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The Benefits of 5-HTP
If there’s one thing that everyone has in common, it’s the shared love and appreciation that we all have for a good night’s sleep. Waking up refreshed is the key to a productive day, but once duration and quality of sleep start to diminish, everything else is affected.
Similarly, depression affects the entire body and our relationships with those around us. Throughout the years, many studies have linked depression to a lack of serotonin in the body. Today, many people treat mood disorders like depression with prescribed antidepressants, or SSRIs, that increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Daily use of antidepressants is fairly common, but a study published in Harvard Health shows that these drugs can cause many side effects. These can range from insomnia and weight gain, to lack of sexual interest. These changes can have an effect on the personality, and can often lead to people choosing to opt out of antidepressants.
What is 5-HTP?
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is naturally produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan and is a precursor to serotonin. 5-HTP can be taken orally as a natural supplement to increase levels of serotonin in the body. With higher levels of serotonin, many positive changes can occur, including mood regulation, weight loss, and healthy sleep patterns.
Adding 5-HTP to Your Supplement Stack
The benefits of 5-HTP can occur with daily intake of oral doses, as they absorb well into the bloodstream. Weight loss associated with taking 5-HTP derives from feelings of satiety, resulting in a lower daily calorie intake.
When combined with gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), 5-HTP can improve sleep latency, duration, and quality as well. A good sleep can result in a well-rested body and a focused mind. When we lack sleep, though, we risk irritability, poorer cognitive function, and weight-gain, among other things. Proper sleep patterns regulate our body’s ability to function optimally and are essential to a healthy lifestyle.
What Does 5-HTP Do?
In a 2013 placebo-controlled experiment, 73.3% of people in a test group showed a positive response to taking 5-HTP. The same study showed that 5-HTP alleviated some symptoms of depression. For those who suffer from depression, prescription medication like Prozac is an option, though it may come with the aforementioned side effects. Because 5-HTP is a natural supplement, it can be a good alternative to prescription antidepressants.
Before taking 5-HTP, it is important to consult your doctor to ensure that it won’t interfere with any other medications, including prescribed antidepressants.
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