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5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a metabolite of L-tryptophan, the amino acid necessary for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin (3).

5-HTP Benefits

  • 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.

5-HTP Dosage

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.


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The references below are not meant to imply that any of our products treat, cure, or diagnose any disease or human condition. References to clinical studies and pre-clinical studies may use varying dosages and may not represent the dosages or subsequent results of products we sell; however, the references provided are pertinent to the subject supplement itself. References provided are intended for research and informational purposes only and do not represent the entire body of knowledge available on the subject(s) referenced; nor do they represent all possible outcomes associated with the subject(s) referenced including, but not limited to, adverse effects, precautions, or chemical interactions within the human body. The Content provided on this website is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Never ignore the advice of a medical professional or delay in attaining professional advice because of information or impressions you gather on this website. Choosing to rely on any information provided by the Content of this website is solely at your own risk. We encourage our audience to do their own research beyond the resources we have provided so your decision is as educated as possible.

• Supports maintaining a healthy weight (ref)*
Cangiano, C, et al. “Eating Behavior and Adherence to Dietary Prescriptions in Obese Adult Subjects Treated with 5-Hydroxytryptophan.” Am J Clin Nutr., vol. 56, no. 5, Nov. 1992, pp. 863–7.,
• Mood support (ref)*
Jangid, P, et al. “Comparative Study of Efficacy of l-5-Hydroxytryptophan and Fluoxetine in Patients Presenting with First Depressive Episode.” Asian J Psychiatr., vol. 6, no. 1, Feb. 2013, pp. 29–34., doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2012.05.011.
• Promotes healthy sleep (ref)*
Birdsall, TC. “5-Hydroxytryptophan: a Clinically-Effective Serotonin Precursor.” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 3, no. 4, Aug. 1998, pp. 271–80.,
1. “5-HTP”. Published Jul 21, 2013. Updated Feb 11, 2019.
2. Charles, Gant. “The Role of 5HTP as a Precursor for Serotonin and Melatonin…”
3. Birdsall, TC. “5-Hydroxytryptophan: a Clinically-Effective Serotonin Precursor.” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 3, no. 4, Aug. 1998, pp. 271–80.,
4. “5-HTP”. Food, Herbs, & Supplements Professional.,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=794#mechanismOfAction.
5. “Serotonin Syndrome.” Wikipedia,
6. “5-Hydroxytryptophan (Compound).” PubChem Open Chemistry Database,

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