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May 22, 2018  |  Login
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.
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Description: The supplement 5-HTP is an amino acid-like substance used as a precursor to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is important for balanced mood, sleep, pain control, and other important functions of the body. This supplement is extracted from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food cravings (carbohydrates)
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Weight loss

Precautions: Large amounts may cause digestive upset, headaches, or sleepiness. It should not be taken in conjunction with pharmaceutical antidepressant, antianxiety, or other psychiatric medications.

Dosage: Take 50 to 100 mg three times daily on an empty stomach.

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