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If you want to increase your serotonin level, the first thing that often comes to mind is the additional intake of L-tryptophan. Since tryptophane itself can only overcome the blood-brain barrier to a limited extent, this effect is usually limited. 5-Hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP for short, is the intermediate stage of tryptophan and serotonin. In contrast to tryptophane, 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier without any problems and is directly converted to serotonin in the brain. In this blog post you will find out everything about the effect, dosage, side effects and important facts about 5-HTP.
1. the effect of 5-HTP
As a direct precursor of serotonin, 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier and be effectively converted to serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that regulates numerous processes in the human body. It is one of the most important hormones in the body, as serotonin regulates the day-night rhythm, ensures good mood and healthy sleep. A serotonin deficiency can lead to increased appetite, fatigue, listlessness and bad mood. Especially in winter, you should make sure that your serotonin level always remains at a high level. In the following sections you will learn how to support your serotonin level with 5-HTP.
2 Which works better: tryptophan or 5-HTP?
Serotonin itself cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, therefore a direct absorption of the hormone is not possible. For this reason the body has to produce serotonin itself. This happens in the brain. For the production of serotonin, L-tryptophane is required as the main building block. However, since this can only pass the blood-brain barrier after all other amino acids have passed the barrier, the direct intake of L-tryptophane is not effective. For an effect, large amounts of tryptophane would have to be consumed. Significantly more effective is the direct intake of 5-HTP, the intermediate product of tryptophane and serotonin. 5-HTP can pass the blood-brain barrier and be processed with an efficiency of about 70%. Only about 3% of tryptophane is converted to serotonin, as it is mainly used for protein synthesis.
3. serotonin deficiency - symptoms and consequences
Anyone who suffers from a serotonin deficiency may experience the following symptoms:
- Strong feeling of hunger
- Depressive moods
- Chronic fatigue
- Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
- Cravings Attacks
- Inner tension
- Headaches and migraines
- Low ability to concentrate
4. correct serotonin deficiency by 5-HTP
Anyone who wants to remedy a serotonin deficiency can do so by taking 5-HTP in addition. As a rule, the first positive effect can be felt after a short time. The brain effectively forms serotonin from the supplied 5-HTP, so that the serotonin level is in many cases already on a higher level after a short time. Who wants to take pure 5-HTP to itself, can reach to , which are produced in Germany and contain no artificial additives.
5. 5-HTP and Melatonin
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that regulates the day-night rhythm of the body. It is released in the body at dusk and in the dark and initiates the sleep process. Since melatonin is produced from serotonin, 5-HTP can help increase melatonin levels by producing more serotonin. By taking 5-HTP before sleep, the body is helped to increase melatonin levels and support the natural sleep cycle. Through this process, the human body can enter the sleep mode more quickly.
6. 5-HTP against anxiety and fear
Taking 5-HTP can help to overcome states of inner restlessness. Many consumers report a positive effect after taking it, which calms the body and has a positive effect on mood. This is due to the release of serotonin, which is a happiness hormone that has a calming effect on the body. In contrast to medication, 5-HTP has the advantage that it acts immediately after ingestion and regulates the day-night rhythm. Anxiety can also be reduced by 5-HTP, as it can be used as a natural alternative to sedatives. If more serotonin is available to the body, brain cells can process chemical messages better. This has a positive effect on the mind. Since 5-HTP is often extracted from the Griffonia plant, chemical preparations are not necessary.
7. 5-HTP for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by chronic pain and a strong sensitivity to pressure and normal stimuli. Other symptoms can include muscle cramps, stiff joints, a disturbed sleep rhythm, numbness and digestive problems. Not everyone affected feels the same symptoms. It is estimated that two to four percent of all people suffer from fibromyalgia. 5-HTP can help people with fibromyalgia to relieve pain and pain sensation by increasing serotonin levels and thus reducing the sensation of pain. 5-HTP is one of the drugs commonly used to treat fibromyalgia. Various studies suggest that 5-HTP can also reduce symptoms such as anxiety, sleep patterns, stiffness and joint pain in fibromyalgia patients.
8 Who should not take 5-HTP?
Most people tolerate 5-HTP without any problems. However, those who cannot tolerate 5-HTP after the first few doses and react with nausea should reduce the dose or stop taking the product. Those who are taking certain medications such as antidepressants should check with their doctor whether an additional intake of 5-HTP is possible. Anyone who takes 5-HTP and serotonin reuptake inhibitors without consultation risks a too high serotonin level. This can lead to side effects such as chills and circulation problems.
9. the correct dosage of 5-HTP
If you are taking 5-HTP for the first time, you should first take a moderate dose to make sure that tolerance is guaranteed. We recommend a dose of 100 mg - 200 mg a day to effectively raise serotonin levels. Those who wish to take a higher dose should only do so if there are no side effects when taking 200 mg 5-HTP.
10. 5-HTP: Overdose
Anyone who chronically consumes too much 5-HTP may increase their serotonin level so much that there may be an excess of serotonin in the body. This can lead to the following symptoms:
- Disturbances of the day-night rhythm
- Increased pulse and blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
However, these side effects usually only occur if very high amounts of 5-HTP are taken over a long period of time or if an excess of serotonin is caused by other drugs.
11. side effects of 5-HTP
Most people tolerate 5-HTP without any problems. In some cases, nausea may occur with the first intake. We therefore recommend starting with a small dose of 5-HTP first to test whether there is any intolerance. Since an increased serotonin level can suppress the feeling of hunger, you should make sure that you still consume enough calories, otherwise taking 5-HTP can lead to weight loss.
12. who is 5-HTP particularly important for?
People with serotonin deficiency, insomnia or low mood should consider the additional intake of 5-HTP to increase serotonin levels in the long term. People who suffer from headaches or migraines should consult their doctor to find out whether this may be due to a serotonin deficiency. Anyone planning a diet can take 5-HTP, as higher serotonin levels reduce the feeling of hunger and reduce attacks of ravenous appetite.
13. 5-HTP as a mood enhancer
Since the 1970s, 5-HTP has been used as a mood enhancer and antidepressant. Since serotonin is considered a happiness hormone that brightens the mood, a high serotonin level can lead to better mood and reduced depression. As a natural alternative to sedatives, the happiness hormone serotonin ensures that brain cells can process chemical processes better and react to signals more effectively. This has a positive effect on mood. A positive effect of 5-HTP on sleep also means that mood lows due to lack of sleep are reduced.
14. 5-HTP for better sleep
A higher serotonin level can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. It may therefore be useful to increase serotonin levels by taking 5-HTP in addition. We recommend our blog article " Sleep better with 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)". 5-HTP can help you fall asleep faster and promote deeper sleep. The REM phase and the deep sleep phase are prolonged by 5-HTP without increasing the total sleep time. This is an advantage compared to sleep medication, as 5-HTP does not disturb the normal sleep rhythm. Serotonin is the driving factor that regulates activity during sleep.
15. 5-HTP for headaches
People who suffer from vascular headaches (migraines) or non-vascular headaches (e.g. tension headaches) can often achieve relief by taking 5-HTP and increasing serotonin levels. Many drugs that are supposed to relieve chronic headaches have drastic side effects on many parts of the body. Often these do not help to relieve headaches permanently. In contrast, 5-HTP is a natural solution that can help without side effects. Some recent studies also suggest that 5-HTP may increase endorphin levels, as it regulates the production of endorphins by increasing serotonin release.
16 How can I absorb 5-HTP through food?
5-HTP is usually only present in food in very small amounts. There are some foods that contain tryptophan. These include dark chocolate, nuts, bananas, beans, beef and fish. Green tea also contains a moderate amount of tryptophane.
18. 5-HTP during a diet
During a diet, 5-HTP should be taken 20-30 minutes before a meal to reduce the appetite and decrease the hunger for carbohydrates. As a natural appetite suppressant, 100 mg - 200 mg 5-HTP can have the desired effect. If you want to lose weight with 5-HTP, you can do this as part of a cure or by taking it over a long period of time. There is no habituation effect with 5-HTP, where the amount would have to be increased in order to lose more weight. 5-HTP increases the serotonin level. As a result, the feeling of hunger and attacks of ravenous appetite are reduced.
19. 5-HTP - onset of action
5-HTP is absorbed relatively quickly and passes the blood-brain barrier after a few hours. On an empty stomach the effect occurs earlier. However, we recommend that 5-HTP not be taken on an empty stomach, as people with a sensitive stomach may feel nauseous when taking it.
20 The duration of action of 5-HTP
The half-life of 5-HTP is about five hours. After two hours the maximum effect is reached. Those who take 5-HTP to get a better night's sleep should take a serving two hours before going to bed.
21. 5-HTP as appetite suppressant
The human body releases happiness hormones during meals. Studies and experience reports suggest that 5-HTP curbs eating habits and curbs the craving for sweets. Anyone taking 5-HTP over a long period of time should take care not to consume too few calories to prevent excessive weight loss in a short time.
22. 5-HTP - forms of intake
As a food supplement, 5-HTP is offered on the market in various forms. Most preparations are based on a natural extract of the African black bean Griffonia Simplicifolia. The African black bean is a plant that has a particularly high proportion of 5-HTP and is used there as a natural painkiller and antidepressant. The most popular forms in Germany are 5-HTP capsules and 5-HTP tablets. There are also powder preparations with pure 5-HTP, but these are difficult to dose. This can easily lead to an overdose.
23 The effectiveness and efficiency of 5-HTP
Studies have shown that the efficiency of 5-HTP is relatively high. Up to 70% of the ingested 5-HTP can be processed by the body and enter the bloodstream. In contrast to L-tryptophane, where only a very small amount of the active ingredient reaches the brain, 5-HTP can be effectively used to increase serotonin levels in the body.
24 How is 5-HTP produced?
Most preparations containing 5-HTP are derived from the African black bean (Griffonia). This plant naturally has a very high 5-HTP content. In Africa, the black bean has long been used as a natural painkiller and antidepressant. If you want to avoid taking a chemical preparation, you can use 5-HTP from the African black bean.
25. 5-HTP - Study situation
5-HTP has been known as a dietary supplement since the 1970s. Since then, numerous efficacy studies have been conducted. Most of these studies can be found in the USA. Most of the studies focus on the effects of 5-HTP on sleep, appetite, serotonin levels and depression.
27. 5-HTP - as a cure or permanent intake?
5-HTP can be used acutely to facilitate falling asleep or to improve the quality of sleep. However, if you want to benefit from a long-term effect and use 5-HTP for diet, headaches or depression, you can also use 5-HTP daily. If you want to maintain your weight, you should make sure you consume enough calories, as 5-HTP can reduce the feeling of hunger.
28. 5-HTP and alcohol
Anyone who has drunk alcohol and is taking 5-HTP should allow at least six hours to elapse between their last alcohol consumption and ingestion to ensure that 5-HTP is as effective as possible. If you nevertheless take both together, you may feel a reduced effect. Reports of negative interactions between alcohol and 5-HTP are an exception.
29. 5-HTP and CBD
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is also said to have an antidepressant and stress-relieving effect. There are therefore users who combine 5-HTP with CBD. Whether this increases the effect of the individual preparations has not yet been clarified by studies. There are also not many reports about a combination of CBD and 5-HTP. Since CBD has gained popularity in recent years, it is to be expected that sooner or later a study will deal with the topic.
30. Absorb 5-HTP via the oral mucosa?
5-HTP can be swallowed as capsules or tablets. Alternatively, 5-HTP powder can be absorbed sublingually through the oral mucosa. Both ways are efficient and achieve a high absorption efficiency. If you have a sensitive stomach and cannot tolerate 5-HTP, sublingual absorption through the oral mucosa is the better alternative. For this purpose we recommend the purchase of 5-HTP capsules, which can be opened in the middle. The powder can then be kept in the mouth for several minutes to ensure optimal effect.
31. 5-HTP for children
Some studies suggest that 5-HTP can sleep better with 5-HTP. However, it is generally not recommended to give 5-HTP to children. In consultation with the paediatrician, 5-HTP can in principle be used.
32. is there a habituation effect with 5-HTP?
5-HTP does not have a habituation effect in the body, as it is an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin. 5-HTP can be taken both acutely and over the long term without decreasing the effect or increasing the dose. Even taking it several times a day does not lead to an habituation effect.
33. 5-HTP in pregnancy & lactation
There are currently no studies available on the effect of 5-HTP in pregnant and breastfeeding women. We therefore recommend that an additional intake of 5-HTP be clarified with the family doctor.
34. is 5-HTP freely available?
5-HTP is approved in Germany as a dietary supplement. Since it is not a drug and is not subject to prescription, anyone can purchase 5-HTP. Anyone who wants to buy herbal 5-HTP can order preparations online or buy them in markets. Some drugstores or pharmacies also carry 5-HTP.
35 What should I look out for when buying 5-HTP?
5-HTP has long been offered as a dietary supplement in Germany. There are different ways of taking 5-HTP. The most common forms include 5-HTP capsules and tablets, powder with 5-HTP and in rare cases chewable tablets. The most important thing when buying is the origin. 5-HTP preparations from Germany are safe and are produced according to the highest quality standards. In order to ensure optimal product safety, we advise against preparations from Asia and Eastern Europe. These products with 5-HTP often have strong differences in quality, where the active ingredient content and purity can vary greatly. Before buying, you should definitely take a look at the list of ingredients. If additives such as microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide or other fillers are included, you should not buy. Nano-substances like microcrystalline cellulose, for which the study layer is thin, can penetrate the intestinal wall. How long they remain in the body is often uncertain. The active ingredient 5-HTP should also be of plant origin. Many preparations are extracted from the Griffonia plant (African black bean) and are therefore of natural origin.
36. 5-HTP Tablets
5-HTP tablets often consist of the active ingredient and also contain pressing and filling aids that hold the tablets together. In most cases it is not possible to produce 5-HTP tablets without artificial additives. For the manufacturer the production of 5 HTP tablets is cheaper than the production of 5 HTP capsules.
37. 5-HTP as powder
There are also some 5-HTP preparations that are sold in powder form. The advantage is that additives can often be dispensed with. However, the high concentration of active substances results in the risk of overdosing. We therefore advise against taking a 5-HTP powder.
38. 5-HTP as drops
5-HTP drops are another alternative to the above-mentioned preparations. They contain the dissolved 5-HTP active substance and some carriers. As additives are also necessary, it is important to have a look at the list of ingredients. Most 5-HTP drops contain sweeteners such as xylitol, thickeners, preservatives such as potassium sorbate, aromas and acidifiers. We therefore advise against 5-HTP drops.
39. 5-HTP Capsules
5-HTP capsules are the best way to take 5-HTP. This has several reasons. Firstly, 5-HTP capsules can be produced without artificial additives because they are not pressed by the production machine. In many cases, the capsule shell is made of vegetable cellulose, which contains the active ingredient and a natural filler such as rice flour. However, even in this case many manufacturers use artificial additives. Whoever wants to buy 5-HTP capsules should therefore always look at the ingredients list. The shorter it is, the better the preparation. People who have problems swallowing tablets usually get along better with capsules. This is because cellulose capsules have a more slippery surface as soon as they come into contact with saliva, making them easier to swallow. If you cannot swallow tablets or capsules, you can open cellulose capsules with your fingernails or scissors and dissolve the powder in water or juice and take it. The effectiveness of 5-HTP is not negatively affected by this.
Vitamineule® 5-HTP capsules
In our online shop you will find our 5-HTP capsules from Vitamineule®, which are completely free of artificial additives. Vitamineule® 5-HTP contain 200mg of pure 5-HTP per capsule. Each can contains 90 capsules. Besides fast & free shipping, we offer a voluntary six-month return guarantee for all products.
5-HTP is a versatile substance that can greatly increase serotonin levels in the body. The positive effects include better sleep, a positive effect on mood and pain-relieving effects. Instead of increasing the serotonin level by tryptophane, 5-HTP can have a better effect due to a significantly higher efficiency. 5-HTP is suitable for acute use, as a cure or for continuous intake. Those who take 5-HTP permanently and want to keep their weight, should make sure to consume enough calories, because 5-HTP reduces the feeling of hunger and can prevent ravenous attacks. Those who take 5-HTP before sleep can fall asleep faster and better. The REM and deep sleep phases can be prolonged by taking 5-HTP and the associated increase in serotonin. Those who suffer from headaches or migraines can achieve improvement and relief with 5-HTP. Many studies have long confirmed the effect of 5-HTP on serotonin levels and the associated positive effects. Since melatonin is made from serotonin, taking 5-HTP can also support the production of melatonin. If you want to buy a food supplement with 5-HTP, you should make sure to buy a preparation from Germany. Also, no artificial additives should be included. The origin of 5-HTP should best come from the Griffonia plant.
5. Morrow JD; Vikraman S; Imeri L; Opp MR. Effects of serotonergic activation by 5-hydroxytryptophan on sleep and body temperature of C57BL/6J and interleukin-6-deficient mice are dose and time related. SLEEP 2008;31(1):21-33.