L-5-HTP is an intermediate metabolite of the amino acid L-tryptophan. In supplemental form, L-5HTP is derived from the herb Griffonia simplicifolia. L-5HTP, an amino acid intermediate, participates in the body’s production of serotonin. It also stimulates increased endorphin, melatonin, nor-epinephrine and dopamine production. Over 70% of an oral dose of L-5-HTP is converted into serotonin. These brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) help increase energy, improve mood and sleep, and decrease appetite. Useful for insomnia, anxiety, depression and weight loss programs. Numerous double-blind studies have shown L-5-HTP to be equally as effective as serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft) but with far less negative side-effects. L-5-HTP taken orally is well absorbed (much better than tryptophan) and enhances the body’s own manufacturer of the above-listed hormones. L-5-HTP is one of the most well-studied natural antidepressant substances. It has been tested in comparison to fluvoxamine (an SSRI drug in the class of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft) and found to work faster and better for anxiety and depression, better for physical symptoms, and better for insomnia. Unlike the SSRI drugs, the side-effects from L-5-HTP are rare and mild (occasional GI complaints). Also unlike these antidepressant drugs, L-5-HTP does not artificially block the serotonin reuptake pathway. Instead, it provides the precursors (direct raw material) for the body’s own production of these important neurotransmitters. L-5-HTP has been studied and found to be more effective than drug therapy for migraine prevention, with a much better safety profile. L-5-HTP is useful for: anxiety depression (age related and non-age related) fibromyalgia insomnia migraine headache pain obesity / overweight migraine headaches Because L-5HTP enhances the production of neurotransmitters, and because neurotransmitter production tends to decline with age, L-5-HTP should also be considered as part of any longevity program.
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