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Extreme Benefits of 5-HTP

5-HTP is a compound that is believed to help increase levels of serotonin in your body. This may be beneficial for several conditions, including depression, insomnia, migraines, and more.


5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that your body naturally produces.

Your body uses it to produce serotonin, a chemical messenger that sends signals between your nerve cells (1Trusted Source).

Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain, and other health problems (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

Therefore, increasing your body’s production of serotonin may have various benefits.

For this reason, serotonin-producing 5-HTP supplements have become increasingly popular.

Here are 5 potential health benefits of 5-HTP, based on science.

1Could aid weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness

5-HTP may increase feelings of fullness, causing you to eat less and lose weight.

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 (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

5-HTP may counteract these hunger-inducing hormones, working to suppress appetite and help you lose weight (7Trusted Source).

In one older study, 20 people with diabetes were randomly assigned to receive either 5-HTP or a placebo for 2 weeks. The results showed that those who received 5-HTP consumed approximately 421 fewer calories per day, compared to the placebo group (8Trusted Source).

What’s more, 5-HTP primarily inhibited the intake of calories from carbohydrates, which was associated with better blood sugar control (8Trusted Source).

Many other studies have also found that 5-HTP increased feelings of fullness and aided weight loss in people with overweight or obesity (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Moreover, one older animal study found that 5-HTP could reduce excessive food intake due to stress (11Trusted Source).

SUMMARY5-HTP is likely effective at increasing feelings of fullness, which may help you eat less and lose weight.

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2. May help with depression by increasing serotonin levels

While the exact cause of depression is largely unknown, some researchers believe that a serotonin imbalance may influence your mood in a way that leads to depression (2Trusted Source).

However, keep in mind that other studies have turned up conflicting findings on the relationship between low serotonin levels and depression (12Trusted Source).

Still, 5-HTP supplements are thought to treat depression by increasing serotonin levels.

For instance, one study in 15 females found that combining 5-HTP with creatine improved symptoms of depression after 8 weeks (13Trusted Source).

Another small study in people with Parkinson’s disease concluded that 5-HTP could help improve symptoms of depression compared to a placebo (14Trusted Source).

However, much of the research suggests that the potential antidepressive effects of 5-HTP are stronger when combined with other substances or antidepressant medications, compared to when they are used alone (Trusted Source13Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

Furthermore, according to a recent meta-analysis, there is limited evidence to support the use of 5-HTP for the treatment of depression and more high quality, placebo-controlled studies are needed (16Trusted Source).

SUMMARY5-HTP supplements increase serotonin levels in your body, which could improve symptoms of depression, especially when used in combination with other antidepressant substances or medications. Nonetheless, more research is needed.

3. Could improve symptoms of fibromyalgia

Supplementing with 5-HTP may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by muscle and joint pain, as well as extreme tiredness and brain fog, also known as “fibro fog” (17Trusted Source).

There is currently no known cause of fibromyalgia, but low serotonin levels have been associated with the condition (17Trusted Source).

This has led researchers to believe that increasing serotonin levels may benefit people with fibromyalgia (18Trusted Source).

Indeed, early evidence suggests that 5-HTP may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, including muscle pain, sleep problems, anxiety, and fatigue (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

However, not enough research has been conducted to draw any clear conclusions about the effectiveness of 5-HTP at improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

SUMMARY5-HTP can boost serotonin levels in your body, which may help relieve some symptoms of fibromyalgia. Nonetheless, more research is needed.

4. Could help reduce migraine frequency

5-HTP is said to help with migraines, which are throbbing headaches that are often accompanied by nausea or disturbed vision.

While their exact cause is debated, some researchers believe that low serotonin levels may play a role (22Trusted Source).

One older study in 124 people compared the ability of 5-HTP and methysergide, a common migraine medication, to prevent migraines (23Trusted Source).

It found that supplementing with 5-HTP daily for 6 months prevented or significantly decreased the number of migraine attacks in 71% of participants (23Trusted Source).

However, there is limited recent research available on the effects of 5-HTP on migraines.

SUMMARY5-HTP may help you have fewer migraines by increasing your serotonin levels. However, research is limited and more high quality, recent studies are needed.

5. May promote sleep by increasing melatonin production

5-HTP produces serotonin, which can be converted into the hormone melatonin.

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 (24Trusted Source).

Therefore, supplementing with 5-HTP may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body.

One 2010 study showed that a combination of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep duration, and improved sleep quality (25Trusted Source).

GABA is a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation. Combining it with 5-HTP likely has a synergistic effect (25Trusted Source).

In fact, several animal studies suggest that 5-HTP improves sleep quality and that the effect is greater when combined with GABA (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source).

While these results are promising, the lack of human-based studies makes it diff

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