5-HTP may work as an appetite suppressant and can help with weight-loss and reducing cravings.
For many people, 5-HTP supplements acts as an appetite suppressant by increasing levels of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin. 5-HTP also seems to specifically control carbohydrate cravings by increasing serotonin levels, which can be lower in those restricting carb and calorie intake.
Some people still wonder, what is 5-HTP?
5-HTP, short for 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is a naturally occurring amino acid that is used by the human body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin, an important substance for normal nerve and brain function. 5-HTP is also an intermediate in tryptophan metabolism. Serotonin is essential to regulate sleep, emotional moods, pain control and other body functions.
Research suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living due to hectic lifestyle, irregular diet and stressful jobs. Consequently, people have problems to fall asleep, tend to develop poor diet practices, crave sugar and get frequent headaches.
Most of these common daily issues can be prevented by raising brain serotonin levels. A high supply of 5-HTP can increase production of serotonin, leading to increased serotonin release. 5-HTP is not present in significant amounts in a typical diet, as the body manufactures it from L-Tryptophan, a natural amino acid found in proteins. In addition, eating foods high in L-Tryptophan does not increase 5-HTP levels and supplementation may be recommended.
5-HTP supplements come from plant sources, generally Griffonia Simplicifolia, a shrub native to Africa, and are safe to be taken on a regular basis.
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