Natural Factors 5-HTP offers a natural way to promote healthy mood balance, improving sleep quality and supporting emotional well-being.
Stress – when it becomes too much
Stress is a natural response to our everyday environments and interactions, helping to motivate and overcome challenges at work, school, and relationships. When stress builds up, or is left uncontrolled for long periods, it can overwhelm the body’s ability to cope and have a negative impact on emotional and physical health.
Long-term stress overexposes the body to stress hormones that can alter sleep habits, lower pain tolerance, and increase the risk of many chronic health problems. Stress can also alter mood balance, resulting in increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, and unhealthy behaviours, such as overeating or over consuming alcohol.
The inability to cope with stress can be due to low levels of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, known as the “happy hormone”. Happiness, health, and general well-being are closely tied to the maintenance of healthy serotonin levels in the body. Although 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a vital building block to the production of serotonin, it is sometimes lacking.
5-HTP – a natural route to emotional well-being
5-HTP is a derivative of tryptophan, an essential amino acid known for creating that sleepy, satisfied feeling after eating turkey. Unlike turkey, however, 5-HTP does not cause drowsiness. It is made naturally by the body when tryptophan is metabolized and then used for the production of serotonin (Birdsall, 1998).
Taking 5-HTP directly bypasses the need for its conversion from tryptophan, making it one step closer to producing serotonin than when consumed as a protein. In addition, 5-HTP is able to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than tryptophan, making it a more efficient option for boosting the production of serotonin in the central nervous system (Thomas, 2015; Birdsall, 1998).
Research shows that 5-HTP is effective because it naturally relieves mood and emotional problems associated with low serotonin levels (Birdsall, 1998). One particular clinical study compared the effects of the prescription anti-depressant fluvoxamine to the effects of 5-HTP. After six weeks, researchers observed a 61% improvement in the subjects receiving 100 mg of 5-HTP three times per day and a 56% improvement in those receiving 50 mg fluvoxamine. 5-HTP was also found to produce results faster than the prescribed anti-depressant (Poldinger, Calanchini & Schwarz, 1991).
A better quality sleep
5-HTP is recognized for enhancing sleep quality without causing drowsiness. It does this by improving REM sleep and has shown positive effects in helping people overcome insomnia. This is because serotonin and melatonin (the hormone that helps us sleep) are part of a complementary cycle in the body that both rely on 5-HTP.
A placebo-controlled study found that REM sleep increased 5–53% from baseline in subjects who were supplemented with 5-HTP (Wyatt et al., 1971). Similar results have been reproduced through other studies that also support the use of 5-HTP in people with sleep disorders (Soulairac & Lambinet, 1977).
Relief from the pain of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the population, the majority of whom are women (CDC, 2015). This condition, characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain and extreme fatigue, has been associated with low serotonin levels in some patients (Birdsall, 1998). Although conventional therapies have not been very successful at managing fibromyalgia, several clinical studies have shown that 5-HTP can help reduce symptoms. One study observed a significant reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms in 50% of patients after they were supplemented with 100 mg of 5-HTP three times per day for 90 days (Sarzi & Caruso, 1992).
No dependence, no unpleasant side effects, no contaminants!
Natural Factors 5-HTP is ideal for anyone struggling with stress, emotional lows, or insomnia caused by low serotonin levels. Unlike prescription antidepressants, 5-HTP boosts serotonin levels without unpleasant side effects and without creating dependence.
Every caplet contains 100 mg of 5-HTP from Griffonia simplicifolia seed. As a free form amino acid, 5-HTP is more effective than when sourced from food. While 5-HTP can sometimes cause mild gastrointestinal effects, Natural Factors enteric-coated caplets are designed to dissolve in the intestines rather than the stomach, significantly reducing the potential for nausea. In addition, strict quality control practices are followed throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that every dose is pure and free from contaminants.
Consult a health care practitioner prior to using 5-HTP if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking drugs or supplements with serotonergic activity, including antidepressants.