Elevate Your Mood Naturally with 5-HTP

It’s no secret people today are feeling a bit down. TV, web and newspapers are plastered with headlines about the next impending disaster. Interspersed throughout those headlines you may conveniently find advertisements for prescription drugs designed to cure all your ills. Funny how that works, isn’t it?natural stress relief

But what if you need a boost and don’t want to deal with prescription drugs and the laundry list of side effects? That’s where 5-HTP comes in.

Here’s the actual secret: 5-HTP can elevate your mood, reduce anxiety, reduce cravings AND improve your sleep quality, naturally! In fact, clinical studies have shown 5-HTP to be as effective as prescriptions in eliminating depression [1].

5-HTP Supplement: So What is 5-HTP?

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino acid. It’s the middle step between L-Tryptophan and Serotonin [2]. There’s a good chance you’re already familiar with these two components. L-Tryptophan is present in many foods and is what some like to say makes you feel tired after a big turkey dinner. That’s partially true. L-Tryptophan does promote relaxation, but there’s not enough in turkey to put you to sleep after a meal. Serotonin is a chemical produced by the brain that elevates and regulates your mood. You could call it a “feel good” mechanism in the body. Depression is mainly a function of low serotonin levels in the brain. When a doctor talks about “chemical imbalance” what they’re usually talking about is an imbalance in the amount of serotonin produced by your brain. Since 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin and easily digested by the body, it is an ideal supplement for elevating serotonin and, ultimately, increasing how good you feel.

Benefits of 5-HTP

Think of 5-HTP as a way to set a higher baseline for your overall wellbeing. First, you can expect to feel an improvement in your day-to-day mood. Whether you’re a person that’s often depressed or just want to feel more balanced, this is a huge plus. If you have problems with anxiety, 5-HTP will help you relax. 5-HTP curbs cravings and reduces appetite[3]. Another widely-praised benefit of 5-HTP is improved sleep[4]. When you sleep, your body recovers physically and mentally. No sleep, no recovery. 5-HTP helps calm the brain at night, putting all those racing thoughts on hold so you can fall asleep faster and sleep better.  And when you sleep well, you arise feeling fresh and ready to start the day. The benefits of 5-HTP are harmonious. A good mood, healthy eating and a good night’s sleep all help one another.

How should you use 5-HTP?

Beginning with the lowest dose of a high quality 5-HTP supplement is recommended. 50mg two or three times a day (the same times each day) on an empty stomach. A good place to start is in the morning, about 30 minutes before lunch and before bed. After a week or two of 50mg, you can increase to 100mg if you don’t feel the effects you desire, but don’t go above 300mg/day.

 Sources

[1]http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000283

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-Hydroxytryptophan

[3]http://www.smart-publications.com/articles/5-htp-the-natural-alternative-to-prozac-section-5

[4]http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsad/a/5HTP.htm

Author:

David Johnson is a freelancer with an avid interest in supplements that help relax, enhance mood, and provide cognitive enhancement. Most days he can be found researching innovative ways to bring his readers sounder sleep, better moods, and more.