Doctor's Best 5-HTP Enhanced with Vitamin B6 & C
No Longer Available
Helps Maintain Mental & Emotional Well-Being!
5-HTP (5-hydroxy L-tryptophan) is a naturally-occurring metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is converted in the brain to serotonin, a neurotransmitter substance found at the junctions (synapses) between neurons. 5-HTP helps maintain mental and emotional well-being and promotes healthy sleep. Doctor's Best 5-HTP is extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant.
Improves Well-Being in Depressed Persons
Serotonin in the central nervous system is recognized as a causative factor in some depressed persons. A comprehensive review of seven open and seven controlled clinical studies found that oral consumption of 5-HTP improved mental and emotional status in 60 to 70 percent of depressed people. The results varied from "modest" to "marked."8 Dosages ranged from 50 to 300 mg daily.
The accumulated evidence is inconclusive as to whether 5-HTP is more effective combined with decarboxylase inhibitors than when taken alone. Many of the early trials used the combination, and this has been a frequently used therapeutic strategy for reducing conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin outside the CNS. It is generally accepted that a large portion of absorbed 5-HTP is metabolized to serotonin in peripheral tissues before it can enter the brain.
Peripheral conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin would theoretically limit the usefulness of oral 5-HTP for improving CNS functions and mental health. However, trials in which 5-HTP was given alone do show benefits. A small open trial in which 25 people were given 5-HTP either alone or with a decarboxylase inhibitor found no difference in effectiveness. Thirteen of the patients had "very good" or "good" improvement, 8 had "moderate," and in 4 out of the twenty-five the results were judged to be "poor."
A more recent randomized double-blind study compared the efficacy of oral 5-HTP (100 mg three times daily, without a decarboxylase inhibitor) to that of fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.10 (SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin by postsynaptic receptors, thus increasing the available supply of serotonin in the synaptic cleft.) The two were found to be equally effective, and 5-HTP was better tolerated. It should be noted that 5-HTP was given in the form of enteric-coated pH-sensitive capsules which dissolve in the small intestine, thus preventing conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin in the stomach.
In contrast to MAO inhibitors and SSRIs, medications which act by blocking normal physiologic functions, 5-HTP supports normal function in its role as a serotonin precursor. Correcting serotonin deficiency has been called a "functional-dimensional approach" in the treatment of depression.
Improves Sleep Quality
Studies have shown that 5-HTP influences the quality of sleep by increasing REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Administration of 5-HTP in the evening prior to bedtime has been shown to increase the duration of REM sleep and decrease the amount of non-REM sleep.
5-HTP - A Free-radical Scavenger
The OH group which is added to tryptophan in the formation of 5-HTP gives 5-HTP antioxidant properties. (Compounds such as vitamin E and flavonoids derive their free-radical quenching ability from OH groups, which donate electrons to oxidants.) 5-HTP quenches a variety of free-radicals. This is in contrast to tryptophan, which is sensitive to oxidation.
Adverse Effects of 5-HTP
Oral administration of 5-HTP in clinical studies has resulted in gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. According to a review by Byerley, et. al. these effects are tolerated by most patients and tend to lessen over time. Side effects are more marked with higher doses, and may be reduced by the use of enteric-coated, pH sensitive capsules or tablets.