What it does… 5-HTP
What is it?
L-5-Hydroxy Trytophan (5-HTP) is a compound extracted from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia, which is then converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
What does it do?
Lifts low mood: In a Swiss study, those diagnosed with depression who took 5-HTP for six weeks showed a 50 per cent improvement in symptoms.
Helps sleep: There is some evidence that 5-HTP can increase melatonin levels and promote restorative sleep.
When do I need it?
If you’re feeling low or having trouble sleeping.
How do I get it?
Eat: The amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into 5-HTP by the body, is contained in protein-rich foods, such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish and dairy products. However, some of these foods have been found to block the production of serotonin, so it’s easier to take a supplement.
Take: A bioactive supplement formula in tablet form.
Be careful if…
You should avoid 5-HTP if you’re taking anti-depressants or have liver problems.