5-HTP: The Chief Keeper of Serotonin


5-HTP: The Chief Keeper of Serotonin

As the main neurotransmitter responsible for emotional stability, Serotonin must always be within normal levels to keep a person happy. A lot of enzymes work together to maintain Serotonin levels but among the most significant precursor compounds which play vital roles in Serotonin production is the compound known as 5-HTP. The compound is naturally-occurring in the human body but due to various factors such as degeneration, 5-HTP levels may reduce, leading to subsequent reduction of neurotransmitter Serotonin. In order to maintain Serotonin levels and prevent depression and anxiety, 5-HTP supplementation has become among the goals of various nutritional supplement manufacturers.

What is 5-HTP?

Scientifically known as 5-hydroxytriptan, 5-HTP has been used in the world of medical science for the treatment of various mental health dysfunctions like anxiety, cerebral ataxia and depression. Many of the benefits of 5-HTP are also still under deeper analysis to ensure safety among individual users.

What are the benefits of using 5-HTP?

While 5-HTP compound in low doses can produce therapeutic effects, experts recommend its inclusion to other compounds for synergistic effects. Most 5-HTP supplements are taken in oral forms and are believed to work within the first few doses. The following are some of the benefits of using the compound:

  • It may contribute to mood disorder treatments

Along with basic cognitive and behavioural approaches, 5-HTP supplementation is said to contribute to effective mood disorder treatments as it enhances Serotonin production in the brain. Long-term 5-HTP supplement use is also found to treat depression among depressive patients who do not find relief with ordinary treatments.

  • It helps Improve Sleep

Aside from being marked as the “happiness” neurotransmitter, Serotonin also plays a major role in inducing sleep and promoting rest. Patients with insomnia are found to have lower Serotonin levels, leading to inability to sleep and ineffective performance of daily activities. By enhancing Serotonin levels through precursor patterns, 5-HTP helps promote sleep and treat insomnia even among elderly patients.

  • It may Prevent Obesity

Serotonin also functions to enhance or suppress appetite depending on its levels in the brain. This is the reason why individuals who are depressed and thus having low serotonin levels may indulge into binge eating. The compound 5-HTP maintains Serotonin levels in the brain and contributes to the prevention of obesity as it relatively suppresses appetite.

  • It may provide relief from PMS

PMS or pre-menstrual symptoms experienced by women are also associated with low serotonin levels. Serotonin usually reduces as the ovaries produce hormone estrogen immediately before the onset of menstruation. Adequate 5-HTP supplementation, however, keeps serotonin levels within normal limits even with estrogen release.


There is no better way to protect and maintain Serotonin levels than to supply the body with the neurotransmitter’s building block. To treat off Serotonin-associated conditions, 5-HTP is a necessity.

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