There’s no need to delve into the deepest and most complicated scientific terms for this one. 5-Hydroxytryptophan or, more easily, 5-HTP is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. Your body uses this to produce serotonin, the “feel good” hormone that regulates mood. But not everyone is so lucky – and the lack of 5-HTP in your body means you don’t produce enough serotonin, which could then lead to serotonin deficiency, mood disorders such as depression, as well as anxiety, and general feelings of stress that could significantly affect your overall well-being and self-esteem in a very negative way.
There are multiple science-based benefits in taking 5-HTP, most of which resulted from diverse clinical studies. Let’s start with the most basic and most valuable (and probably why you’re here): a boost in serotonin production. While the exact cause of depression is still largely unknown, researchers believe that serotonin deficiency or imbalance may influence mood and lead to depression. 5-HTP increases serotonin levels in the brain and central nervous system, and its antidepressive effects help in treating said condition. Combined with other antidepressant medication, the effect of 5-HTP in your overall mental health is effectively much stronger.
Because 5-HTP boosts serotonin production, you also get melatonin in the package! Melatonin, which is converted from serotonin, plays an important role in regulating sleep. Supplementing with 5-HTP to also improve sleep, in addition to treating depression, will definitely give you a deep and restful night, and you’ll be waking up feeling better and more like yourself in the morning.
Finally, while 5-HTP improves appetite, it can actually aid in healthy weight loss and weight maintenance. 5-HTP easily satiates and increases the feelings of fullness after each meal. Additionally, because 5-HTP improves your mood, you won’t be prone to excessive food intake due to stress or depression!