Serotonin is a brain chemical that aids in the regulation of mood, happiness, and anxiety. The body makes this hormone naturally through a series of chemical reactions, with 5-HTP serving as a precursor to serotonin. Previously, the drug could only be obtained with a prescription. Since 1995, however, companies have been offering 5-HTP capsules as a dietary supplement. Low serotonin levels are linked to a variety of behavioral and emotional problems. There are some of them:
– depressed mood
– Suicide thoughts
– Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
There are a few possible advantages of taking 5-HTP, and there is some evidence to support its use. They are as follows:
– assisting in weight loss
– assisting with depression
– enhancing sleep quality
Weight loss: A previous study looked into the role of 5-HTP in weight loss. The researchers gave a supplement containing 5-HTP to ten obese females. According to the findings, those who took the supplement had more satiety and a lower BMI than those who took a placebo. This suggests that 5-HTP can help people lose weight. However, since this was a small sample, further research is needed to verify the results.
Additionally, 5-HTP inhibited the intake of carbohydrates-derived calories, which was related to better blood sugar control. Many other studies have found that 5-HTP improves feelings of fullness and aids weight loss in overweight and obese people. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that 5-HTP can help reduce stress or depression-related overeating.
Depression: According to another review, 5-HTP could be helpful in the treatment of depression. Researchers split 60 participants into two classes that met the medical criteria for a depressive episode. A 5-HTP supplement was given to one party, while an antidepressant was given to the other. Both groups showed a decrease in depression after eight weeks. Researchers looked at optimistic arguments regarding 5-HTP in a 2012 study. They concluded that taking 5-HTP supplements without mixing them with other amino acids will reduce their efficacy in treating depression. It may also lead to a rise in side effects.
Sleep: According to a third report, 5-HTP can help improve the quality and duration of sleep. Researchers gave an amino acid supplement containing 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid to nine people who had difficulty sleeping. Nine people were given a placebo. People who took the supplement slept faster and for more extended periods. They were also less likely to wake up than the placebo party. GABA is a chemical messenger that aids in the relaxation of people. Combining it with 5-HTP may produce a synergistic effect.
Fibromyalgia: Supplementing with 5-HTP can help with fibromyalgia symptoms such as muscle and bone pain, as well as general fatigue. Fibromyalgia is yet to be identified as a cause, but it has been attributed to low serotonin levels. Researchers have concluded that taking 5-HTP supplements to increase serotonin levels can benefit people with fibromyalgia.
While there have been noted positive side effects, an individual should consult with their doctor before taking 5-HTP capsules. Pregnant or trying to become pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should seek medical advice before taking these supplements. Many who have medical problems should speak with their doctor first to determine any potential risks. If a person is taking any other medicines, such as antidepressants, they should see a doctor because supplements can interfere with their function.