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5 HTP side effects and the benefits of 5 hydroxy tryptophan

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan) is a naturally occurring supplement that once it enters the blood stream is converted to serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin is the "balancing" chemical of the brain and is responsible for actions and feeling such as mood, appetite, behavior and sleep, serotonin is also involved in mood control.

One sign of low serotonin levels may be attributed with or lead to addictive behavior's like gambling, as well as many other weak will power behavior's.

The effects and benefits of 5htp appear to be different in each person depending on the level of serotonin deficiency he or she may have.  The people who are deficient in serotonin will benefit the most from 5 htp.  It is always best to have your blood levels checked with your doctor anyhow and they will be able to tell you if you are deficient in serotonin based on your results.

Benefits of 5 HTP

5 HTP is being hailed as the natural alternative to medications such as Prozac in the effect is has against depression and anxiety type disorders.

The other benefits of 5 HTP are:

  • Better mood and balance
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Better impulse control
  • And better sleep

5 HTP may also be temporarily helpful in the treatment of conditions that would usually require prescription drugs, such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness.

5 HTP Dosage

The average dosage of 5 HTP is between 50mg and 100mg but it should also be noted that people taking 5 HTP should take breaks from their dosage due to the side effects that can be caused by the precursor of 5-HTP which is 6-HTP. 

Some of these side effects are nausea and vomiting, nightmares, decreased sex drive and stomach cramps.  It has also been shown that 5 HTP makes dreams more intense and vivid.

The long term effects of 5 HTP are largely unknown at this point as there has not been adequate long-term testing.  Regular long term use is not advised and taking 5 HTP whilst pregnant is also not advised.

Using 5 HTP in combination with SSRI's such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil has not been evaluated formally.  Taking small amounts of 5 HTP and small amounts of SSRI's under the supervision of a medical professional has been shown to be tolerable.

Who Could Take 5 HTP

This really is dependent on your personal circumstance but if you are suffering from severe anxiety or depression and looking for a natural alternative to some of the harsh prescription drugs then it is advisable that you consult your doctor to see if 5 htp could be of benefit to you.



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