5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid naturally produced by the body from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. 5-HTP is the immediate precursor to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and also a precursor to melatonin. In the brain, serotonin and melatonin help regulate sleep, mood, temperature, and appetite. As such, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan are often taken as supplements to support these roles.
Yet even though L-tryptophan can be transformed into 5-HTP in the body, the two should not be considered interchangeable for supplement use. The conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP is the rate-limiting step in neurotransmitter production and, in addition, L-tryptophan is utilized for a variety of other purposes in the body leading to less serotonin support than may be assumed. In purified form, humans have been consuming 5-HTP for over forty years.
- 5-Hydroxytryptophan Capsules
- May Be Useful In Promoting Mental Health (as a precursor to serotonin)
- Melatonin Precursor: May Promote Sleep