5-HTP is a compound made naturally in the body. The main biological activity of 5-HTP is its role as the precursor for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and mood.
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What is it and how does it help regulate sleep and mood
5-Hydroxytryptophan, more commonly known as 5-HTP, is a compound made naturally in the body. 5-HTP is produced as a byproduct of L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that we obtain from dietary sources such as eggs, cheese, and nuts.
5-HTP plays a role as the precursor for the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and mood. 5-HTP is produced as a supplement from the seeds of a plant, Griffonia simplicfolia.
Healthy levels of serotonin may promote more restful sleep. Serotonin also plays an important role in many other of the body’s functions, including digestion, appetite, and pain perception1. One important way serotonin affects sleep is through its relationship with melatonin. Healthy serotonin levels are essential for maintaining healthy melatonin levels. Both serotonin and melatonin are critical to maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
5-HTP has also been shown in some studies to promote relaxation, possibly due to its potential ability to raise levels of serotonin. 5-HTP may reduce the risks of panic attacks2, anxiety3, and some types of stress4.