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5HTP: How Does It Work And What Are The Benefits?

5-hydroxytrytophan, or 5HTP, is basically a chemical made by the body by sourcing a dietary amino acid called tryptophan. This particular ingredient, 5HTP, is innately linked to serotonin, a brain chemical that affects our sleep, mood and sensation of pain. It is often given as a supplement.

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How Does It Work?

5HTP is mainly essential for producing serotonin, the chemical needed for our nervous system and brain. It is also believed that it can help in treating conditions like insomnia, obesity, depression and others, often affected by lower level of serotonin. However, it's benefits for treating all these conditions are debated as more in-depth research is required.

Eating foods containing tryptophan is not always effective in increasing 5HTP content in our body. Nevertheless, supplements always help.

Benefits of 5HTP

Some research shows that taking 5HTP supplements can actually relieve signs of depression in the same way as most antidepressants do. There are studies to prove that it also eases pain, sleep problems and morning stiffness caused by fibromyalgia.

There are many other conditions for which 5HTP may be given as a solution, such as sleep disorders, anxiety, migraines, tension headaches, binge eating and obesity, fibromyalgia, premenstrual symptoms (PMS), attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD), and premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD).

However, today, there is adequate research to support the effectiveness of 5HTP in treating all these aforementioned conditions.

Safety Issues

There may be some potential after effects of taking 5HTP supplements, such as dizziness, diarrhea, and nausea. In rare cases, patients may also have allergic reactions. In such cases, report your symptoms to a doctor or stop taking the supplement.

5HTP is clearly unsafe for pregnant women and nursing mothers. People with kidney or liver disease should not take this supplement.

Facts and Evidence

Several clinical trials have shown that 5HTP can effectively work like an antidepressant. In fact, it works better than most of the other supplements for alleviating depression.

Some research shows that 5HTP is also effective in reducing the severity and frequency of migraines. It can even prevent migraine headaches in the long run. However, large controlled trials would be needed to prove facts.

For insomnia, this particular ingredient is believed to be a great relief. Serotonin gets converted into another hormone, melatonin, which is needed for regulating sleep-wake cycles. As 5HTP increases the level of serotonin, it is likely to increase melatonin levels too. As a result, your sleep pattern will be regularized.

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Posted in Dentistry Post Date 03/10/2016