndrome.

Meperidine (Demerol)

Taking 5-HTP with Demerol may cause serotonin levels to increase to dangerous levels, a condition called serotonin syndrome.

Triptans (used to treat migraines)

5-HTP can increase the risk of side effects, including serotonin syndrome, when taken with these medications:

  • Naratriptan (Amerge)
  • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • Zolmitriptan (Zomig)

Supporting Research

Angst J, Woggon B, Schoepf J. The treatment of depression with L-5-hydroxytryptophan versus imipramine. Results of two open and one double-blind study. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr. 1977;224(2):175-186.

Attele AS, Xie JT, Yuan CS. Treatment of insomnia: an alternative approach. Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(3):249-259.

Birdsall TC. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Altern Med Rev. 1998;3(4):271-280.

Byerley WF, Judd LL, Reimherr FW, Grosser BI. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a review of its antidepressant efficacy and adverse effects. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1987;7(3):127-137.

Cangiano C, Laviano A, Del Ben M, et al. Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998;22(7):648-654.

Cangiano C, Ceci F, Cascino A, et al. Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. J Clin Nutr. 1992;56(5):863-867.

Caruso I, Sarzi Puttini P, Cazzola M, Azzolini V. Double-blind study of 5-hydroxytryptophan versus placebo in the treatment of primary fibromyalgia syndrome. J Int Med Res. 1990;18(3):201-209.

Cauffield JS, Forbes HJ. Dietary supplements used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Lippincotts Prim Care Pract. 1999;3(3):290-304.

Ceci F, Cangiano C, Cairella M, et al. The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects. J Neural Transm. 1989;76(2):109-117.

Curcio JJ, Kim LS, Wollner D, Pockaj BA. The potential of 5-hydroxytryptophan for hot flash reduction: a hypothesis. Altern Med Rev. 2005;10(3):216-221.

DeBenedittis G, Massei R. Serotonin precursors in chronic primary headache. A double-blind cross-over study with L-5-hydroxytryptophan vs. placebo. J Neurosurg Sci. 1985;29(3):239-248.

Elko CJ, Burgess JL, Robertson WO. Zolpidem-associated hallucinations and serotonin reuptake inhibition: a possible interaction. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1998;36(3):195-203.

Freedman RR. Treatment of menopausal hot flashes with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Maturitas. 2010;65(4):383-385.

Gardner DM, Lynd LD. Sumatriptan contraindications and the serotonin syndrome. Ann Pharmacother. 1998;32(1):33-38.

Gendle MH, Young EL, Romano AC. Effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan on a standardized planning task: insight into possible dopamine/serotonin interactions in the forebrain. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013;28(3):270-273.

Iovieno N, Dalton ED, Fava M, Mischoulon D. Second-tier natural antidepressants: Review and critique. J Affect Disord. 2011;130(3):343-357.

Jangid P, Malik P, Singh P, Sharma M, Gulia AK. Comparative study of efficacy of I-5-hydroxytryptophan and fluoxetine in patients presenting with first depressive episode. Asian J Psychiatr. 2013;6(1):29-34.

Joffe RT, Sokolov ST. Co-administration of fluoxetine and sumatriptan: the Canadian experience. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997;95(6):551-552.

Joly P, Lampert A, Thomine E, Lauret P. Development of pseudobullous morphea and scleroderma-like illness during therapy with L-5-hydroxytryptophan and carbidopa. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1991;25(2 pt 1):332-333.

Juhl JH. Primary fibromyalgia syndrome and 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan: a 90-day open study. Altern Med Rev. 1998;3(5):367-375.

Keszthelyi D, Troost FJ, Jonkers DM, et al. Visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome: evidence for involvement of serotonin metabolism–a preliminary study. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015;27(8):1127-1137.

Mason BJ, Blackburn KH. Possible serotonin syndrome associated with tramadol and sertraline coadministration. Ann Pharmacother. 1997;31(2):175-177.

Meyers S. Use of neurotransmitter precursors for treatment of depression. Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(1):64-71.

Perry NK. Venlafaxine-induced serotonin syndrome with relapse following amitripyline. Postgrad Med J. 2000;76(894):254-256.

Puttini PS, Caruso I. Primary fibromyalgia and 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan: a 90-day open study. J Int Med Res. 1992;20:(2)182-189.

Reibring L, Agren H, Hartvig P, et al. Uptake and utilization of [beta-11c] 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in human brain studied by positron emission tomography. Psychiatry Res. 1992;45(4):215-225.

Ribeiro CA. L-5-Hydroxytryptophan in the prophylaxis of chronic tension-type headache: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Headache. 2000;40(6):451-456.

Shaw K, Turner J, Del Mar C. Are tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan effective treatments for depression? A meta-analysis. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2002;36(4):488-491.

Sternberg EM, Van Woert MH, Young SN, et al. Development of a scleroderma-like illness during therapy with L-5-hydroxytryptophan and carbidopa. New Eng J Med. 1980;303(14):782-787.

Teitelbaum J. Chronic fatigue spectrum. Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsever Saunders; 2012:47.

Toner LC, Tsambiras BM, Catalano G, Catalano MC, Cooper DS. Central nervous system side effects associated with zolpidem treatment. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2000;23(1):54-58.

Van Praag HM. Management of depression with serotonin precursors. Biol Psychiatry. 1981;16(3):291-310.

Zmilacher K, Battegay R, Gastpar M. L-5-hydroxytryptophan alone and in combination with a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor in the treatment of depression. Neuropsychobiology. 1988;20(1):28-33.

5 HTP Dosage – Here’s What You Need To Know – EVO Nutrition

5 HTP is a natural supplement with many benefits. From promoting healthy sleep to helping with weight loss, the benefits of taking 5 HTP seem to be endless. But you’re probably wondering about 5 HTP dosage. How much 5 HTP should you be taking?

Many people rely on the effects of 5 HTP to manage their chronic conditions. Whether it’s migraines or fibromyalgia, 5 HTP seems to be the answer to many complaints. However, it’s important to get the dosage right. In this article, we’ll explore the different doses of 5 HTP for some of the most common conditions.

What Dose Of 5 HTP Should You Take?

The dose of 5 HTP that you’ll need to take will depend on the reason you’re taking it. This is because different doses of 5 HTP will offer different effects. You need to be sure that you’re taking the right dose for your needs.

For example, if you’re suffering from depression, the dose of 5 HTP that you’ll take will be very different to the dose you’d take for managing migraines. You don’t want to get it wrong.

But how do you know what dosage of 5 HTP you should be taking? Read on to discover the right 5 HTP dosage for your needs.

Find vegan-friendly 5 HTP supplements here

Taking 5 HTP For Sleep

Many people suffer from sleep issues, from poor-quality sleep to insomnia. If you aren’t getting the right amount of quality sleep, it can affect your day-to-day life, impacting your brain function and your productivity.

Melatonin is the natural hormone which helps to regulate your sleep patterns. Your body’s levels of melatonin rise in an evening to help you to fall to sleep and fall in a morning to wake you up.

Your body uses serotonin to produce melatonin. It is then released from the pineal gland at night, helping to regulate your sleep cycles. If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin, you may suffer from problems sleeping.

How Does 5 HTP Help With Sleep?

5 HTP plays a key role in the production of serotonin, which can then be converted into melatonin. For this reason, taking 5 HTP supplements can help to increase your melatonin production, helping to promote healthy sleep patterns.

A 2010 study investigated the impact of taking 5 HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on sleep cycles. The study found that participants who took the supplements were able to fall asleep significantly faster than the placebo group as well as getting more high-quality sleep.

This demonstrates the promising effects of taking 5 HTP to improve sleep.

What Is The Dosage Of 5 HTP For Sleep?

If you’re looking for a natural way to improve the quality and duration of your sleep, taking 5 HTP supplements could help. But what dose of 5 HTP should you take for sleep?

You can take between 100mg and 300mg of 5 HTP for sleep. It’s best to begin with the lower dose and increase the dosage gradually up to the maximum allowed if required. You should take 5 HTP 30-45 minutes before you go to bed for the maximum effect.

Click here to purchase 5 HTP supplements

Taking 5 HTP For Depression

According to mental health charity Mind, a quarter of those in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year. And with depression being one of the most common mental health conditions, there’s no wonder that more and more people are looking for a more natural way to manage their mood.

How Does 5 HTP Help With Depression?

Depression is often linked to low serotonin levels in the brain. That’s why many antidepressants target serotonin levels, helping to relieve the symptoms of depression.

5 HTP is naturally produced in the body, where it is used to produce serotonin. Increasing the amount of 5 HTP in your body can enable your body to produce more serotonin, reducing the effects of depression and other mental health illnesses.

A 2002 review of studies found that 5 HTP may help to treat depression, especially in those who were resistant to therapy. Those taking 5 HTP supplements often report increased mental wellbeing and a greater sense of relaxation – something that every depression sufferer longs for.

What Is The Dosage of 5 HTP For Depression?

Many people rely on the effects of 5 HTP to manage their depression. But what dose of 5 HTP is most effective for treating depression?

It is recommended that those suffering with depression take 50mg – 100mg of 5 HTP, three times a day. This should be taken with meals. It may take up to a week to notice a difference from taking the 5 HTP supplements, so don’t be concerned if you don’t notice a difference straight away.

It’s always best to contact your doctor for advice if you’re planning to take 5 HTP alongside any other medications to ensure that they won’t interact.

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Taking 5 HTP For Anxiety

Anxiety can be a crippling condition with sufferers struggling to cope with normal day-to-day life including social interactions and typical daily tasks. It’s understandable that those suffering from depression would be looking for a more natural way to ease their anxiety.

How Does 5 HTP Help With Anxiety?

It’s not known exactly what causes anxiety. However, what we do know is that when levels of serotonin are increased, it typically induces feelings of mental wellbeing and relaxation. This makes maintaining healthy levels of serotonin critical in managing anxiety.

5 HTP is responsible for triggering the natural production of serotonin. The more 5 HTP that your body has, the more serotonin your body is able to produce. By increasing your levels of serotonin, you can promote relaxation and reduce your feelings of anxiety.

This makes 5 HTP supplements a valuable resource in reducing anxiety and promoting mental wellbeing.

What Is The Dosage Of 5 HTP For Anxiety?

5 HTP supplements are popular amongst anxiety sufferers as they offer a more natural way to manage the symptoms of anxiety. But how much 5 HTP should you take for anxiety?

The optimum dose of 5 HTP for anxiety is 50mg – 100mg, three times a day. It’s best to take this supplement with meals to minimise the risk of side effects. It can take up to a week for the full effects to be achieved.

Click here to find 5 HTP supplements for anxiety

Taking 5 HTP For Weight Loss

It can be hard to lose weight, especially if you’re dealing with constant hunger pangs. We all know that being a healthy weight will contribute towards optimum health, but it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes you need a little help along the way.

How Does 5 HTP Help With Weight Loss?

5 HTP has been shown to aid weight loss by suppressing appetite. It’s not known exactly how it works but it’s thought to be related to the increase in production of serotonin that 5 HTP triggers in the brain, leading to a feeling of fullness.

One study involved diabetes sufferers taking 5 HTP every day for two weeks. The group that was given 5 HTP consumed around 435 calories less than the placebo group each day and mainly avoided carbohydrates. As well as losing weight, the group that took 5 HTP had better blood sugar control.

This demonstrates the strong impact that 5 HTP can have on both weight loss and eating habits.

What Is The Dosage Of 5 HTP For Weight Loss?

Many people find 5 HTP extremely effective for aiding weight loss and in promoting healthy eating habits. But what is the right dose of 5 HTP to take for weight loss?

It’s recommended to take 250mg – 300mg of 5 HTP, three times a day for weight loss. This should be taken 30 minutes before eating to provide maximum effect. You should notice the effects of 5 HTP on your appetite quite quickly.

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Taking 5 HTP For Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which causes pain throughout the body, as well as weakness. There’s no known cure for fibromyalgia so the condition is usually managed with painkillers.

It’s not yet understood what causes fibromyalgia. It sometimes begins after a stressful or traumatic event such as an injury, the death of a loved one or a virus. It’s also been associated with low levels of serotonin, suggesting that increasing the levels of serotonin in the body could help to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

How Does 5 HTP Help With Fibromyalgia?

5 HTP plays an important role in the production of serotonin. The more 5 HTP that is in the body, the more serotonin is produced. With fibromyalgia linked to low serotonin levels, researchers believe that 5 HTP supplements could be useful in improving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

In fact, several studies have shown promising results, with participants reporting reduced muscle pain, improved sleep, lower levels of anxiety and a reduction in fatigue. This suggests that 5 HTP could play a vital role in treating fibromyalgia, although more research is needed to draw solid conclusions.

What Is The Dosage Of 5 HTP For Fibromyalgia?

5 HTP is a promising supplement for treating the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. From easing muscle pains to reducing fatigue, 5 HTP could change the lives of fibromyalgia sufferers.

Research has shown that 100mg of 5 HTP should be taken 3 – 4 times per day alongside food for optimum effect when treating fibromyalgia. It could take up to two weeks to notice a difference, so don’t be concerned if it takes a while to take effect.

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Taking 5 HTP For Migraines

Far from just being a headache, migraines are a debilitating condition which can affect your everyday life. Symptoms can include throbbing headaches, disturbed vision, sensitivity to light and nausea.

Those suffering from migraines may take preventative tablets along with taking painkillers to manage migraine attacks when they occur. Many migraine sufferers are looking for more natural ways to control their migraines.

How Does 5 HTP Help With Migraines?

No one knows exactly what causes migraines but many researchers think they may be triggered by low serotonin levels. As 5 HTP has been proven to increase serotonin levels in the brain, 5 HTP is used by many as a more natural way to control migraines.

A study of 124 people investigated the effects of 5 HTP in preventing migraine attacks. It found that taking 5 HTP supplements daily for six months significantly reduced the occurrence of migraine attacks in 71% of participants.

What Is The Dosage Of 5 HTP For Migraines?

A natural remedy to migraine attacks could change the lives of millions of people across the globe. But what dosage of 5 HTP is most effective for preventing migraines?

It’s recommended to take 100mg – 200mg of HTP, 2-3 times a day. This should be taken with meals. You’ll need to take 5 HTP supplements for around three weeks before they reach their full impact, so don’t expect to notice a difference straight away.

Click here to view 5 HTP supplements for migraines

What Is The Recommended Dose Of 5 HTP?

The recommended dose of 5 HTP will depend on your reason for using it. Each use has a different recommended dose, so you’ll need to consult the purposes above to find the right dose for your condition.

If you’re unsure what dose of 5 HTP you should be taking, it’s best to check with a doctor or pharmacist first to make sure that you don’t take too much.

Related Questions

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking 5 HTP?

Side effects of 5 HTP are uncommon, but some people report experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or stomach pain after taking 5 HTP supplements. You can minimise these side effects by starting with a lower dose of 50mg – 100mg and gradually increasing the dose up to your required amount.

5 HTP supplements can sometimes make you feel drowsy. If this occurs, avoid driving or operating machinery until the effect wears off. If you are concerned about any side effects that you experience from taking 5 HTP, you should always consult a medical professional for advice.

Can 5 HTP Supplements Be Taken With Other Medications?

Some people choose to take 5 HTP supplements alongside other medications. However, it’s important to be aware of any interactions between the medications before you choose to do so.

There are some medications such as antidepressants, painkillers and cough remedies which increase your body’s serotonin levels. Combining these medications with 5 HTP could lead to dangerous serotonin levels in your body. It’s important to consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice before beginning to take 5 HTP supplements alongside any other medication.

What Time Of Day Should You Take 5 HTP?

The time of day that you should take 5 HTP supplements will depend on the condition you’re trying to treat. If you’re taking 5 HTP to help you to sleep, you’ll need to take it around 30 minutes before bed. If you’re taking 5 HTP for weight loss, you’ll need to take it before meal times.

Some people find that taking 5 HTP supplements can make them feel drowsy, so it may be best to take it in an evening if possible. However, this will depend on why you are choosing to take the supplement. If you find that 5 HTP makes you drowsy, avoid driving or operating machinery until the effect wears off.

Try 5 HTP Supplements Today

Whether you’re suffering from migraines, struggling with depression or anxiety or looking to lose weight, 5 HTP supplements could help. Many people swear by the natural effects of 5 HTP supplements to manage their chronic conditions and improve their wellbeing.

If you’re ready to try 5 HTP supplements, you can purchase vegan-friendly 5 HTP supplements from our online store.

how to choose how to take for weight loss and better sleep

The 5-htp supplement has recently gained popularity due to its “antidepressant” properties.

5-htp (5-hydrocystriptophan or simply tryptophan) is a precursor of serotonin, which is responsible for mood stability, sleep quality, its deficiency can cause depressive disorders of varying severity.

5-htp helps to stabilize the production of serotonin, and at the same time affect mood and general emotional background.

Tryptophan has several action vectors that are successfully used in medicine:

  • to reduce apathy, eliminate mild depressive episodes, and anxiety;
  • with sleep disorders;
  • as an aid in weight loss.

How to choose 5-htp

If you have come to the conclusion that you need this supplement, then you should remember that in severe clinical depressive and anxiety disorders, 5-htp may not have the desired effect, if only because depression is not always caused by a decrease in serotonin. For its diagnosis, a clinical study is required, which is carried out only by a specialist.

Another important point is that the use of antidepressants and other drugs cannot be combined with taking 5-htp. The same applies to alcohol.

What to look for when choosing:

  1. Brand. Brand popularity plays a key role in the choice of supplement, as large manufacturers are scrupulous about their reputation and carefully monitor the quality of the product.
  2. Dosage. Now there are supplements of 50, 100 and 200 mg, in connection with this, the dosage should be adjusted depending on the individual needs of the person and the goals that you are pursuing (reducing appetite, improving sleep, stabilizing the emotional background).

Popular 5-htp examples:

  • 5-htp 50 mg Natrol 45 caps.
  • 5-htp BE First 30 caps
  • 5-htp 50 mg NOW 30 caps
  • 5-htp Maxler 100mg

How 5-htp works

As mentioned above, the main purpose of tryptophan is to stimulate the synthesis of serotonin. And now let’s try to connect the chain: “tryptophan-serotonin-appetite”.

The production of this hormone is partly associated with the consumption of carbohydrate foods (or rather sugar). This is where the desire to “seize stress” comes from – we thereby stimulate the release of the “hormone of happiness” – and here lies the reason for the decrease in mood when we drastically limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed.

5-htp, helping to maintain normal serotonin levels without the help of sweets and flour products, reduces not only appetite, but also cravings for forbidden foods. Thus, our brain feels quite “happy” without provoking us to eat foods high in carbohydrates.

Another important role of serotonin is to help with sleep disorders. As an important neurotransmitter responsible for the phases of sleep and wakefulness, it affects the quality of sleep. With a lack of this hormone, insomnia develops, which provokes an unstable emotional state: irritability, nervousness, anxiety.

5-htp returns the body to a state of balance, helping to establish sleep and wake cycles, and, as a result, improve well-being.

From the foregoing, it probably becomes clear how the substance helps to fight a bad mood, mild anxiety and a melancholic state. In addition, the supplement can be taken during periods of high psycho-emotional stress, for example, before exams or during work that requires high concentration.

See prices for 5-HTP

How to receive 5-htp

At the initial stages, the dosage should not exceed 50 mg, during this period it is necessary to monitor the reaction of the body.

For a tangible effect, the dosage can be increased to 300 mg per day, divided into several doses.

The time of taking 5-htp should be carried out in accordance with the goals:

  • to reduce appetite – an hour or two before eating on an empty stomach;
  • to improve sleep – just before bedtime;
  • to improve the general psycho-emotional state – at any time of the day.

Other nuances that help improve absorption:

  • can be taken two hours before meals or two hours after;
  • reception can be combined with high-carbohydrate food;
  • before taking the supplement, it is better to take a meal with a high protein content;
  • can be taken along with vitamins B and C, as well as magnesium to enhance the effect.

See prices for 5-HTP

Attention! The article is written for educational purposes, it is not a medical recommendation. Before use, be sure to consult a specialist!

what it is for and how to use it

Published: 29.11.2022

The human nervous system is a delicate and complex mechanism, the work of which depends on many factors. Even a small failure can have tangible and unpleasant consequences. It is in our power to help our nervous system, for example, with the help of special nutrients. This article will focus on one of them – 5-HTP ( e), supplements with which are gaining well-deserved popularity.

What is hydroxytryptophan

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid involved in the formation of serotonin and tryptophan. Serotonin and tryptophan support the functioning of the nervous system: normalize mood and biorhythms, help to cope with stress, increase efficiency and improve memory, accelerate adaptation when changing time zones. 5-HTP is called a natural antidepressant, which is not addictive and has a mild effect due to its natural composition for humans.

Hydroxytryptophan 5-HTP plays an important role in neurological and metabolic processes 1 . It can help in the fight against depression, anxiety and panic, sleep disorders, obesity, myoclonus and serotonin syndrome. The biosynthesis of 5-HTP is necessary for the formation of melatonin, a sleep hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness (human circadian rhythms).

Hydroxytryptophan is an essential amino acid. This means that it is not synthesized in the body. Therefore, it is important to ensure a sufficient amount of this nutrient from outside – with food or dietary supplements.

Action of 5-hydroxytryptophan

Normalization of the psycho-emotional state

Scientists have established a relationship 1 between the development of depression and the level of synthesis of 5-HTP and serotonin. With depression, their number decreases. However, research suggests that adding 5-HTP to a depressive disorder treatment regimen results in a more complete recovery 2 .

Also, the positive effect of the action of the amino acid has been confirmed in relation to panic and anxiety conditions 3 .

Restoration of circadian rhythms

Hydroxytryptophan is a precursor to melatonin. Therefore, taking an amino acid contributes to the correction of sleep disorders caused by both systemic disorders and mental pathologies, as well as a change in time zones. Taking 5-HTP does not cause a state of drowsiness, after waking up there is no feeling of weakness, while awake, working capacity and concentration of attention are maintained.

Prevention of vascular and brain pathologies

Preparations with 5-hydroxytryptophan can be used to prevent migraine associated with disorders in the functioning of the nervous system. With regular use of the drug, there is a reduction in the number of migraine episodes.

There are also data 3 on a reduction in the manifestations of ataxia – impaired coordination of movements against the background of cerebellar dysfunction.

There is a positive effect of taking HTP in fibromyalgia (muscle pain) and spontaneous muscle contraction.

With the development of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, age-related cognitive decline, a diet rich in hydroxytryptophan improves brain function, helps to alleviate symptoms and increases the effectiveness of the main treatment 3 .

Appetite correction

5-HTP allows you to correct eating behavior 4 , as it improves mood, reduces the level of anxiety, which many tend to seize. Against the background of the intake of a sufficient amount of 5-hydroxytryptophan with food, there is a decrease in weight, normalization of the body mass index (BMI), a feeling of fullness comes earlier, preventing overeating. Hydroxytryptophan drugs may be included in the treatment of obesity 5
and show good results.

Addiction struggle

The beneficial effect of the amino acid on the psyche can help in the fight against alcohol and tobacco addictions. A sufficient concentration of 5-hydroxytryptophan helps to reduce cravings for alcohol and smoking, reduce irritability and is a prevention of relapse.

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action

The amino acid acts against inflammation and premature aging at the cellular level. 5-HTP is involved in the elimination of free radicals, and the antioxidant activity of the amino acid is higher than that of vitamin C. Another property is to maintain the fluidity of cell membranes under oxidative stress, which protects cells from damage during inflammation.


Taking dietary supplements with 5-hydroxytryptophan is indicated for:

● Sleep disturbances, problems with falling asleep, regimen disorder.

● Nervous strain, stress, high mental stress, fatigue.

● Strict dietary restrictions, the fight against addictions.

Also, amino acid supplements can be part of the complex therapy of neurodegenerative disorders and other disorders of the nervous system.

Sources 5-HTP

The main natural source of 5-hydroxytryptophan is Griffonia, a woody shrub that grows predominantly in central and western Africa. The seeds of the plant contain a high concentration of HTP, and extracts for the manufacture of dietary supplements are also obtained from them.

Also, 5-HTP is present in wheatgrass root, St. John’s wort stems, cauliflower. Precursors of 5-hydroxytryptophan are found in dairy, sour-milk products and cheeses, beef, lamb, chocolate, legumes, nuts, dates, red and black caviar, sockeye salmon, yellowtail, anchovies, chum salmon, trout, chinook salmon, salmon, halibut, pollock, sardine and other types of fish. Best of all, the amino acid is preserved by baking.

But in food, the content of 5-HTP does not always meet the needs of the body, especially in the case when the body needs special support.

5-hydroxytryptophan supplements

The Evalar company produces dietary supplements with 5-HTP from griffonia extract. Formulations are fortified with beneficial nutrients to promote the health of the nervous system.

● 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) 100mg, 60 Capsules – A natural, non-drug complex capsule that also includes vitamin B6 for additional nervous system support. The dietary supplement contributes to the fight against sleep disorders, improves mood, reduces nervous tension due to stress, fights addictions, and diets. With regular intake, efficiency and concentration of attention increase. Adults take 2-3 capsules once a day. The minimum course is 1 month. Also available in Economy Pack 90 capsules.

● “5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) 200 mg”, 60 capsules – capsules with a double concentration of the active substance and an easily digestible form of vitamin B6. It is convenient to take the drug – adults take 1 capsule 1 time per day. The minimum course is 1 month.

● “5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) complex”, 60 capsules – a complex food supplement with an anti-stress effect. The dietary supplement balances HTP, magnesium and vitamin B6 in bioavailable forms, extracts of passionflower, lemon balm, mint, valerian. This combination supports the health of the nervous system, reduces the negative effects of stress, improves the quality of sleep, helps to relax, and reduces anxiety and irritability when quitting smoking and drinking alcohol.