5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a compound produced by the body from tryptophan. It is naturally found in many foods and most commonly extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia plant.
In Europe, 5-HTP has been used for decades as an approved treatment for depression, sleep problems, and other medical complaints. It is now starting to be used in the USA.
Clinical trials show that 5-HTP is a safe, natural way to boost the brain serotonin levels. Use of 5-HTP has been shown to produce results equal to or better than those of standard synthetic drugs used in the problems arising from serotonin deficiency syndrome.
Some evidence exists to suggest that taking 5- HTP may help some people with narcolepsy. In one study, a dose of 600 mg was found to have no effect on the number of sleep attacks. However, it reduced the amount of time narcoleptics spent asleep during a daytime attack. More importantly, it lengthened the amount of time they slept at night.
See Also: Melatonin and 5-HTP for Sleep Disorders
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