5-HTP Review

Editor's Review: 2.5 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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Over the counter supplements of 5-HTP have been available since 1994. The principle behind 5-HTP for weight loss is that it seems to have a marked effect on the chemical Serotonin which is naturally produced in the brain. Serotonin plays an intricate part in the mechanisms of sleep, mood and hunger. 5-HTP has been used in studies to help people in the fight against obesity. One study concluded that 5-HTP reduced the total number of daily calories without the participants putting forth any effort to lose weight. The average weight loss was three pounds over the course of five weeks. A second study involved a six week period without dietary restriction which produced a marked increase in weight loss in the individuals who took the supplement verses those who were given a placebo. The average weight loss in the group was over 10 pounds for those taking the supplement. The conclusion of the study was that 5-HTP’s action on the satiety center of the brain caused users to take in fewer calories at meals, causing a reduction in weight.

List of Ingredients

Hydroxytryphan, an amino acid.

Product Features

5-HTP seems to have a direct effect on Serotonin, the mechanisms of sleep, mood and hunger. Moreover, studies have produced solid evidence that low levels of Serotonin can cause depression, panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, addictions and headaches. Long term trials have not been conducted and it is highly recommend that prolonged use of 5-HTP should be avoided until further testing has been conducted. Persons with chronic health problems or who are taking prescription drugs are recommended not to use the supplement and should consult a physician before considering using 5-HTP for weight loss. Nausea, constipation, decreased libido and nightmares have been reported with the use of 5-HTP.

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  • 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid in the body.
  • Shown in studies to produce positive effects on weight loss.


  • Long term trials have not been conducted on 5-HTP.
  • Nausea, constipation, decreased libido and nightmares have been reported with the use of 5-HTP.
  • Persons with chronic health problems or those taking prescription drugs are recommended not to use 5-HTP.


There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living. The lifestyle and dietary practices of many people have resulted in lowered levels of Serotonin in the brain. As a result, many people are overweight, crave sugar, experience bouts of depression, get frequent headaches and have vague muscle aches and pain. There is sufficient evidence to prove that 5-HTP, when used as a dietary supplement, will work as an effective weight loss aid. However, long term trials have not been conducted and there may be adverse side effects in some individuals. The supplement is widely available and can be found at many online retail sites which carry vitamins and supplements. Many local grocery and drugstores may carry 5-HTP as well. 5-HTP is reasonably priced and affordable for the average consumer.

8 User Reviews About 5-HTP

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  • 1
    Luna Koegler

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  • 2
    Rosario Gooch

    Very good site, thank you very much for your time in writing this post.


  • 3
    Cleveland Niss

    I want to write and I wonder how to start a blog for people on this yahoo community. .


  • 4

    I have been taking it every night for several years. I have had an adverse reaction. Skin rash, lost some motor ability, and felt ill, and numbness in right hand. All the side effects are gone after 48 hours, except numbness in hand. Any one have this problem and when will numbness go away? I will not take it again.


  • 5

    I was a chronic marijuana user for about 7 years. While my body can still produce serotonin it simply could not catch up fast enough for me to bounce out of it when I quit. I must say, this should be used to HELP you level out. You should not RELY on it. Attitude is ultimately a choice. In terms of weight loss…well if you’re in a better mood and not stressed all the time most people wouldn’t be prone to overeating….That, in my opinion, is why some say this can actually make you lose weight. If you take 5-htp to level your mood out and to give yourself a more balanced positive outlook in general I HIGHLY recommend it. You will notice a difference in 10-30 minutes of your first pill. I take 2 100mg pills a day currently…some take more and some take less. Bottom line, do what YOU feel comfortable with…but DO NOT go over 300mg a day. That is just stupidity. Hope this helps someone.


  • 6

    From Dr. Diane Schwarzbein, M.D. book: The Schwarzbein Principle II., pg. 135:
    New research suggests that long term use of 5-HTP, a serotonin precursor supplement may be harmful. Some brain cells ate not designed to make serotonin. They cannot make serotonin because they cannot make 5-HTP. But given 5-HTP, these cells can make serotonin when they should not be doing so–and this is not good for you. If you need to be on a serotonin precursor on a daily basis for longer than one year, talk to your doctor about getting a Rx for tryptophan. The shor term or intermittent use of 5-HTP should be fine, but never take it with an antidepressant and never take more than 200 mg at bedtime without medical supervision. If you get anxiety , heart palpitations, or bizarre sleep-disturbing dreems when you take either tryptophan or 5-HTP, reduce your dose or stop taing them altogether.
    Dr. Schwarzbein is an endocrinologist in CA.
    I have been taking 5HTP for several years, after reading this statement I stopped. Will try to get Rx for tryptophan.


  • 7

    I am currently researching 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine together to help with anxiety, depression, irregular sleep patterns and migraines as a supplement as opposed to the prescription drugs like Paxil, Lexapro, Valium, etc.
    What have you found and is it safe and most importantly effective. What are the risk of long term usage and if you start supplementing, is this something you will need to do the rest of your life?
    thank you – c


  • 8

    I was wondering if I have the Mirena IUD, if it was safe for me to take 5 HTP?


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