5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)
Snapshot Monograph


Nutrient name:

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

Functions/Clinical Efficacy:

  • 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is anamino acid that is the precursor of theneurotransmitter serotonin and is madefrom L-tryptophan.
  • Influences the synthesis of melatonin
  • Reported to increase levels of braindopamine and norepinephrine.

Influences activities controlled byserotonin, which include regulation ofmood (anxiety and depression), impulse control (aggression and obsessive behavior),appetite (food cravings), pain control and sleep. Administration of 5-HTP as a dietarysupplement has been reported to decrease the urinary excretion of serotonin.

Dosage Range:

  •  Health Maintenance: 50-100mg, one to three times a day.
  • Clinical Use: 50-200mg, one to three times a day.

Symptoms of Depletion:

  • Studies on deficiency of 5-HTP have not been conducted.
  • A deficiency of serotonin may cause symptoms of anxiety, depression and sleepdisturbances.

Toxicities, Warnings and Interactions:

  • 5-HTP has been reported to occasionally cause gastrointestinal upset.

Patient Snapshot


  •  5-HTP can help balance serotonin (the “calming” neurotransmitter) in your brain, helping toimprove your mood, cravings for foods, nervousness and impulse behavior. 5-HTP isbeneficial if you’re under high stress for extended periods of time.


  • The most common dose is 50-100mg, one to three times a day.

Special Concerns:

  • If you are taking prescription or non-prescription medications, have a pre-existing medicalcondition, or are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider beforetaking any dietary supplement.
  • Do not take if there is an allergy to any component of this dietary supplement.



DISCLAIMER: Statements made are for educational purposes and have not been evaluated by the US Food and DrugAdministration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition ordisease, please talk to your doctor prior to using the recommendations given.


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