Over the past 40 years or so a number of clinical trials have indicated that 5-HTP may be useful for a broad range of health problems. Ironically, however, 5-HTP does not perform any specific function within the body. 5-HTP actually acts within the body as a raw material, used by some cells within the body to make the important neurotransmitter Serotonin. Therefore when looking at the benefits of 5-HTP we are in essence looking at the benefits of Serotonin.
5-HTP is commercially produced from the seeds of a West African medicinal plant called Griffonia simplicifolia.
Depression The vast majority of studies on 5-HTP have focused on its use as a natural antidepressant with encouraging results.
Insomnia Serotonin levels are very important in controlling our normal sleeping pattern and the use of 5-HTP has shown considerable benefits in cases of sleeping disturbances and insomnia.
Anxiety An emotional state that is related to Serotonin disturbances. Improvements in the symptoms of anxiety, particularly panic attacks, have been noted when 5-HTP is used.
Fibromyalgia People with fibromyalgia often show low levels of Serotonin in their blood.
Appetite control and weight reduction Overeating and low brain Serotonin levels are linked and studies have shown a reduction in food intake when 5-HTP is used and consequently a reduction in body weight.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Research carried out in the 1980s strongly links Serotonin levels with PMS