Have you heard of 5-HTP? Recently, this supplement has gained increasing popularity for a number of widely varied reasons. Is it a weight loss supplement? Does it treat the effects of depression? Does it work at all?
This supplement is under quite a bit of controversy right now because it is loved by some, and hated by others. Medical practitioners and clients who have used 5HTP have a variety of different experiences with the supplement, so it is difficult for the average Joe to know what to believe.
5-HTP is an amino acid, and it is found in the body as a naturally created substance which helps to make serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that has many important purposes, primarily, is controls your moods. The better your serotonin levels are, the happier you most likely feel.
If you can get 5 HTP as a supplement, you are basically able to help your brain create more serotonin. Sounds like a good thing, right?
If you increase your serotonin level, you may be able to avoid feelings of anxiousness and depression. Many users are happy and feel like 5-HTP is saving their lives. Some users say it has been as helpful to them as prescription medication like Zoloft or Prozac. So if it has so many great uses and has helped so many people, what is all the controversy for?
The supplement was given a bad reputation when it was released, because it had some very serious side effects. A number of people got a muscle condition called EMS which was linked back to taking 5-HTP. While eventually it was found that only one bad batch of the HTP was tainted, many people still feel that the supplement is tainted and can’t be trusted.
Why Take 5-HTP
5-HTP has been used for a wide variety of purposes:
1. Fibromyalgia- 5-HTP can give people relief from the pain and stress of fibromyalgia.
2. Melatonin- 5- HTP increases the amount of melatonin in the body, which helps people to sleep properly. The supplement has also been prescribed and recommended to purchasers as a sleep aid.
3. Weight Loss- A deficiency in serotonin often causes people to overeat, so the supplement may be an effective weight loss supplement for people who eat when they are in certain moods.
4. Depression & Anxiety- 5-HTP is most frequently used to treat anxious feelings or depression as we’ve mentioned.
5-HTP can be made chemically, or can also be created from the seeds of a bush that is found most often in Africa. Some people prefer this method and feel safer using the seed version, because it is a natural way to get 5-HTP.
It is important to also consider the negative impacts for 5-HTP. While there are currently no ‘serious’ side effects from the use of the supplement, more studies are required to truly tell what the long term side effects are.
Some people experience nausea from taking the supplement. In severe cases people have reported feeling more depressed than they were to start with. You should always talk to your doctor before adding a drug or supplement to your diet to be sure there are no risk factors that you need to consider.
Studies of 5-HTP
Some studies have shown the supplement is an effective anti-depressant and can help people similarly to prescription medications. Other studies have proven it works to help people with overeating. They have also seen positive results on people with fibromyalgia, migraines, and sleeplessness.
What to Look For:
If you’re ready to try 5-HTP, it is important to know what to look for in the supplement you purchasing. First of all, you want to make sure to buy a product that clearly states that it is 5-HTP, or the natural version Griffonia Simplicifolia on the package. It should recommend the dosage as three times per day at 50 milligrams per serving. You want to take the supplement about a half hour before your meals.
You want the product to be completely pure and not including any artificial ingredients, fillers, or binders.
Once you start the product, it is important to give it at least 90 days to see how it functions with your body and if it is going to work for you. If you don’t feel the results that you desire, you do have the ability to adjust your doses. It is important not to do that in the first three months though, so that you give it a chance to work for you.
As we previously mentioned, it is important to talk with your doctor before trying the supplement. The supplement can potentially interfere with other medications and may not be right for everyone. So make sure you adequately research the product and its side effects before you take it.
Have you tried 5-HTP? What were your results? How do you feel about it? Share your thoughts with us!