What Is 5-HTP?

Published :
Categories : BlogDrug EducationHerbs & Seeds

What Is 5-HTP?


Stress is one of the most common reasons for serotonin deficiencies. If you're looking for a way to boost this neurotransmitter without the help of prescription drugs, consider using 5-HTP. Find out more about this groundbreaking supplement!

It is easy to go through the daily grind without realising that your body is going through a decline. One of the most common issues many of us face is serotonin deficiency.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced by nerve cells in our digestive system and central nervous system. This chemical helps to naturally regulate sleep, memory, appetite, learning, mood, and sexual behavior, among many other things. But once stress factors come into play, for whatever reason, serotonin levels in our body begin to drop, and this is when people experience sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and depression.

To remedy this problem, a natural nutrient supplement called 5-HTP has been developed. This article aims to explain what exactly 5-HTP is; how it works and how it differs from other forms of treatment currently available for serotonin deficiency.

WHAT IS 5-HTP?

WHAT IS 5-HTP?

5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is a substance collected from the seed pods of Griffonia simplicifolia, a medicinal plant found in West Africa. For human beings, 5-HTP directly converts into serotonin once taken.

Medical experts will suggest or prescribe everything from tryptophan to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for those dealing with issues related to serotonin deficiency. SSRIs like Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) allows the brain to use serotonin that is present, but don’t actually produce more readily-available serotonin.

5-HTP, on the other hand, replenishes serotonin levels through the biological synthesis of new serotonin molecules. And while SSRIs can help remedy serotonin deficiency, 5-HTP is organic in nature, which means it can do its work with very few side effects.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A NIGHT OF PARTYING WITH MDMA?

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A NIGHT OF PARTYING WITH MDMA?

Designer drugs like MDMA or XTC have been a common fixture in the clubbing and nightlife scenes since the 1980s. In a nutshell, MDMA overwhelms the user’s brain a sudden boost of “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and of course, serotonin.

These chemicals are released in much higher concentrations than normal, resulting in drained neurotransmitter reserves following the experience. Once the high wears off, the body goes into oxidative stress. This means that the person who took MDMA may experience physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, making them feel the exact opposite of the high they experienced on the drug.

HOW 5-HTP HELPS RESTORE SEROTONIN LEVELS

5-HTP essentially restocks the body with serotonin that has been lost from the MDMA boost or other reasons. This helps people beat the depressed, “suicide Tuesday” feeling that an MDMA hangover may bring. 5-HTP does this by accessing the brain from the bloodstream through the blood-brain barrier.

HOW 5-HTP HELPS SLEEP DISORDERS

HOW 5-HTP HELPS SLEEP DISORDERS

5-HTP is also a supplement that can help people battle sleep disorders such as insomnia. Studies have shown that this supplement can help decrease the duration of sleep onset latency (SOL), while supporting a deeper sleep overall.

By taking 5-HTP along with gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which acts as a relaxant, those experiencing troubles dozing off can instantly fall asleep, and gain a better quality of sleep to boot. Another study has shown that 5-HTP was of great help for children who experience night terrors.

OTHER NATURAL ALTERNATIVES

OTHER NATURAL ALTERNATIVES

While 5-HTP is already a great option for restoring serotonin levels, there are additional alternatives that can do the trick as well.

Tryptophan, which happens to be a precursor of 5-HTP, is basically an amino acid that is one of the building blocks involved in protein synthesis. It helps maintain emotional stability, as well as returning appetite to normal levels, and promoting a better night’s sleep. The main takeaway from this supplement is that it induces a calming, soothing effect that can greatly decrease stress levels.

RELATED STORY
How To Recover From An MDMA Hangover And Recharge The Brain

MDMA is famed for the glowing feelings it produces on a night out, but it can make you pay for them with a nasty hangover the next days.

IS IT SAFE?

For those new to this supplement, 5-HTP may seem a little intimidating. With that said, the question remains: Is 5-HTP safe to use?

The easy answer is yes, but only for the short term. Experts advise limiting use to a maximum of 12 weeks. One caveat, however, is that those suffering from gastrointestinal issues may report side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Furthermore, it is quite important to recognise that 5-HTP should not be taken by those already taking SSRIs and MAOIs, or those with severe depression and other mood disorders. This supplement has been known to increase suicidal thoughts among some of these patients. For this reason, always consult your physician before taking a new supplement such as 5-HTP.

Generally, 5-HTP is a helpful supplement for those experiencing serotonin deficiency. But like everything in life, it is important to do your research and exercise moderation.

5-HTP: Is It Safe?

Shoyo Jack

Written by: Shoyo Jack

Cannabis-loving space cowboy from the Philippine Islands. Why drink and drive when you can smoke and fly?

Find out about our writers

Related Products