5-HTP & Its Effects on Relieving Anxiety & Depression
Are you feeling anxious frequently, or in situations when you shouldn’t? Do you feel like you are under stress, and there is no way to relax?
If the answers to these questions are yes, perhaps it is time to do something about it.
Apart from trying to steer clear of stressful situations, health supplements could also play a role in providing anxiety relief.
You will find that 5-hydroxytryptophan is often an ingredient in anxiolytic formulas. 5 HTP for anxiety and depression may be very effective.
Let’s take a look at what the science says about 5-HTP, and how it can support overall wellbeing.
What Is 5-HTP?
5-HTP is an abbreviation for a substance called 5-hydroxytryptophan.
That chemical occurs in the human body naturally since it is a by-product of L-tryptophan.
5-HTP belongs to amino acids that play a role of an intermediator in serotonin biosynthesis.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can boost positive mood feelings and happiness.
That mechanism of action explains why 5-HTP is a common choice in treating mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Our body products 5-HTP, but you can also consider boosting its levels by consuming a supplement.
The most famous source of this substance is Griffonia simplicifolia.
The herb originates from Africa, and it grows in the western part of this continent.
That plant’s extract that contains 5-HTP is a part of various wellness supplements out there.
What Does Science Say About 5-HTP and Anxiety?
Multiple scientific studies and reviews mention 5-HTP as one of the substances that can help the user to relax.
As already mentioned, boosting serotonin production is the way how 5-hydroxytryptophan can achieve this.
The same source indicates that these are viable alternatives to medications.
That is especially true if you are looking to deal with anxiety and stress occurring every day.
Panic attacks could be described as a type of persistent anxiety.
5-HTP is among the components that could help to stop these attacks from occurring.
For example, a study conducted in 2002 discussed the role that 5-hydroxytryptophan has in patients who exhibited a panic disorder.
A total of 48 users, including 24 volunteers and 24 patients diagnosed with panic disorder, participated in the study.
The researchers used a placebo or 200 milligrams of 5-HTP daily.
According to the results, 5-HTP is capable of decreasing the reaction to surroundings that could induce a panic attack.
Additionally, patients reported reduced panic and anxiety scores when taking this substance.
The researchers concluded that the serotonin modulation could be how 5-HTP helps with panic disorder symptoms.
Can 5-HTP Be an Alternative to Traditional Antidepressants?
You can find numerous studies that discuss and indicate 5-HTP has antidepressant properties.
A review conducted in 2002 discussed whether 5-HTP could be effective on dysthymia, unipolar depression, and related disorders.
The researchers browsed multiple databases to find evidence regarding these claims.
The results showed two trials that met the strict inclusion criteria.
The studies included 64 patients, and the results showed that 5-HTP could have antidepressant characteristics.
Both trials indicated that this substance has a better effect on dealing with depression-like symptoms than a placebo.
A study published in 2013 compared the usefulness of fluoxetine and 5-HTP.
Fluoxetine is an antidepressant drug prescribed by medical professionals.
The study included 70 patients who experienced depressive episodes and focused on the Indian population.
Although 60 patients completed the study, results were still relevant.
The group who received 5-HTP showed similar results as the group taking fluoxetine after eight weeks.
Hamilton’s Depression Rating Scale results were similar – 80% of users receiving the medication showed a positive response, as well as 73% of those who received 5-HTP substance.
That means the effects of the two treatments are comparable.
5-HTP As a Cure for Stress Induced by a Broken Heart
An interesting study was published in 2010 in Italy.
The research analyzed the results achieved with 5-HTP in treating stress.
However, the focus was on young adults who exhibited romantic stress but weren't depressed.
The study included 4 male and 11 female subjects that were between 21 and 25 years old.
The condition was that they had romantic problems, whether it is a break-up or another type.
All participants received 5-HTP derived from Griffonia simplicifolia for eight weeks.
The researchers used a questionnaire to determine the results.
The romantic stress scores were lower at the end than at the start of the study.
The researchers indicate that altering serotonin production could help to deal with psychological suffering.
Another research published in 2017 had the goal of analyzing the role of 5-HTP on depression.
The researchers focused on SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) and SNRI (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibibitor) depression.
Since these are major disorders, the researchers tested the success of 5-HTP for anxiety and depression combined with creatine monohydrate.
The study involved 15 women experiencing these symptoms, and the HAM scale was used to measure the results.
The participants consumed HTP and creatine monohydrate for eight weeks.
The results indicated that HAM scores declined and showed a reduction in depression-like symptoms.
The researchers suggest that these components could be a method of boosting treatment results when dealing with these depressive disorders.
In 1993, an animal study done on rats compared the effectiveness of 5-HTP as an adjunctive treatment to fluoxetine.
Fluoxetine can increase the 5-hydroxytryptamine quantity in the hypothalamus for three to four times.
However, if 5-HTP is added to the treatment, the levels of 5-HT increase by up to 16 times.
Can 5-HTP Be Combined with Other Ingredients in Natural Remedies?
Yes, many supplements mix 5-HTP with other herbal-based ingredients and helpful compounds.
5-HTP is a part of the formula to promote a positive mood and relaxation.
GABA, valerian, lemon balm, Rhodiola Rosea, and chamomile also have sedating and anxiolytic effects.