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5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan, L-5-Hydroxytryptophan)

an herbal product - treats Obesity, Depression, Anxiety, Sleep disorders, Fibromyalgia, Seizures/epi... more

Generic Name: 5-hydroxytryptophan


Herbs & Supplements


5-Hydroxytroptophan, Griffonia simplicifolia, L-5-HTP, L-5-Hydroxytroptophan, oxitriptan, Tript-OH®, tryptophan.

Note: Not to be confused with L-tryptophan.


5-HTP is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is obtained commercially from the seeds of the plant Griffonia simplicifolia.

5-HTP has been suggested as a treatment for many conditions. There is some research to support the use of 5-HTP in treating cerebellar ataxia, headache, depression, psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia, and as an appetite suppressant or weight-loss agent. There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of 5-HTP for any other medical condition.

5-HTP may cause gastrointestinal disturbances, mood disturbances, seizure, or abnormal blood counts. Some reported side effects might result from contaminants in 5-HTP products.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Cerebellar ataxia : Cerebellar ataxia results from the failure of part of the brain to regulate body posture and limb movements. 5-HTP has been observed to have benefits in some people who have difficulty standing or walking because of cerebellar ataxia. However, current evidence is mixed.
Grade: B

Depression: The results of numerous studies in humans suggest that 5-HTP may aid in the treatment of depression. However, it is not known whether 5-HTP is as effective as commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs.
Grade: B

Fibromyalgia: There is a small amount of research evaluating the use of 5-HTP for fibromyalgia, and early evidence suggests that 5-HTP may reduce the number of tender points, anxiety, and intensity of pain and may improve sleep, fatigue, and morning stiffness.
Grade: B

Headaches: There is evidence from several studies in both children and adults that 5-HTP may be effective in reducing the severity and frequency of headaches, including tension headaches and migraines. Further research is needed.
Grade: B

Obesity: Studies suggest that 5-HTP may reduce eating behaviors, lessen caloric intake, and promote weight loss in obese individuals.
Grade: B

Alcoholism (withdrawal symptoms): Early study suggests that 5-HTP may lessen alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Grade: C

Anxiety: Although 5-HTP has been proposed as a possible treatment for anxiety disorders, there is not enough human evidence to make a firm recommendation.
Grade: C

Down's syndrome: Preliminary study of 5-HTP in children with Down's syndrome yields insignificant results. Further research is necessary.
Grade: C

Neurologic disorders (Lesch-Nyhan syndrome): Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS) is a rare, genetic disorder affecting mostly males that often causes mental retardation and self-mutilation. Small studies of 5-HTP in Lesch-Nyhand syndrome show conflicting results. Additional study is needed.
Grade: C

Psychiatric disorders: It has been suggested that 5-HTP may reduce psychotic symptoms and mania or aid in panic disorder, but studies in people with schizophrenia have shown differing results.
Grade: C

Sleep disorders: There is insufficient evidence regarding the use of 5-HTP for sleep disorders. Additional studies are needed before a conclusion can be drawn.
Grade: C

Seizures/epilepsy (myoclonic disorders): Although 5-HTP has been studied as a treatment for various myoclonic syndromes and epilepsy, available research does not support the use of 5-HTP for these conditions.
Grade: D

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