The health freaks among us have probably heard of it before or even used it: 5-HTP. But what is 5-HTP, what does it do to you and how do you use it? 5-HTP is a natural amino acid from tryptophan and stimulates the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter for the brain. It plays a role in various emotions, including happiness and unhappiness, panic, anxiety, appetite and sexual behavior. Your brain is heavily dependent on serotonin and 5-HTP can help in making it.
Where does 5-HTP come from?
5-HTP is extracted from the seeds of the South African herb Griffonia simplicifolia. The seeds of this herb are the only natural source where 5-HTP is present in such a high concentration.
What does 5-HTP do?
As mentioned, 5-HTP stimulates the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. People with a low serotonin level have relatively more frequent complaints such as depression and insomnia. To become sleepy you need a different substance called 'melatonin'. Guess what; the production of melatonin is stimulated again by serotonin. Do you often suffer from stress or anxiety attacks? Then chances are that you also suffer from a too low serotonin level. In short, serotonin does a lot for your body and your state of mind. And 5-HTP helps to increase your serotonin level.
Absorption of serotonin by your body
Serotonin is made by your body itself. To do this, your body needs proteins. When your body breaks down the proteins, tryptophan, among other things, is the main source of serotonin. Trytophan is also converted to 5-HTP. Our liver and brain then both convert to serotonin. However, the liver can also convert tryptophan to another substance, kynurenine. This substance is needed for maintaining and building our muscles. However, a too high concentration of kynurenine can lead to muscle damage. That is why it is better to use 5-HTP instead of tryptophan.
5-HTP for supplementing serotonin
Because serotonin can only be produced in the body, you cannot simply 'buy' serotonin. This despite all the resources that are available on the market. Good, healthy and varied food ensures the production of serotonin. As mentioned, proteins already produce serotonin. To make extra serotonin, you can take 5-HTP powder or capsules or take tryptophan. But these are of course no substitutes for healthy and varied food. In addition, tryptophan also needs nutrients such as carbohydrates to be properly absorbed.
Where do you buy 5-HTP?
5-HTP is freely available in the Netherlands. At least, the natural variant. A chemical variant also appears to be available, but this is illegal in the Netherlands. Therefore, only buy 5-HTP at reliable, preferably Dutch, stores. For example at physical stores such as Holland & Barrett (formerly De Tuinen) or online at Body & Fitshop or at vitaminestore.nl.
Video: 5HTP benefit and side effects of 5htp, dosage, anxiety, weight loss, sleep (February 2020).
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