Some information on 5-Hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP)
Note: PowerSleep contains 5HTP
5-HTP comes from an extract of Griffonia simplicifolia . Used traditionally in African medicine to inhibit diarrhea, vomiting and constipation, and as an aphrodisiac.
Why we use 5-HTP: 5-HTP is a precursor of serotonin and it helps to normalize serotonin activity in the body. Considerable research has been conducted on the activity of 5-HTP which includes:
Mood enhancer: Dysregulation of serotonin metabolism in the central nervous system has been shown to affect mood. 5-HTP helps to normalize serotonin levels and thus positively affect mood. In a double-blind study using objective assessments of mood, researchers in Zurich reported significant improvements in mood with 5-HTP. (Psychopathology 24:53-81, 1991)
In a separate double-blind, multi-center study in Germany, researchers reported significant improvements in both objective and self-assessment indices of mood. (Arch Psychiat Nervenkr 224:175-186, 1977)
Sleep: Many studies have shown that depletion of serotonin results in insomnia, which is reversed by administration of 5-HTP. Soulairac and Lambient reported that 100 mg of 5-HTP resulted in significant improvement for people who complained of trouble sleeping (Ann Med Pychol 135:792-798, 1977). As serotonin is metabolized to the hormone melatonin, another way of increasing melatonin is through administering 5-HTP. Melatonin is known to help regulate the sleep cycle.
Appetite: Food intake is thought to suppress appetite through the production of serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan. Because it is an intermediary in the conversion process of tryptophan to serotonin, 5-HTP may reduce appetite in a similar manner as food intake, but without the calories. In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, subjects taking 5-HTP lost significant weight compared to control subjects. A reduction in carbohydrate intake and early satiety were seen in the 5-HTP group. (Am. Jrl. Clin. Nutr 56:863-867, 1992)