News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

5-HTP: The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia

5-HTP is derived from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia, a West African medicinal plant.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living. The lifestyle and dietary practices of many people living in this stress-filled era results in lowered levels of serotonin within the brain. As a result, many people are overweight, crave sugar and other carbohydrates, experience bouts of depression, get frequent headaches, and have vague muscle aches and pain. All of these maladies are correctable by raising brain serotonin levels.

Conditions associated with low serotonin levels helped by 5-HTP:
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Carbohydrate craving
  • Bulimia
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep apnea
  • Migraine headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Chronic daily headaches
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
Although 5-HTP may be relatively new to the United States health food industry, it has been available through pharmacies for several years and has been intensely researched for the past three decades. It has been available in several European countries as a medicine since the 1970s.

5-HTP is used for sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and along with prescription drugs to treat seizure disorder and Parkinson's disease.

How does it work?
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.

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