5-Hydroxytryptophan, commonly called 5-HTP, is a supplement that may help increase serotonin levels in the brain, which contribute to mood and behavior regulation.
Why Do People Use 5-HTP Supplements?
5-HTP supplements may be necessary in certain individuals who don’t get it through natural processes. Because it’s a chemical byproduct of L-tryptophan, a protein, some people do not produce enough within their own bodies. Some people choose to use 5-HTP supplements to make up for this deficiency.
5-HTP supplements are often used to treat:
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (commonly called ADHD)
- Binge-eating associated with obesity
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Sleep disorders
- Tension headaches
5-HTP supplements are often prescribed in conjunction with drugs used to treat seizure disorders and Parkinson’s disease.
How Do 5-HTP Supplements Work?
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system. It helps increase the production of serotonin, which affects a number of bodily functions.
It’s always important to discuss 5-HTP supplements with your physician before you begin taking them. You and your doctor can discuss dosing information and what to expect when you’re taking 5-HTP supplements.