There are a lot of benefits from using 5-HTP. It has been said to help aid depression, insomnia, headaches, fibromyalgia, and even weight loss. It would seem like it’s a great tool to achieve overall health, right? But before using 5-HTP, you should know more about how it works, where it comes from, and how it affects your body.
Where does 5-HTP come from?
5-HTP comes from food. It is the precursor to the neurotransmitter called serotonin, which manages your mood, appetite, and sexual satisfaction. Although the foods you normally eat don’t contain 5-HTP, it can be found from the extract of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia. The extract is now available in supplements that you can use on a daily basis. Depending on the brand, you can get 50mg, 100mg, or 200mg capsules of 5-HTP supplements. For some people 50mg should be enough, but for others, 100mg is needed to get the results. Consultation with a licensed professional is recommended to determine the right dosage for your body.
Who can use 5-HTP?
5-HTP is recommended for adults 18 years old and above. Children are not encouraged to use it because of the side effects that may arise. However, there are children who have used 5-HTP for their conditions. Infants with Down syndrome have been prescribed 5-HTP with an amount of 2mg per kilogram of body weight. A different dosage may be given to those suffering from sleep disorders. Children with schizophrenia have also been given 3mg/kilogram body mass for 8 days. Those who are aiming to get headache relief from 5-HTP are advised to take 150mg daily. Results can be seen after a couple of weeks.
Benefits of using 5-HTP
Proper use of 5-HTP can yield a lot of benefits. You can notice a significant improvement in your sleep after taking 5-HTP regularly. You will also notice an improvement in your mood, since 5-HTP works against depression and anxiety. Moreover, all of the people who use 5-HTP agree that it helps them lose weight even without actively trying. This is because of the increase in serotonin levels in the body that give you the feeling of being satiated after eating a small portion of food. Since your feelings of depression will also be alleviated, there will be a lesser tendency to overeat and binge.
Side effects and precautions
The benefits of 5-HTP make it sound like the perfect supplement you need to take. But what about the side effects that it has? Individuals who are allergic or hypersensitive to 5-HTP may notice rashes and itching after using it. If you are allergic, you should not try to use 5-HTP. In certain cases, 5-HTP may cause abdominal pain, agitation, aggressiveness, loose bowel movement, drowsiness, and sweating. Most of the people who use this don’t experience any severe problems, though. Since 5-HTP works as an antidepressant, it is only expected that it will make you more hyperactive rather than depressed. You may also feel drowsy with the use of a strong dosage, since 5-HTP aims to improve sleep.
Pregnant and lactating women should avoid unsupervised use of 5-HTP to prevent any side effects on the child. People who are taking antidepressants should also be cautious when using it. Moreover, if you have a serious illness, it is not recommended that you take 5-HTP and any other kind of supplement without professional advice. Although it had not been proven that 5-HTP can affect your condition, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should also ask a professional healthcare provider before using 5-HTP along with your other weight loss supplements.
These precautions don’t just apply to 5-HTP. You should always be cautious before using any product, regardless of whether it is natural or not. After reading more about it, you can now be confident in using the product because you know what to expect and what the dangers associated with it are. Fortunately, with 5-HTP there are no serious and widespread worries to consider.