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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Friday, February 20, 2009

5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan) for depression and anxiety?

Feeling depressed or anxious? Can’t sleep? Have a headache? You may want to try picking up some 5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Trytophan) supplements from your local pharmacy or health food store. 5-HTP comes from the seed pods of the West African plant, Griffonia simplificifolia, and has been linked to serotonin production and melotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is responsible feelings of well-being and melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep.

5-HTP has been studied extensively. Many studies have found it to be a competent supplement for depression and anxiety disorders; one clinical trial found it to be of equal effectiveness to fluvoxamine, a antidepressant medication that comes with many side effects. In earlier days tryptophan was also proven to be helpful for depression, but since then 5-HTP has been proven to be even more effective than tryptophan. Other studies have found 5-HTP helpful for obesity, migraine headaches and even fibromyalgia treatment.

Many people use 5-HTP to help promote regular sleep cycles. The supplement may be found in capsule, extract and powder forms.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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