5-HTP is starting to gain popularity in the field of health supplements. But, what exactly is it? Is it safe to take? And, if so, where can you find it?
What it is
5-HTP is a natural by-product of L-tryptophan, which is a protein building block. However, it can also be manufactured from seeds of a griffonia simplicifolia plant, which is found in Africa.
5-HTP supplements are considered useful for a variety of conditions. Because it increases the serotonin that your body creates which enhances mood and decreases appetite, it’s thought to work well for those who suffer with depression, fibromyalgia, obesity and more. (It’s also thought to help people who have trouble sleeping and suffer from anxiety but there isn’t currently enough evidence to support those claims.)
Is it safe?
Some health officials warn that 5-HTP is too new to declare it safe. For example, WebMD warns people NOT to take it until more studies are done. They indicate that the possible side effects include abdominal issues, sexual problems and it’s even thought to poorly affect your muscles.
Perhaps the most significant possible side effect they point out is something called eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS). This syndrome creates a flu-like reaction that may result in death and is triggered by taking 5-HTP supplements that are poorly manufactured.
However, several studies suggest that 5-HTP is safe as long as you use it short term (12 weeks or less). They feel that because your body naturally produces this chemical anyway, it can’t cause too much harm when used properly.
If you’re already taking serotonin producing drugs, you’re not going to want to take this too. You’ll create too much of this chemical in your body which can negatively affect your heart, create muscle stiffness and increase your anxiety levels. You’ll also want to bypass it if you’re pregnant or have gastrointestinal issues.
Where to find it
If you’re still ready to try 5-HTP to see if it can help you (with your doctor’s clearance, of course), there are a number of companies that sell it. The key is to choose one that is reputable for their quality products. Because of the possible conditions that can result from taking a poorly manufactured 5-HTP supplement, now is not the time to settle for less than the best. Also, make sure you choose products that are pure 5-HTP or griffonia simplicifolia (the fewer fillers the better) and introduce it to your body slowly.
Be diligent when it comes to what you supplements you take. Your body deserves it.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytrytophan) Its an amino acid which can be found in protein source foods like meat, eggs & fish. 5-HTP molecules pass from the blood stream into the brain where they’re converted into the good mood molecule chemical called serotonin.
You need a dose of 50- 100g per day to effectively boost the brain.
Eggs are the best natural food sources for 5-HTP increase.