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What is 5-Hydroxytryptophan?

5-Hydroxytryptophan is sometimes also referred to as oxitriptan, but in most cases it is abbreviated to 5-HTP. It is actually a naturally occurring type of amino acid. It is the metabolic intermediate in the chemical precursor for the process of biosynthesis of melatonin and serotonin from tryptophan. For those who do not know, melatonin and serotonin are certain types of very important neurotransmitters. 5-HTP can be purchased in the form of dietary supplements and as such it is widely used for numerous medicinal purposes. Some use it is a sleep aid, some others use it for the suppression of appetite while there are also a large number of people around the world who use it for the alleviation and treatment of depression. It can be purchased under numerous different trade names, depending on the market and the region of the world. There were even certain scientific studies which have shown that 5-HTP can be of some help to a certain extent to all those who suffer from the symptoms of depression. Even though it can be purchased in the form of a supplement, 5-HTP may also be obtained from certain types of dietary sources. The best dietary sources of 5-HTP include pumpkin, potatoes, milk, turkey and various types of green leafy vegetables. 5-HTP in its supplemental form is commonly sold over the counter in most well equipped pharmacies without the need for a doctor’s prescription. When purchased in such supplemental form, the 5-HTP commonly comes in the form of vegetarian or gelatin capsules of 50 milligram or 100 milligram dosage. These capsules are commonly sourced from the seeds of the plant botanically referred to as griffonia simplicifolia. According to certain scientific studies, 5-HTP may come in very handy for those who suffer from primary fibromyalgia syndrome and depression. Oral usage of 5-HTP is very efficient in alleviating the symptoms of fibromyalgia which commonly include sleeplessness, morning stiffness and quite severe painful sensations. Other medical conditions which can be treated successfully by using 5-HTP in its supplemental form include anxiety, insomnia, binge eating associated with obesity and Friedrich’s ataxia. There were a certain number of cases of tension headaches which saw some improvement after being treated with 5-HTP. This cannot be said for those who suffer from chronic types of headaches, it were only the acute ones which were involved in the aforementioned improvement of the condition. Some sources claim that it may be helpful to a certain extent in the prevention and treatment of several other severe and less severe medical conditions such as premenstrual syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, obesity, anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, numerous different types of sleep disorders and many others. Unfortunately there are not yet some scientific studies performed which would confirm the efficacy of 5-HTP in such medical situations.

Side effects from 5-Hydroxytryptophan

As is the case with most other types of prescription medications, non prescription medications, herbal remedies, supplements, solutions and all other substances commonly used for the prevention and treatment of numerous sorts of ailments and medical conditions, 5-Hydroxytryptophan may sometimes be associated with certain unwanted side effects. They do not necessarily occur in all persons who use the supplement, and even when they do they may manifest differently from person to person in terms of severity. 5-HTP may sometimes lead to the development of hypertension if not administered in combination with some sort of peripheral aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor. In most cases the commonly used inhibitors include benserazide and carbidopa. An overdose of 5-HTP may be particularly dangerous as it can be associated with cardiac fibrosis, heart disease, heart valve damage, acute serotonin syndrome, vomiting, nausea and eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. This last condition is a very serious one which is characterized by certain symptoms such as blood abnormalities, myalgia and extreme muscle tenderness. Pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant should steer clear of this supplement because it may have some unwanted harmful effects on the unborn child. The same goes for breastfeeding women, because 5-HTP may pass into the mother’s milk and cause the same harmful effects. People who suffer from the Down syndrome should avoid using this type of supplement because it may lead to the occurrence of seizures. Another big problem with 5-HTP is that it may interact with certain other medications and cause further medical problems. It mat interact with different types of medications commonly used for the treatment of depression and trigger some side effects such as anxiety, shivering, heart problems and several others. Carbidopa is another medicament which interact with 5-HTP and when it does it triggers aggressiveness, anxiety and rapid speech, among others. Dextromethorphan interacts with 5-HTP and causes anxiety, shivering and heart problems. Meperidine triggers the same side effects when interacting with 5-HTP.Pentazocine and tramadol may also interact with this supplement.

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