Supports positive mood
- A precursor to serotonin
- Supports healthy mood balance and sleep patterns
- Helps alleviate migraines and fibromyalgia
- Flexible dosing options for varying needs
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5-HTP is primarily used to support mood through its ability to boost serotonin levels. It has been compared to various tricyclic antidepressants, and has been found to be as effective with fewer side effects and quicker effectiveness. Since serotonin and melatonin are involved in regulating the sleep/wake cycle, 5-HTP also enhances sleep quality. Additionally, research supports a role for 5-HTP in reducing migraines and the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Studies in Spain and Italy found that 5-HTP was comparable to the drug methysergide in alleviating the symptoms of migraines (over 70% in both groups) while eliciting considerably fewer side effects. Fibromyalgia patients have been found to have low serotonin levels and have shown symptomatic improvement with the use of tricyclic and SSRI antidepressants. Several clinical trials have confirmed significant improvements in symptoms, including pain, morning stiffness, nervousness, and fatigue.
AOR’s 5-HTP is derived from the seed of the small shrub tree Griffonia simplicifolia and then processed in France. This source of 5-HTP is devoid of any “peak x” contaminants. AOR also offers 5-HTP Extra Strength, which is twice the dose of AOR’s regular 5-HTP, to meet varying individual needs.
5-HTP is 5-hydroxytryptophan, a metabolite of tryptophan, and an essential precursor of serotonin and melatonin. Research supports a role for 5-HTP in supporting mood balance and relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia. AOR’s 5-HTP is naturally- sourced from the seeds of the griffonia shrub.
AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, corn, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish or any animal byproduct.
For healthy mood balance, take one to two capsules three times daily with food; for relief of symptoms of fibromyalgia, take two capsules three to four times daily with food. To minimize gastrointestinal side effect risk, start at 50 to 100 mg two to three times daily and slowly increase to an effective dose over two weeks. Use for a minimum of one week to see beneficial effects for mood balance and two weeks for the alleviation of fibromyalgia symptoms. Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen or for use beyond one year.
Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if taking carbidopa or drugs/supplements with serotonergic activity, including, but not limited to, L-tryptophan, SAMe, St. John’s Wort, antidepressants, pain killers, cough/cold medication containing dextromethorphan, anti-nausea medication or anti-migraine medication. Some people may experience gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. May cause drowsiness; exercise caution if driving or operating heavy machinery or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness. Discontinue use and consult a health care practitioner if you experience skin changes, weakness, oral ulcers, or abdominal pain accompanied by severe muscle pain.
Do not use if you have scleroderma, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive. Not to be used by individuals under the age of 18 or those with a medical condition. This product contains corn, do not use if you have an allergy. Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen or for use beyond one year.
- Anxiety disorders
- Migraine headache
The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.
Non-medicinal Ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, sodium stearyl fumarate. Capsule: hypromellose.
COGNITIVE HEALTH (Anxiety & Depression)
In 1980, a study of ninety-nine therapy-resistant depressive out-patients treated with 5-HTP, in combination with the peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor, Carbidopa, led to n “astonishing” recovery, without side effects in approximately 50 % of the trial population.
Response to standard treatments for major depressive disorders (MDD) is especially low, particularly amongst the female population, and augmentation of therapy with other ingredients is of interest to clinicians. A open label clinical study published in 2017 assessed the benefit of a combination of creatine and 100 mg of 5-HTP twice daily, in combination with already approved SSRIs or SNRIs (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). Supplementation was given for 8 weeks, with 4 weeks of post-treatment follow up, with the primary endpoint being a change in mean HAM-D (Hamilton Depression Rating scale) scores. The results show that the addition of 5-HTP and creatine led to a mean 60% decrease in HAM-D scores.
A meta-analysis published in 2002 compiled results from 108 clinical trials to determine if 5-HTP administration provided any health benefits, when used for depression. The authors acknowledge that the use of 5-HTP was better than the placebo in alleviating symptoms of depression, however, they conclude that a large number of studies address the research questions, but the quality of the studies might be unreliable, thereby calling for more quality research to be done before recommendation of this supplementation in depression use.
In 2013, a study comparing the effectiveness of 5-HTP to that of fluoxetine, an SSRI commonly used for the treatment of MDD, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders) and panic disorders. Seventy patients were randomized to receive either fluoxetine or 5-HTP for 8 weeks, and were administered the HAMD assessment to determine the severity of their depression. The results show that both treatment groups showed a significant and nearly equal reduction in HAM-D scores, over time, with 73% of patients in the 5-HTP group showing a positive response, compared to 80% in the fluoxetine group.
A review published in 2016 reviewed the results of several clinical trials conducted using 5-HTP, alone or in combination with serotinin transport inhibitors (SERTIs), SSRIs, SNRIs and decarboxylase inhibitors for the treatment of depressive disorders. The results show that the additon of 5-HTP to conventional antidepressants improved patient response in the combination groups, compared to the single antidepressant groups, with few and mild reports of adverse reactions.
In 1990, a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in 50 patients, with primary fibromyalgia syndrome was conducted to evaluate the benefits of 5-HTP. 100 mg 5-HTP was given to patients three times daily for 30 days and their pain scores were evaluated, using the visual analog scale (VAS score) assessment, at the halfway point and the end of the study. results show a significant reduction in pain, morning stiffness, number of tender points, anxiety rating, improved sleep patterns and reduced fatigue ratings in the 5-HTP treatment group, compared to the placebo group.
An open label, 90-day study published in 1992 evaluated the effectiveness of 5-HTP in 50 patients, with primary fibromyalgia syndrome. An improvement in approximately 50% of the patients taking 5-HTP was observed, especially in regards to tender points, pain intensity, quality of sleep and fatigue measures, suggesting that 5-HTP is effective in improving symptoms of primary fibromyalgia, with only mild side effects reported.
A study in fruit flies looked at the sleep-promoting effects of a combination of 5-HTP and GABA (or individual treatments), using rats that had been fed caffeine to induce sleeplessness. The results show that both individual and combined administration of 5-HTP and GABA increased the total sleep time in caffeine-induced sleepless rats, although the combination treatment appeared to have a more significant effect, compared to the individual amino acids, suggesting a role for the combination of these two natrual ingredients in the fight against insomnia.
Another study published in 2016, also using the fruit fly model and a combination of 5-HTP and GABA came to the same conclusion as the previous study. this study demonstrated that using a combination of GABA and 5-HTP modulaed subjective nighttime activity, sleep episodes and total duration of subjective night time sleep to a greater extent than administration of a single amino acid. The proposed mechanism of this action is through both the GABAergic and serotonergic signalling pathways.
In 2010, a randomized, placebo controlled clinical study was published. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Gabadone, a combination of amino acids and herbs, including GABA, 5-HTP, L-glutamine, valerian root, ginkgo biloba, grapeseed extract and acetyl-L-carnitine, in patients with diagnosed sleep disorders. The endpoint measurements of this study looked at sleep latency, duration of sleep, sleep quality and autonomic nervous system function. Gabadone improved sleep quality and duration of sleep, ease of falling asleep, awakenings and grogginess significantly, compared to the placebo group, however, sleep latency differences between the trial groups were non-significant.
A study published in 2004 assessed the benefit of 5-HTP in children that suffered from improperly structured sleep, due to sleep terrors. Study subjects were given 2 mg/kg body weight per day of 5-HTP or placebo at bedtime. Subsequent to treatment, it was observed that 93.5% of the participants in the 5-HTP group showed a postive response, with a reduction in frequency of sleep terror episodes and by the 6-month evaluation timeline, 83.9% of the children were sleep terror-free, in comparison to the placebo group. This is an important study that shows the benefit of 5-HTP, alone in promoting better sleep. More human studies are needed, in larger populations to promote the use of this natural ingredient against sleep disorders.
As far back as the 1980s, clinical studies had commenced the potential benefits of 5-HTP as a migraine prophylaxis. A positively controlled randomized study published in 1986, with one hundred and twenty four migraine sufferers, compared the efficacy of 5-HTP to methysergide, a serotonin antagonist used for the prophylactic treatment of difficult to treat migraines and cluster headaches. Results show a significant reduction in migraine frequency in both treatment groups, with the 5-HTP group showing less side effects associated with the treatment. Additionally, it was observed that the 5-HTP group had less intensity and duration of migraine attacks.
Another study published in 1986 observed the effect of 5-HTP administration in children with headaches, in association with sleep disorders. In comparison to the placebo group, 5-HTP improved headache symptoms and symptoms of parasomnia and frequent awakenings.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 1985 evaluated the effects 5-HTP in the treatment of chronic primary headaches in 31 patients. 400 mg daily administration of 5-HTP for 2 months led to a significant reduction in severity and frequency of patients, compared to the placebo group. This study also assessed mood patterns. Favourable responses were observed in the second month of study, helping the researchers conclude that 5-HTP provides moderate effectiveness against chronic primary headaches.
In a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study in children, with an average age of 10.38 years, 5-HTP was administered at 100 mg per day for 12 weeks. Each participant was divided into two groups, with group 1 participants getting placebo, then crossed over to 5-HTP, while the second group of participants received 5-HTP, then crossed over to Placebo, with evaluations for both groups happening every three weeks, using the Migraine Index. Results show a reduction in the severity, frequency, and duration of migraine attacks, in both groups when taking 5-HTP.
In a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study published in 1989, nineteen obese female subjects with body mass index between 30 and 40 were administered either placebo or 5-HTP at 8 mg/kg body weight per day, corresponding to 420 mg 5-HTP daily intake for a 70 kg adult. The interventions were administered for one to six months, with the observation that intake of 5-HTP was associated with a reduction of calories by approximately 38%, compared to the placebo group, which recorded a 20% decrease in calories, resulting in weight loss over 5 weeks. The authors of this study conclude that although no changes in mood state were observed in this population, 5-HTP promoted typical anorexia related symptoms, decreased food intake and increased weight loss during the period of observation.
Another study published in 1992 demonstrated the tolerance of 5-HTP in obese subjects, as well as its efficacy in weight management. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, twenty obese patients were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 900 mg 5-HTP per day over two consecutive six-week periods. No changes to the participants’ diets were made/recommended in the first phase, while the second phase came with the recommendation to stick to a 1204 KCal per day diet. The results from this study suggest that 900 mg 5-HTP for 12 weeks was associated with greater weight loss compared to the placebo group during both phases of the study, providing evidence for the role of 5-HTP in weight loss.
Another placebo-controlled, double-blind study, published in 1998 studied the effect of orally administered 5-HTP in obese and diabetic men and women. Participants were administered a placebo or 750 mg 5-HTP, for two consecutive weeks, without dietary restrictions and monitored for normalizing of eating behaviour and any reduction in weight. Results show that 2 weeks of daily administration of 750 mg 5-HTP was associated with less food intake, mostly from carbohydrates, as well as a minor but significant loss of weight, compared to the participants in the placebo group.
A more recent study published in 2017 actually studied the brains of healthy participants in response to 5-HTP supplementation. This study was designed as a randomized, placebo-controlled, block trial, and healthy participants were given either vitamin C as a placebo control or 5-HTP, at 100 mg. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether 5-HTP administration would activate areas of the brain associated with appetite suppression, anorexia, satiety and weight loss. Additionally, during the study, the participants observed food and non-food video stimuli and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to monitor the brain’s responses to the stimuli. The results showed a significant difference in brain region response to both food and non-food stimuli, especially in the limbic system and frontal lobes after 5-HTP consumption, compared to the control group, suggesting that 5-HTP administration activated regions of the brain involved in the evaluation of reward, macronutrient selection, and enteroceptive awareness of internal physiological needs.
In 2012, another randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated the effectiveness of a one month supplementation of 5-HTP in conjunction with personalized reduced calorie diet in overweight females. The endpoint measures were urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels (5-HIAA) and Haber scores, as a measure of appetite sensation, body composition and severity of binge eating over the 4-week period. Increased urinary 5-HIAA and a decrease in Haber scores were observed in the 5-HTP supplementation group, compared to the placebo. Although no significant differences were observed between the groups, in terms of changes in body composition and BMI scores, a significant increase in the 5-HIAA suggests the absorption of 5-HTP and an increase in the feelings of satiety.