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Science-Based Health Benefits of 5-HTP

Science-Based Health Benefits of 5-HTP

5-HTP otherwise known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid made in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is used for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin.

Serotonin plays a key role in the brain and influences mood while melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.1,2

Low levels of serotonin levels in the brain can result in sleep problems, anxiety, depression, weight gain and other health issues.3,4 Supplementing with 5-HTP can help raise serotonin levels.

5-HTP is included in Sleep Support by Beyond Vita®. 

1. Helps Improve Sleep

Having healthy sleep is critical to being healthy.

Higher 5-HTP levels promote the production of serotonin which can be made into melatonin. Melatonin plays a critical role in regulating sleep by signaling the body it is time to sleep.5

In a randomized clinical trial of an amino acid preparation that contained 5-HTP, researchers noted that the mixture decreased sleep onset time, increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality.6

Two more studies support the effects of 5-HTP and researchers note that the effects were even greater when 5-HTP is combined with GABA.7,8

5-HTP can help promote sleep by increasing the production of a hormone that helps regulate sleep called melatonin.

2. Weight Loss

Losing weight can increase the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that can increase appetite and make a person feel hungrier so they eat more. This increase in appetite can make losing weight seem impossible as time goes on.9,10

Serotonin helps decrease appetite and 5-HTP helps to increase the production of serotonin.11

In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the effects of 5-HTP supplementation on obese adults, researchers noted that the participants who took 5-HTP saw a decrease in carbohydrate consumption and an increase is fullness after eating.12

Other studies also support 5-HTP increasing fullness and weight loss in obese people.13,14

5-HTP can also better help control blood sugar levels due to reducing the intake of carbohydrates.15

5-HTP can help increase fullness and weight loss through it’s action on serotonin.

3. Depression

It’s commonly thought that low levels of serotonin in the brain can negatively impact a person’s mood and lead to depression.16,17

5-HTP supplementation is able to increase levels of serotonin in the brain and help treat depression.18

In a 2017 study, researchers found that the combination of 5-HTP and creatine helped to correct deficits in serotonin in women with serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) resistant depression.19

In a large review of 108 trials into the effects of 5-HTP for depression, researchers found that 5-HTP can help alleviate the symptoms of depression.20

5-HTP supplementation can help alleviate depression by raising levels of serotonin.

4. Anxiety

5-HTP can also have an impact on anxiety and increase relaxation.

In a study of non-depressed young subjects with high levels of romantic stress in 2010, researchers found that 5-HTP may be useful in the treatment of psychological suffering associated with romantic stress.21

Another study on people who suffer from chronic panic attacks from low serotonin levels found that 5-HTP supplementation helped alleviate anxiety.22

5-HTP may help alleviate anxiety and decrease psychological suffering.

5. Helps Reduce Migraines

Some researchers believe that migraines are caused by low serotonin levels.23,24

A study on 124 people who suffer from migraines found that 5-HTP supplementation completely prevented or significantly decreased migraines in 71% of the study participants.25

Researchers in another double-blind study on chronic primary headaches concluded that 5-HTP is a medication of moderate efficacy and remarkable safety.26

5-HTP can help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.

6. Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia can cause general weakness, muscle pain and bone pain. Currently a cause is not known however low serotonin levels have been associated with it.27

Researchers believe that increasing serotonin by supplementation with 5-HTP might benefit people with fibromyalgia.28

A double-blind study on the treatment of fibromyalgia with 5-HTP found symptoms of the condition were significantly improved by 5-HTP supplementation.29 Another study also found that 5-HTP is effective at improving fibromyalgia symptoms during the 90 day treatment time.30

5-HTP supplementation may be effective at reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia by raising levels of serotonin.


5-HTP is an important amino acid that may help with sleep, anxiety, mood and other health issues.*

We recommend Sleep Support by Beyond Vita®.  It includes the best science supported natural ingredients including 5-HTP.
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