What You Should Know
5-HTP or Hydroxytryptophan is a naturally occurring compound produced by an amino acid found in the body. It is commonly used as an herbal supplement to treat depression, suppress hunger and as a sleep aid. The research on 5-HTP has not been very through and is considered to be insufficient for definitive effects on depression, as an appetite suppressant or as a sleep aid. This research has also not established the effects of 5-HTP or possible side effects thoroughly.
5-HTP increases the production of serotonin. It crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase production of serotonin. The release of serotonin in the brain can relieve symptoms of depression and also act as an appetite suppressant. The effects as an appetite suppressant has drawn dieters to try this natural ingredient as a weight loss supplement. 5-Htp is available online and in some retail stores as an herbal supplement.
5-HTp is a natural occurring product of the body. It releases serotonin into the body. 5-HTP can cross the blood brain barrier causing an increase in serotonin levels. These increase in serotonin levels are thought to decrease appetite. It is thought that appetite suppression occurs without the patient trying to diet. The patient just simply eats few calories per meal resulting in weight loss. No study has shown that 5-HTP can significantly reduce weight. There also have not been sufficient enough studies performed to weight the risks and benefits of taking 5-HTP as a weight loss supplement.
5-HTP has been known to cause side effects including nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, nightmares and decreased libido. Since 5-HTP is also commonly used as a sleeping aid, it does not provide the energy generally associated with a highly productive weight loss supplement. 5-HTP should not be taken by those who are currently taking a MAOI or any other serotonin producing drug as it could cause a condition known as Serotonin Syndrome.