5-HTP (L-5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a metabolite of L-tryptophan, the amino acid necessary for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin (3).
- Supports maintaining a healthy weight (ref)*
- Mood support and promotes relaxation (ref)*
- Promotes healthy sleep (ref)*
5-HTP Mode of Action
5-HTP is used to increase serotonin levels in the brain instead of tryptophan because 5-HTP crosses the blood-brain barrier and is directly synthesized into serotonin. L-tryptophan is also converted to 5-HTP (and thus into serotonin) but requires the intermediate step of HTP. Supplementing with 5-HTP is more effective than supplementing with L-tryptophan (1).
As it bypasses the conversion of L-tryptophan into 5-HTP, supplementation with 5-HTP also bypasses the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase which is involved in limiting the rate of synthesis of serotonin. 5-HTP is effectively absorbed orally, and approximately 70% reaches the bloodstream. It increases the synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system. 5-HTP and its conversion to serotonin are helpful for sleep because melatonin is a metabolite of serotonin (2). 5-HTP cannot be used to synthesize niacin or proteins like L-tryptophan (3).
Supplemental 5-HTP is produced from the seeds of a tropical shrub, Griffonia simplicifolia (4).
5-HTP is very powerful because of its direct role in serotonin synthesis. Please be aware of any interactions before purchasing.
Pure Nootropics’ 5-HTP provides 100 mg per 1 capsule. Suggested use in adults is 1 capsule by mouth daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
5-HTP Side Effects and Toxicity
5-HTP is usually well-tolerated. Side effects may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea or loss of appetite. Side effects are typically seen at higher doses and doses which are increased quickly (4).
For further information, please see our References Tab above.