Research has shown that 5HTP benefits depression symptoms in a number of ways. 5HTP now is increasingly being used by those seeking a natural and effective alternative to prescription antidepressants, and here are three reasons why.
1. 5HTP plays a vital role in serotonin production. Because it is a naturally occurring amino acid used by the body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin, 5-Hydroxytryptophan, or 5HTP, plays a big role in normal nerve and brain function. Mood, sleeping patterns and the perception of pain are all regulated in large part by serotonin, and low serotonin levels have been associated with depression, as well as fibromyalgia, insomnia, and anxiety in numerous clinical studies. Taking a 5HTP supplement has the effect of providing the brain with more of what it uses naturally to produce serotonin.
2. 5HTP is all natural. Commercial 5HTP is in most cases derived from the West African Griffonia simplicifolia plant's seeds. To feel maximum 5HTP benefits, taking a dietary supplement is recommended, but small amounts of 5htp can be found naturally occurring in foods such as eggs, fish, nuts, and seeds. Because it is a normal part of the body's metabolic process, 5HTP users tend to report very few side effects. The most common of which are very mild gastric complaints which tend to subside after the body acclimates to the supplement, usually within a few days.
This is in sharp contrast to anti-depressant medications such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which reduce the rate at which the brain uses available serotonin, potentially increasing serotonin levels. They are 100% laboratory synthesized, and the actions of these medications occur nowhere in the natural world. Not only do they not cause an actual increase in serotonin production, but they are also associated with a plethora of negative side effects, not limited to nausea and vomiting, inability to orgasm, weight gain, dry mouth, diarrhea, insomnia, heart palpitations, tremors, and agitation.
3. 5HTP provides relief from depression now, with no prescription necesssary. Because many users find it so effective, 5HTP is fast becoming a very popular dietary supplement. It's been reported to have an impact on depression symptoms in as little as a day, and usually takes no more than 1-2 weeks to start having a noticeable effect. It's widely available, and can be purchased from most health food stores and pharmacies as well as online at very reasonable prices.
When considering treating depression symptoms with prescription antidepressants, the first step is to consult a doctor or psychiatrist, which can be an expensive and time-consuming proposition in itself. If the medical professional believes than an antidepressant medication should be dispensed, filling the prescription can be costly, especially for those with no prescription insurance coverage. On average, these prescription medications begin to work 3-4 weeks after treatment begins, which can mean enduring 3-4 more weeks of depression symptoms before any improvement occurs.
Most people taking a 5HTP supplement for depression take between 50 and 300 mg daily. Some obtain better results while taking a lower dose, so it's advisable to start with 50 mg and add more over time as appropriate. For maximum absorption, 5HTP should be taken with or shortly before a meal, with a full glass of water. You should avoid taking more than 200 mg of 5HTP at once. 5HTP may not be medically indicated for everyone, and should not be taken by those using anti-Parkinson's or prescription antidepressant medications. As with any dietary supplement, consulting a health care professional before beginning a 5HTP regimen is advised.