5 HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. It is part of the metabolic pathway to serotonin and melatonin production. For this reason it is an excellent natural supplement for the treatment of Depression, Insomnia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Fibromyalgia, Obesity, and Premenstrual Syndrome. 5 HTP is isolated from the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia, and has been extensively studied and proven to be safe and effective.
It is the perfect choice for those who suffer from increased depression and carbohydrate cravings during the winter months. Taken 20 min before meals 3 times per day, 5 HTP has the ability to promote satiety sooner, thus decreasing total calories consumed. It can also decrease the emotional desire connected to eating sugary treats such as chocolate. As you can see, it makes a perfect choice for women who experience food cravings as a result of premenstrual hormonal changes.
In double blind studies, 5 HTP has gone head to head against popular medications such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. It has proven to be equal to or better than those prescription drugs, without any negative side effects so often seen in antidepressant medication.
Take 50 – 100 mg 3 times per day on an empty stomach. If taking for insomnia, a one time dose of 100 – 200 mg can be taken 30 min before bed. Ensure you are getting adequate levels of B6, niacin, and magnesium, as these nutrients are needed for the proper conversion of 5 HTP to serotonin.
Consult with your doctor if you are currently taking antidepressant medication, as it may be contraindicated to take both at the same time.
By: Krista Boulding