5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid found naturally in the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia, a medicinal plant native to West Africa. 5-HTP raises serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the key to regulating mood, sleep, anxiety, aggression, appetite and pain. The higher the levels of serotonin, the happier you feel.
Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for conditions where serotonin is believed to play an important role:
Depression and anxiety: 5-HTP raises serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the key to regulating moods.
Insomnia: 5-HTP is found to be effective in promoting sleep because it promotes the release of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep.
Fibromyalgia: Studies suggest that 5-HTP can improve the pain from primary Fibromyalgia.
Headaches: Studies demonstrate that taking a serotonin precursor such as 5-HTP is helpful in the management of tension-type and migraine headaches.
Weight Loss: As serotonin levels increase, hunger diminishes and people feel satisfied and full more quickly.