5- HTP: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
Legend says, when you can’t sleep at night, it is because you are awake in someone elseâ€™s dream. Sounds romantic, isnâ€™t? But it doesnâ€™t feel too romantic when it becomes a daily condition. Lack of sleep can make you grumpy and can lead to serious health problems and mental disorders.
There are a ton of supplements and herbal remedies that claim to help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly. 5 Hydroxytryptophane or 5-HTP is one such thing!
What is 5-Hydroxytryptophane (5-HTP)?
Melatonin is stored in the pineal gland inside the brain. It is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan, an essential amino acid that you get from food. 5-HTP is sold over the counter in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid. It is a little hard to get in India, but not impossible. Continuous intake of 5-HTP can cause heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.
To start with, I would recommend starting with 50mg of 5- HTP. Most people take 50-300 mg of 5 HTP about a half an hour before bedtime. You might need more, you might need less.
You should not take 5 HTP for treating insomnia unless under the direct supervision of a medical professional. Your doctor will decide the dose of the supplement you need and you should never think about experimenting with dosages. Remember that these supplements unless 100% natural might have severe side effects.
- Taking 5-HTP can help people deal with sleeping problems. It would make them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Research shows that taking 5-HTP by mouth might improve symptoms of depression. It is a conventional antidepressant therapy and doses of 50-3000 mg daily for 2-4 weeks can improve symptoms of depression.
- It cures sudden headaches due to stress and tension.
- Research shows that taking 5-HTP might help reduce appetite, caloric intake and weight in obese people.
- One of the main side effects of high doses of 5 HTP is vivid, possibly disturbing dreams or nightmares.
- 5-HTP is not exactly safe when pregnant or breast-feeding, specially if taken by mouth.
- People with Down syndrome receiving long-term 5-HTP treatment might experience occasional seizures.
- Doctors say, â€œTaking 5-HTP before surgery might cause too much serotonin in the brain and can result in serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.â€ Patients should stop taking 5-HTP at least 2 weeks before any surgery.
- A serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia) can also be found in people receiving long term 5- HTP treatment.
- Continuous intake of 5-HTP can cause heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.
So these are the uses, side effects and usage of 5- HTP. But I am repeatedly saying (read warning) you not to take 5- HTP or any other supplements without doctorsâ€™ recommendations. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice.
Have you tried 5-HTP supplement before?
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