How 5HTP and serotonin works
Serotonin works by transmitting signals between nerve cells and altering brain functions that affect mood states and sleep. In fact, supplementing with 5HTP has been shown to lower depression symptoms as well as many prescription medications can.
Amino acid therapy is somewhat of an emerging field, which is based on the fact that certain amino acids have been found to be very helpful with treating conditions like sleep disorders, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and sexual dysfunctions. Amino acids, in general, are a nutritional requirement for everyone: children, adults, vegetarians, omnivores and everyone in between. The best part about using targeted amino acids to help resolve health conditions and ease symptoms is that they’re completely natural, require no prescription and the vast majority of the time cause no side effects whatsoever.
How 5-HTP Works
The essential amino acid l-tryptophan can be obtained by eating foods that contain it, such as red meat and turkey, but its ability to be converted into 5-HTP and ultimately into serotonin is limited by the availability of an enzyme called tryptophan hydroxylase. The amount of tryptophan hydroxylase in our bodies can be inhibited by many different factors, such as stress, insulin resistance, vitamin B6 deficiency, and magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with 5-HTP overcomes this problem by eliminating the need to convert l-tryptophan to 5-HTP, thus allowing more 5-HTP to be available for conversion to serotonin.
Because of its ability to boost serotonin levels, 5HTP has been used to help treat numerous disorders, including:
- Sleep disorders
- Mood disorders like depression and anxiety
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Binge eating disorder
- Learning disabilities like ADHD
- PMS and menopausal symptoms
- And more
Safety and Side Effects
Doses of around 200 to 300 mg per day of 5-HTP seem to be fairly well-tolerated. The most common side effects reported with 5-HTP include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Less common side effects include a headache, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Gastrointestinal side effects appear to be dose-dependent and tend to lessen over time.
There is one very serious safety concern with 5-HTP, however. When taken in conjunction with other medications for depression that also increase serotonin, such as SSRIs or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), there is a possibility that your serotonin levels may become dangerously high. This condition, called serotonin syndrome, leads to symptoms such as high blood pressure, hyperthermia, flushing, hyperreflexia, dizziness, disorientation, and involuntary muscle twitching called myoclonus. Patients experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, as this condition can be fatal.
Why we have added P5P (Vit B6) to 5-HTP and why P5P (Vit B6) work best together
There are upwards of 160 known vital reactions in the body in which pyridoxal phosphate – the active form of vitamin B6 – is necessary for. One such reaction is the metabolism of L-tryptophan into 5-HTP; thus, supplementing with vitamin B6 also increases 5-HTP levels in your brain.
Hence, numerous cognitive malfunctions may occur in people who lack vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 deficiency is highly prevalent in those who regularly drink alcohol; low levels of vitamin B6 can cause depression, pernicious anaemia, blood pressure abnormalities, sleeping disorders, neuropathy, as well as myriad other deleterious health conditions. Intuitively, it’s in your best interest to minimize your alcohol intake if you wish to avoid vitamin B6 deficiency.
How 5-HTP and Vitamin B6 Promote Relaxation
5-HTP is a nootropic/’smart drug’ that modifies neurochemistry to induce psychological and/or physiological benefits (such as better mood and sense of wellbeing).
Physiologically, 5-HTP crosses your blood-brain barrier and is transformed into serotonin a neurotransmitter that promotes calmness and tranquility. Therefore, we don’t recommend using 5-HTP in conjunction with any prescription medications that modify serotonin levels. By boosting the levels of serotonin (and melatonin) in the brain, 5-HTP may treat a variety of sleep and mood disorders.
Serving size: 1 capsule
Servings per container: 60 capsules
As a food supplement, take 1 capsule, daily with food, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Mood enhancement: 1 capsule 3 times a day
Fibromyalgia relief: 1 capsule 3 - 4 times a day
Migraines: 2 capsules 2 - 3 times a day
Sleep Aid: 3 capsules 30 - 45min before bed
Weight Aid: 3 capsules 30 min prior to a meal
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