5-HTP: Researchers have discovered that many of us suffer from a common, but little-known deficiency of the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin deficiencies can result in symptoms such as mood disorders, depression, weight problems and migraine headaches. Researchers have conducted studies which show that you can increase serotonin availability by taking supplements of serotoninâ s metabolic precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP, which is an important precursor on the metabolic pathway to serotonin, is available for use as a supplement and has actually proven to be extremely effective in clinical trials. Clinical Studies Mood Enhancement & Occasional Sleeplessness When double-blind clinical trials compared tryptophan to 5-HTP in treating depression, the 5-HTP was found to be clearly superior (HM von Praag, Monamine precursors in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, 1986).
Other studies (1991) conducted by a team of Swiss and German psychiatric researchers headed by Dr. W. Poldinger of the Psychiatric University of Basel, Switzerland, produced startling results, showing a nearly equal reduction in treating depression with 5-HTP as compared to the anti-depressant drug, fluvoxamine, and 5-HTP appeared to be better tolerated. Weight Loss Support An Italian study conducted on 20 obese patients, showed that the patients, taking larger doses of 5-HTP experienced a significant weight loss, had less carbohydrate intake and consistently ate less than the placebo group. The study concluded that 5-HTP was well tolerated and could be safely used for weight loss (Cangiano, et al., Am Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1992). Occasional Headaches A Spanish study showed 71% improvement in migraine sufferers, while Italian researchers confirmed a 90% improvement in headache severity, frequency and duration with 400 mg/day of 5-HTP for a period of 2 months (Dr. Benedittis, et al., Clinical Journal of Pain, 1986)