What is 5-HTP? 

5HTP What is? 5 HTP, short for 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter Serotonin.  

Serotonin levels can affect mood, sleep patterns, appetite, memory, learning and impulse control. The level of serotonin in the brain has an adverse effect on our state of restfulness and restlessness.

5-HTP is obtained by extraction from the seeds of the African plant know as Griffonia Simplicifolia.  Supplementing with 5HTP has been linked to improved mood, PMS and PMDD relief, a reduction of the intensity of anxiety, weight loss and good sleep.

5-HTP is often know as the "happy hormone". Today we explore whether 5HTP can really help us to improve our emotional wellbeing. 

5htp benefits and 5htp dosage explained

What is 5-HTP Used For?

In the body, 5-HTP acts as precursor to both serotonin and melatonin. It is obtained from the amino acid L-tryptophan within Griffonia Simplicifolia. 

The 5-HTP extracts obtained from this plant are natural 5HTP nootropic substances, which supports the cognitive function and the body's natural cycles. 

For example, serotonin levels influence melatonin which governs the body’s ‘sleep-wake’ cycle and plays an important role in regulating sleep. 

A nutritional intake of 5-HTP can provide a means for restoring serotonin to optimal levels and naturally support the body through it's natural cycles. 

What Does 5-HTP Do?  

5-HTP complex or supplements are related to various advantages, most generally improving rest, anxiety, migraines and weight reduction. When consumed, the enhancement fundamentally expands serotonin levels in the cerebrum - the 'upbeat/happy' compound. Realising that we may encounter sleep deprivation, sadness, uneasiness, and overeating with low serotonin levels, we can unmistakably see that increasing serotonin levels may fight these conditions.  

5HTP Benefits

5 science based benefits of 5-HTP include:
  • It Can Aid Weight Loss by Increasing Feelings of Fullness. 
  • Helps With Depression by Increasing Serotonin Levels. 
  • Improved Symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
  • Could Help Reduce Migraine Frequency.
  • Can Promote Sleep by Increasing Your Melatonin Production.

Does 5-HTP Work?  

Here we investigate some vital advantages of 5-HTP and some connected researches to evaluate whether 5HTP can help to improve these conditions.  

  • 5HTP for Depression: 5-HTP supplements increase serotonin levels in our body, which may improve symptoms of depression significantly when used in combination with other antidepressants or medications. However, more research is needed.
  • 5-HTP for Migraine: It may help with migraines associated with a throbbing headache and blurred vision by increasing our serotonin levels. A study found that "supplementing with 5-HTP daily for six months prevented or significantly decreased the number of migraine attacks in 71% of participants (33Trusted)."
  • 5-HTP for Sleep: 5HTP may improve sleep by increasing melatonin production, an essential sleep-regulating hormone. Melatonin plays a vital role in regulating sleep. Its levels increase in the evening to promote sleep and decrease in the morning to help wake you up. Therefore, supplementing with 5-HTP before bed may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body. 5-HTP is effective at increasing feelings of fullness, which may help you eat less and lose weight. In one study, 20 people having diabetes received either 5-HTP or a placebo for two weeks. The results showed that those patients who received 5-HTP consumed approximately 435 fewer calories each day when compared to the placebo group (7Trusted
  • 5htp how long to work? Use for at least two weeks to notice a beneficial effect.


5-HTP Dosage and Supplement Instructions

We have mentioned that 5-HTP is obtained from the seeds of an African shrub known as Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP is not present naturally in your foods and can only be acquired through a supplement. Listed below are 5HTP recommended dosages for different problems.

  • 5HTP 250–300 mg supplement, 30 minutes before a meal for weight management.
  • 5HTP 50–100 mg, 3 times per day with meals to enhance mood.
  • 5HTP 100 mg supplement, 3–4 times per day with meals for Fibromyalgia symptom relief. Use for at least two weeks to notice a beneficial effect.
  • 5HTP 100–200 mg, 2–3 times per day with meals to support anxiety. Use for two to three weeks to notice a beneficial effect.
  • 5HTP 100–300 mg, 30–45 minutes before bed to aid sleep.

Beautifully Nourished's 5HTP is dosed at 100mg per nourishing tablet.

5HTP Side Effects

When taking in line with the recommended dosage, 5HTP side effects should be minimal to not present.  That being said, always listen to your body and consult with a GP, nutritionist or holistic practitioner, before, during or after use.  We are always here to answer any of your concerns. Side effects of 5-HTP are generally mild and may include nausea, heartburn, gas, feelings of fullness, and rumbling sensations in some people. Discontinue should you experience any unwanted symptoms.

In Summary

It is by all accounts a fact in the wellbeing and wellness world that as a supportive supplement in cycles relating to calm, 5HTP is becoming progressively famous, with the measure of data surrounding it's effects, supporting that 5 HTP can help to improve emotional wellbeing by helping to aid the relief from sleep issues, migraines, fibromyalgia, depression and more. Consult with a Doctor should you wish to explore adding this supplement to your emotional wellbeing programme.

Dr Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr


Katherine Blake