From our list of ailments, see what 5-HTP can be used for:

  • Brain
  • Fibromyalgia

Natural Remedies using 5-HTP

On the advice of her doctor, Denise ate a high-carbohydrate meal in the evening. She made sure that she ate only complex carbohydrates, along with some fat, to help reduce the large fluctuations in her insulin level. Denise also started to take 50 mg of 5-HTP before bed. After one week she increased this dose to 100 mg. Denise was delighted with the result. Not only did her cravings and irritability disappear, Denise found that she was now sleeping better.

But why are we so concerned with amino acids? Because amino acids are the building blocks from which our bodies produce 5-HTP, the subject of this book. The tryptophan in 5-hydroxy tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids we can only acquire through our diet, whether from protein foods or from 5-HTP supplements.

Brain, Fibromyalgia

The Benefit of using 5-HTP as a natural cure

The third way is to provide more of the raw materials out of which Serotonin is made. Tryptophan can cross the blood-brain barrier and, before its recall, it was used by many practitioners as an alternative to the tricylics and MAO inhibitors. Once inside the brain, tryptophan is changed into 5-HTP and then into Serotonin. An alternative to this is to provide the 5-HTP itself. Since some individuals seem to be unable to easily convert tryptophan into 5-HTP, this is actually a better solution. And, unlike tryptophan, 5-HTP does not have to compete with other amino acids for absorption across the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, 5-HTP is easier to supplement and does not have to be taken in as large a dose as tryptophan.

Hopefully, this first chapter hasn’t been too boring or intimidating and has given you an idea of how tryptophan, 5-HTP, and serotonin relate to each other and work in your body. I’ve tried to walk a tightrope between oversimplifying and being overbearing. Our intention is to give us all an equal footing in understanding the body’s use of 5-HTP. Now let’s move on to discuss the specific processes connected with this product and to examine the intriguing claims that have been made in its name.

A typical dose of 5-HTP for depression is 100 mg three times a day, starting at 25 or 50 mg and then working up. The full effects take about four weeks to develop, so be patient.

Experience with 5-HTP here, and especially in Europe, indicates that it has qualities that are necessary to reduce our appetite cravings. Thus, 5-HTP makes it easier to decrease our caloric intake. However, no pill or capsule, prescription or over-the counter supplement, no matter how powerful or effective, can take off your excessive fat or maintain your weight all by itself. There is no magic in 5-HTP or in any other weight-loss medication or device. You must make some basic changes in your lifestyle in order to accomplish your goal of fitness.