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How Can 5-HTP Be Used to Balance Your Mood?

Is there someone you know who has mood fluctuations, including possibly you? If so, you may not have considered that this could be originating from decreased concentrations of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allow signals to be transmitted within the brain or other neuronal synapses. Many of these neurotransmitters can affect not only mood but cognitive abilities in the brain. With age and various other factors contributing to varied concentrations of certain neurotransmitters, this can present problems whose cause is often difficult to pinpoint. 1 Supplementing with a nootropic like 5-Hydroxytryptophan or oxitriptan (5-HTP) may help to alleviate these issues.

5-HTP About 5-HTP

5-HTP is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is often thought of as the chemical in the brain that induces happiness and regulates mood. 2

5-HTP can greatly influence brain function and a person’s overall mental health. However, determining whether 5-HTP is something that will work for you can entail a bit of trial and error.

Promotes a Positive Outlook

There have been studies that showed increasing serotonin levels can help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. 3 However, it is important to keep in mind that people respond to 5-HTP differently. It might work for some, but not for others.

With this said, the general feeling that comes from supplementing with 5-HTP is consistently described in a similar way by many. It is described as producing improved well-being, better mood, increased appetite, heightened tolerance for stressful situations, and overall improved cognitive function. 4

Improves Sleep Quality 5-HTP

In the darkness, serotonin makes the “sleep hormone,” melatonin. Both neurochemicals play a vital role in regulating sleep and wake cycles. Since 5-HTP is a precursor for serotonin, it makes sense that it can help promote good sleep. 5 Studies have shown that supplementing with 5-HTP can help those that have trouble sleeping by significantly increasing REM sleep. 6 Maintaining a more regular biological clock can then help with other conditions including mood, stress, and concentration abilities.


There are risks with all substances, including 5-HTP. Be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage, and be certain to purchase it from reputable sources. Pay careful attention to how you feel, and what your friends and family say about how you are behaving when first taking any supplement, including 5-Hydroxytryptophan.


If the neurotransmitters in the brain are not firing on all cylinders, it can affect you in several areas of your life. Poor memory, hindered decision making, and even sexual problems may occur simply because your brain is not producing significant concentrations of neurotransmitters. Supplementing with 5-HTP may alleviate these symptoms.

PhotoCredits: molekuul_be/, LightFieldStudios/, EkaterinaMarkelova/

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