What is 5-htp?
- - extracted from the Griffonia Simplicifolia seed
- - boosts serotonin naturally
- - crosses the blood-brain barrier without a transporter molecule – better than trypophan from food
- - the only pre-cursor to serotonin
- - absorption is not influenced by amino acids & therefore it can be taken with meals, without losing its efficacy.
- - the therapeutic administration of 5-HTP may be efficient in depression, fibromyalgia, suppressing appetite and insomnia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
What is serotonin?
Serotonin relays chemical messages in the brain. We have approximately 40 million brain cells and most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin. This includes brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behaviour.
Serotonin taken orally has no impact on wellbeing and mood because it cannot cross the blood–brain barrier. However, it can be biosynthesized from tryptophan into 5-htp and finally converted into serotonin (5-ht). Tryptophan can be found in small amounts in food such as a seeds, nuts and meat.
Serotonin and appetite - Serotonin activates some neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors to curb appetite and at the same time blocks other neurons that normally act to increase appetite.
Serotonin and sleep - serotonin is the pre-cursor to melatonin which regulates our sleep cycle and body clock.
Several classes of anti-depressants and drugs also target the serotogenic pathway either by binding to the receptors to prevent its reabsorption or causing an increased release of serotonin.