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Supplements That Boost Serotonin Levels

Updated on December 6, 2008

Neurotransmitters are essential chemicals in the brain which are required for the proper transmission of impulses to the correct centers that allow a person to feel emotions or think thoughts. Of the emotive neurotransmitters, serotonin is believed to be the key to mood regulation, proper sleep cycles and more. Deficiency of serotonin is becoming increasingly common as stress factors and bad diets run rampant in many countries causing depression, anxiety, insomnia or hypersomnia, impaired cognitive function and fatigue. Luckily, there are increasing numbers of choices on the market today of supplements for serotonin; many individuals take prescription medications which can be quite expensive, but for a large percentage of individuals deficient in serotonin over-the-counter supplements work very well for a portion of the cost.

Amongst these supplements, 5-hydroxytryptophan is becoming quite popular for boosting serotonin levels. This chemical, commonly called 5-HTP, is naturally produced in the body for the synthesis of serotonin; low levels of this chemical is one common cause of serotonin deficiency. Whatever the reason for a deficiency, increased 5-HTP can increase the amount of serotonin the brain produces and hopefully reverse the effects. While there is no established safe and effective dose for 5-HTP yet, anything from 100mg-300mg has been used in trials. Various doses are now used in supplementation, consult your doctor about what dose may be the best for you.

There are many brands of 5-HTP supplements on the market including:

Seronex - This supplement from Progressive Health contains a full 100mg dose meant to be taken twice a day. For a one-month supply, or 60 tablets, Seronex runs just under $30 and is backed by Progressive Health’s trusted name in natural supplements.

Trimedica 5-HTP - Manufactured by another trusted name in natural supplementation (Trimedica, Inc., has been in business for 15 years), Trimedica 5-HTP retails around $20-$25 for a bottle of 60 tablets, though this is a good brand for individuals who require a lower dose as each tablet is 50mg and the recommended dose is anywhere from one to four tablets each day depending on the individual.

Nature’s Way 5-HTP - In business since 1969, Nature’s Way supplements are known for value and their 5-HTP supplement is no different; retailing for about $5-$10 per 30 tablets at 50mg each, coming in close to the cost of Seronex.

These are only a few of the myriad brands available and of course the ultimate decision will depend on several considerations including the source of the 5-HTP used in each supplement, cost and effectiveness, though it is always wise to make sure that you’re purchasing a trusted, proven brand to ensure you get what you pay for. As with any supplementation or other treatments for medical issues, always consult a doctor before commencing a supplement regimen to ensure that there are no existing issues that may be a problem when taking your preferred supplement and to check that there will be no adverse interactions between the supplements and any other medication you may be taking.


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    • SoundNFury profile image

      Michael Valencia 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      5HTP never did anything for me, and I have tried many brands, many times.

      Prescription meds help, as well as a couple of natural supplements like kava and phenibut.

    • profile image

      Sharon 6 years ago

      I have & it works. 5htp is good for this

    • Beberlee profile image

      Beverly 7 years ago from Philadelphia

      Do you know anyone who has had anxiety and tried this. Does it work. I am on medicine for anxiety and hate it. This would be good,

    • profile image

      Health Store 7 years ago

      I am conducting a case study on Neurotransmitter, your hub will be a great source inf information thank you for a well presented and very informative hub