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5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid to help in the development of proteins in the body. It is linked to serotonin, a chemical found in brain, which reacts to the mood, pain or sleep activity in the body. Its availability as a supplement is considered to be safe to use, but one should be cautious of contaminated supplement as it can cause fatal side effects.

Benefits of taking 5-HTP

  • 5-HTP is known to escalate the serotonin levels in the brain, which act as a major reliever for anxiety and depression
  • One may prevent Fibromyalgia by taking 5-HTP
  • It may help with sleeping disorders (such as insomnia), morning stiffness and eased pain
  • Obesity problems may also be prevented with the help of 5-HTP
  • Chronic headaches, migraines, PMS and general mood swings might all be dealt with by administering 5-HTP

Natural Sources of 5-HTP

Though 5-HTP cannot be directly obtained from foods, yet it can be found in traces in various natural foods such as – turnip, sunflower seeds, potatoes, chicken, turkey, milk, pumpkin, seaweed and collard greens.

When should you take 5-HTP?

5-HTP can be taken after consulting a professional doctor. Most probably, he/she might advise you to take it 3 times in a day for the upcoming 2 weeks. Also, the gap between each dosage has to be 8 hours. You can take it without food as well. After the first two week’s dosage, the doctor might or might not increase the dosage post an evaluation.

When should you avoid 5-HTP?

  • It is advisable to avoid taking 5-HTP when consuming it with other supplements that might cause drowsiness
  • You should also avoid high doses, which might increase your serotonin levels above the critical point. Make sure you consult your doctor for the right time to take 5-HTP

Quantity to be taken
One can take 50 mg tablets three times a day with 8 hours minimum gap in a day. However, this is not a necessary dosage pattern as a doctor might suggest you a different dosage routine after evaluating you. The dosage might increase or decrease later on as per his/her prescription.

Expert Tips/Precautions

  • Pregnant women should not consumer 5-HTP
  • People with liver diseases should also avoid taking this drug
  • If you are consuming antidepressant medicines, then you ought not to take 5-HTP
  • High BP patients and patients with Parkinson’s disease should also avoid this medication