Helps With Depression by Increasing Serotonin Levels
The effects of 5-HTP on symptoms of depression have been well studied. While the exact cause of depression is largely unknown, some researchers believe that a serotonin imbalance may influence your mood in a way that leads to depression (14-Trusted Source, 15-Trusted Source).
5-HTP supplements are thought to treat depression by increasing serotonin levels. In fact, several small studies have found that 5-HTP reduced symptoms of depression. However, two of them did not use placebos for comparison, limiting the strength of their findings (16-Trusted Source, 17-Trusted Source, 18-Trusted Source, 19-Trusted Source).
Similarly, another analysis concluded that 5-HTP may help treat depression (20-Trusted Source).
However, much of the research suggests that the potential antidepressive effects of 5-HTP are stronger when combined with other substances or antidepressant medications, compared to when they are used alone (17-Trusted Source, 21-Trusted Source, 22-Trusted Source, 23-Trusted Source).
Can Promote Sleep by Increasing Your Melatonin Production
5-HTP produces serotonin, which can be converted into the hormone melatonin.
Melatonin plays an important role in regulating sleep. Its levels begin to rise in the evening to promote sleep and fall in the morning to help wake you up.
Therefore, supplementing with 5-HTP may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body.
One human-based study showed that a combination of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality (37-Trusted Source).
GABA is a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation. Combining it with 5-HTP likely has a synergistic effect (37-Trusted Source)
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