5-HTP (double strength) 100mg 60ct by Good n Natural

The nutrient 5-HTP (the common name for the compound 5-hydroxytryptophan) is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. A mood-enhancing chemical, 5-HTP has attracted a good deal of attention lately because of its ability to increase pain tolerance, induce sleep, and affect how hunger is perceived. Unlike many other supplements (and drugs) that have molecules too large to pass from the bloodstream into the brain, molecules of 5-HTP are small enough to do so. Once in the brain, they're converted into an important nervous system chemical, or neurotransmitter, called serotonin.

The body produces its own supply of 5-HTP from tryptophan, an amino acid found in high-protein foods such as chicken, fish, beef, and dairy products. Any healthy diet should include tryptophan-rich sources such as these. In addition, 5-HTP is available as a supplement; this form of the compound is extracted from the seeds of the African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia.

Concerns about 5-HTP's safety and effectiveness have been raised because of its close chemical association to L-tryptophan, a supplement once embroiled in controversy and now banned from the U.S. market. In the late 1980s, the use of L-tryptophan was linked to thousands of cases of illness and more than 30 deaths. Investigators determined that impurities in the manufacturing of L-tryptophan were the cause of these problems, not the tryptophan itself. In 1994, 5-HTP was introduced in the U.S.; unlike L-tryptophan the newer compound isn't produced with the help of bacteria. Therefore 5-HTP is thought to pose significantly less risk of contamination than L-tryptophan. Still, some experts continue to be concerned about impurities, and suggest avoiding high doses (700 to 900 mg a day) of 5-HTP.

Europeans have been taking 5-HTP for decades to treat insomnia and depression.

Health Benefits
Promising research indicates that 5-HTP may have a beneficial effect on a broad scope of complaints. Specifically, 5-HTP may help to:

  • Elevate mood in cases of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. 5-HTP appears to increase the brain's serotonin levels, positively influencing such disorders as depression that have been linked to low levels of this brain neurotransmitter. A number of small European studies offer examples of people with depression who found little relief from traditional antidepressant drugs yet obtained good results with 5-HTP.

  • Treat insomnia. Several elements of a good night's sleep appear to be influenced by 5-HTP. In addition to reducing the amount of time it takes to nod off, this compound actually may enhance the quality of sleep itself, increasing both the duration of dream states (REM sleep) and of deep slumber. In studies, most people who tried 5-HTP also reported feeling more rested upon awakening.

  • Promote weight loss. Some studies indicate that 5-HTP may curb the appetite when taken before meals. In a recent study of dieting women, those given 5-HTP reported feeling fuller than those who were given a placebo. In the end, participants in the 5-HTP group consumed fewer calories overall, and lost more weight than those in the placebo group. Another study reported increased weight loss among obese patients who took 5-HTP versus those who were given a placebo; all, however, had been restricted to a daily diet of 1,200 calories. In addition, because 5-HTP reportedly reduces cravings for sweets and starches, it may also be of use in helping diabetics adhere to a healthy diet.

  • Ease migraine pain. Migraine headaches have been linked to low serotonin levels. Studies are ongoing to determine if 5-HTP, which may boost the brain's serotonin levels, can help to reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of this extremely painful type of headache.

  • Increase tolerance to the pain of fibromyalgia. People who suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that commonly causes muscle pain and disabling fatigue, may have low serotonin levels. By increasing the level of these neurochemicals, 5-HTP may improve pain tolerance. In a recent Italian study, the 200 fibromylagia sufferers who added 5-HTP to a regimen of conventional antidepressants experienced less pain than those who took the drugs or 5-HTP alone.

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