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5-HTP, the intermediate metabolite between the amino acid L-tryptophan and serotonin, is extracted from the seed of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia). 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and increases central nervous system (CNS) synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behaviour, and pain sensation. Serotonin also has a significant role in depression, anxiety, and aggression. 5-HTP is one of the few approved natural therapies for fibromyalgia with the possibility of reducing pain severity, morning stiffness, and sleeplessness. 5-HTP has been shown to increase neurotransmitting catecholamines such as dopamine and norepinephrine that are synthesized from tyrosine. There is speculation that increasing the availability of tyrosine to the brain allows increased neurotransmitter synthesis, which helps to counter the negative effects of stress. The addition of B-vitamins to this formula provides additional synergistic effects as they enhance the metabolism of amino acids.
Each capsule contains:
L-5-HTP (L-5-Hydroxytryptophan) 200 mg (from Griffonia simpilcifolia Seeds)L-Tyrosine (Human Hair) 250 mgVitamin B-3 (as Niacinamide) 10 mgVitamin B-6 (from Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 3 mg
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Capsule (gelatin, water) Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), Silica.
Adult Dosage: To minimize the risk of gastrointestinal side effects, slowly increase dose to effective levels over a period of 2 weeks. For use beyond 1 year consult a health care practitioner. Fibromyalgia: Take 1 capsule 2 times daily with food. Use for a minimum of 2 weeks to see beneficial effects. Mood balance: Take 1 capsule 1-2 times daily with food. Use for a minimum of 1 week to see beneficial effects.
Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, following a low protein diet, or if you are taking carbidopa or drugs/supplements with serotonergic activity; these may include but are not limited to: L-tryptophan, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), St. John’s wort, antidepressants, pain killers, over the counter cough and cold medication containing dextromethorphan, anti-nausea and anti-migraine medication. Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen. Discontinue use and consult a health care practitioner if you show signs of weakness, oral ulcers, or abdominal pain accompanied by severe muscle pain or if you experience skin changes. Do not use if you have scleroderma. Some people may experience drowsiness. Exercise caution if operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle or involved in activities requiring mental alertness. Gastrointestinal side effects including, but not limited to, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain will occur, but will subside with continued use.
Really wanted to try this after seeing the review above about helping with headaches. I haven't tried it, so I can't comment on the effectiveness. I did want to point out that it is really important to check medication interactions when taking 5-HTP. I can't take it because it can have a negative interaction with several of the medications I am on. I assumed it was "natural" and almost didn't check for drug interactions, so I just wanted to make sure others look into it before taking this.
A few years ago, after suffering with migraines since the age of 14, I was desperate to discover a natural remedy that could help reduce my suffering. I had what I would categorize as 'minor' migraines on a daily basis - meaning I could function, but was very sensitive to odours such as perfumes, new cars and upholstery, tar and diesel - basically the things you smell constantly in the city! In addition to the daily headaches, I would also get debilitating migraines a couple days per month (vomiting, stuck in bed due to extreme light-sensitivity). I had been prescribed various pharmaceutical treatments over the years but they seemed like a band-aid since I only used them for the debilitating migraines and suffered with the less severe ones every day. I couldn't drink red wine, I couldn't go into most stores due to perfume and new furniture smells. I was cranky all the time due to the constant pain. It was ruining my life. I saw every therapist you can think of: massage, physio, chiro, naturopath, osteopath, neurologist, physiatrist, nutritionist etc. but nobody helped. I bought a book on migraines in an attempt to better understand them and discovered a connection between migraines and seratonin levels. As I had also suffered from depression for many years I thought this was interesting and made it my mission to research natural treatments for depression. I tried St. johns Wort and other supplements that are known to benefit mood, but it was 5-HTP that ultimately worked for me. Not just any 5-HTP either - I tried a few. It was specifically the NOW brand 200 mg 5-HTP with Tyrosine that worked. I find if it doesn't contain the Tyrosine it doesn't work as well. Other brands helped a bit but not as much. I take this product daily and have for many years now. My naturopath approves of this and even my GP agrees that if it works for me it can't hurt to take it. I do find that it causes some slight stomach upset/nausea if I take in on an empty stomach or in the morning, so I take it before bed to minimize this side-effect. I still get migraines about 3-4 times a month, but they are less severe - no vomiting or nausea, just light-sensitivity and a bad headache. The daily migraines are completely gone. I feel like this product has saved my life, or at the very least drastically improved the quality of my life. I can drink red wine now and do many things I couldn't in the past and who can put a value on not being in pain every single day or your life? That is invaluable and I am very grateful this product exists.
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