5-HTP Supplement: Health Benefits and Weight Loss Effects
Emotional eating and cravings are the reason so many people find themselves incapable of losing weight. Eating turns into a source of comfort and positive emotions. Its addictive nature turns the habit into something very difficult to get over.
Appetite suppressants are supplements created for that purpose. 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan, as it is scientifically known, belongs to this category of weight loss supplements. Knowing what 5-HTP does and whether research supports the claims will help you pick this supplement for your particular needs and make the most of it.
5-HTP is a natural substance that occurs naturally in the human body. It is a bi-product of L-tryptophan, a protein that various types of food contain. Weight loss supplements usually contain 5HTP that is derived from Griffonia simplicifolia.
Apart from the weight loss qualities of the extract, it is also used to treat insomnia and depression. All of these effects are possible due to the composition and activity of 5-HTP. 5-HTP is one of the most important serotonin building blocks. Serotonin, on the other hand, is a crucially important neurotransmitter that affects both mood and satiety.
Taking a supplement that contains 5-HTP will boost the serotonin production. As a result, you will find yourself more capable of controlling cravings.
The serotonin produced in the human body regulates intestinal movements and a small portion of it affects the functioning of the central nervous system, as well. There, serotonin will affect the production of dopamine. Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that is mainly responsible for the feeling of hunger due to increased appetite.
Griffonia simplicifolia is a West African shrub that produces green flowers and dark-colored pods. The seeds that these pods contain are used for the production of 5-HTP supplements. Traditionally, the seeds were used for the production of various medications for conditions like nausea, chronic coughing, digestive issues, kidney problems, tooth decay and low libido.
Science and Research
The mechanism in which 5-HTP delivers its weight loss benefits is easy to understand. Does science support the claims and does the theory about the supplement’s efficiency translate into actual results?
One small clinical study was carried out in Italy. It involved obese volunteers who confirmed their tendency to overeat. The volunteers were divided in two groups, the second one being the control group. They were restricted to a 1200-calorie per day diet. The volunteers in the first group were given 5-HTP supplement before each meal.
The experiment continued for a period of 12 weeks. In the end of that period, volunteers who were given 5-HTP lost an average of 7.2 pounds in comparison to average weight loss of four pounds for members of the control group.
The effects of 5-HTP were examined by another team of researchers who wanted to figure out its weight loss benefits during periods of dieting and periods of normal food consumption. The experiment involved 20 overweight women. There were two phases, each one lasting six weeks. During the first phase, the participants in the study faced no nutritional restrictions. During the second period, the women’s nutritional intake was limited.
As in all studies, the volunteers were divided into a control group and a second group that was given high concentrations of 5-HTP.
The women who were given a placebo did not lose weight during the first or the second phase of the clinical study. The ones that were given the supplement lost two percent of the original body weight during the first six-week period and an additional three percent of their body weight during the second phase of the clinical study. The women who were given 5-HTP supplements said that they felt satiety with smaller quantities of food and they were capable of controlling cravings.
Several other small clinical trials have been carried out, all documenting the appetite suppression qualities of 5-HTP. Researchers have thus concluded that apart from being an all-natural remedy for depression, 5-HTP could also be used to assist weight loss efforts.
Benefits and Reviews
Since it is all-natural, 5-HTP is considered a safe weight loss possibility. The majority of people who tried the supplement reported positive results and decreased appetite.
The 5-HTP supplements were presented during the Dr. Oz Show. They were named one of the best natural weight loss and anti-depressant possibilities. According to the Dr. Oz website, 5-HTP has been studied for more than 30 years and all of the studies confirm the fact that it can be used to limit calorie intake and speed up weight loss.
There has been research about the other possible health benefits of 5-HTP. Some studies provide evidence of the supplement’s effectiveness for the treatment of anxiety, fibromyalgia, severe PMS, migraines and intense headaches.
Picking a high quality supplement and sticking to the daily recommended dosage is the best way to enjoy all of 5-HTP’s benefits. Physicians recommend taking up to 50 milligrams of 5-HTP per day. This quantity should be divided into three daily doses, taken before each meal. A few studies used higher concentrations of 5-HTP but some of the participants experienced side effects like nausea.
If you want to start a program that involves higher 5-HTP concentrations, you should talk to a physician and have your physical health assessed beforehand. 5-HTP weight loss supplements are not recommended for usage by children, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
There have been some mild side effects reported as a result of exceeded 5-HTP recommended dosage. These side effects include stomach uneasiness, heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness.
People who find it difficult to control their cravings and to limit the amounts of food consumed should consider trying aweight loss supplement from the appetite suppression group. 5-HTP is a great possibility because of its natural origin and the manner in which it affects neurotransmitter production. Trying 5-HTP is the best way to assess its effects and to figure out whether it is the right weight loss supplement for your needs.