If you claim 2020 has not been a stressful year for you, there is a very good chance that you’re being dishonest. Between the inescapable consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, roiling American political turmoil, and an overall sense of unease about the world, it is very easy for mental health issues to arise (or worsen) as a result of the state of the world. While it is impossible, as well as impractical, for everyone to rush to their nearest psychiatrist for medication, there are a multitude of supplements and at-home remedies for the average Joe to try.
Fear not, 5-HTP could be here to save the day. This article will tell you everything you need to know about 5-HTP, from correct dosage and side effects to the time it takes for the supplement to be effective.
So what's the big deal with 5-HTP?
- 5-HTP is a safe herbal supplement that can be utilized in order to treat a variety of issues (including but not limited to weight issues, migraines, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders, and mood enhancement) either in conjunction with or independent of physician prescribed medication.
- Dosage amount varies based on targeted condition, which in turn varies the total time it takes for 5-HTP to be effective.
- The serotonin boost supplied by 5-HTP can be helpful in aiding depression and symptoms of depression.
What exactly is 5-HTP?
5-HTP (short for 5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. It can be used to aid in a myriad of health issues, from mental health focuses such depression and anxiety to more physical ailments, such as migraines and fibromyalgia. It has been shown to aid in boosting the body’s serotonin levels (something many people need in these times). Low serotonin levels are very frequently linked to issues such as insomnia, depression, and weight fluctuation. 5-HTP’s ability to raise the body’s level of serotonin makes it a valuable friend to anyone suffering from a lack of the “happy chemical.”
Although produced organically by humans, the supplemental form of 5-HTP is sourced from an African shrub called griffonia simplicifolia. It cannot be added to a person’s diet through food, but instead must be consumed as a nutritional vitamin/supplement; you can find a bottle through Dr. Emil’s online nutrition store.
How long does it take for 5-HTP to work?
As with anything involving the body, this should only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider. It is recommended that consumers new to 5-HTP should always start off in small doses, gradually increasing their ingestion as their body adjusts to the new supplement.
This can lengthen the overall time it takes for 5-HTP to be effective. The time it takes for consistent use of 5-HTP to be effective varies and is based on a number of potential factors, such as health history, coinciding medications, as well as consistency and rate of use. Dosage should also be taken into consideration; the amount of 5-HTP needed for effectiveness varies on the reason why you are using it.
Tthe following 5-HTP dosages are generally recommended based on whichever issue you may have:
5-HTP Dosage for Weight management
For weight management purposes, take 250–300 mg a half an hour prior to a meal. Continue with two weeks of consistent use in order to see calorie intake decrease.
5-HTP Dosage for Mood Enhancement
For 5-HTP to help with mood enhancement, take 50-100 mg of the supplement 3 times per day with meals for at least a week. A study performed on young women with major depressive disorder showed that consistent use (at least twice daily) of 5-HTP for eight weeks saw a 60% decrease in mean scores for the Hamilton Depression Rating scale.
5-HTP Dosage for Fibromyalgia
Although there is no exact research detailing the benefits of 5-HTP on fibromyalgia directly, there is conclusive evidence that the disease can cause low serotonin levels (which could possibly be treated with the aid of 5-HTP). Take 100 mg of 5-HTP 3-4 times per day with meals in order to see a beneficial boost in serotonin levels
5-HTP Dosage for Migraine Management
For migraine symptom relief, take 100-200 mg up to 3 times per day in order to find relief. After six months of daily 5-HTP consumption, migraine sufferers saw a 71% percent decrease in the amount of their migraine attacks.
5-HTP Dosage for Use as a Sleep Aid
Interestingly enough, a study discovered that 5-HTP is most effective for sleep aid purposes when paired with GABAdone, which targets specific amino acids. When taken together, the active trial group fell asleep in 19 minutes (as opposed to the initial 31 minutes), and sleep duration increased from five to six hours. Take 100-300 mg of 5-HTP up to 45 minutes before bedtime in order to see results.
Esteemed Mount Sinai Hospitals published a more detailed examination of proper dosing and usage of 5-HTP for insomnia.
So, is 5-HTP safe?
Overall, yes. It is branded and sold as an herbal supplement rather than a medication and is therefore not FDA approved. It should be noted that there are a few side effects that can occur after taking 5-HTP, which include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. As with any other supplement or additive, it should be used under the supervision of a health care professional and with caution. It should not be used as a substitution for psychiatric medication without the recommendation from a psychiatrist.
What’s the verdict? Should I take 5-HTP?
5-HTP can be a truly beneficial resource. Talk to your primary care physician if you think 5-HTP could help you. All in all, it is a safe herbal supplement that can easily be added to your nutritional routine. It is available in grocery and dollar stores, but you can grab a bottle on sale at Dr. Emil’s store by following this link. The greatest way to see results through 5-HTP use is consistency; the supplement will be most effective if taken consistently by the individual.