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What is the 5-HTP supplement and it's benefits?

Updated on June 23, 2011

5 htp is not known to too many people so many do not even know what it is for and what the benefits of taking a supplement can do for them. There are several 5 htp benefits and there are also several ways that it can be taken.

What is 5 htp?

5-Hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body. It helps to regulate serotonin levels.

What are the benefits of 5 htp?

It is used to help combat health problems including anxiety, depression, insomnia, fibromyalgia, migraines, and to help promote weight loss. The main is use is for depression.

It is used for depression because it is thought to work as well as many antidepressants. Studies have also shown that there were fewer side effects associated with 5 htp.

It is also used to treat migraines. Studies have shown that it helped to prevent and reduce the frequency of migraines. Insomnia shows to be improved because it may increase melatonin, which helps to regulate sleep patterns.

What are the side effects of 5 htp?

Most side effects are caused by taking high does, around the 70 mg to 100 mg level. These side effects include nausea, stomach cramps, decreased sex drive and nightmares. Sleepiness is another side effect that may occur days to weeks after beginning. If this occurs, it is advised to take a break from taking the 5-htp supplement.

What are the forms of the supplement?

It is usually supplied in pill form ranging from time release pills to capsules. They also range in milligrams in each pill. They usually start at 50 mg and do not usually go over 100 mg pills.

What dosage should be taken?

It depends on why the supplement is being taken to determine what the dosage should be. Different health problem requires a different dosage.

For weight loss, depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia, it is recommended to take 50 mg three times a day. If the results are not favorable after two weeks then increase to 100 mg three times a day. Following these dosages will also help to combat the side effects that are normally felt the first couple of weeks since a lower dosage is taken to begin with. It can be taken with food but if it is being used for weight loss then it is recommended to take it 20 minutes before eating.

For insomnia, it is recommended to take 100 mg thirty minutes before going to bed. If those results are unfavorable then increase the dose to 200 mg. Do not exceed 300 mg. Stick with each dose for three days before increasing the dosage.

There are many 5 htp benefits. It is always advised to speak with a doctor before taking any supplements. People with down syndrome should not take it as it has been reported to cause seizures in down syndrome patients. It is also recommended to take the lowest dose possible to help to reduce or prevent many of the side effects.


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