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In today's world, we are exposed to huge amounts of stress. This can lead to persistent tension and constant nervousness. It can even cause illness. Managing stress can be greatly helped by elevated serotonin hormone levels. Serotonin (5-HT) is one of the "happy hormones", we don't know all the effects of this hormone, but it plays a role in regulating mood, appetite, sexuality, sleep, pain and the reward system.

Serotonin deficiency has been linked to a number of neurological disorders:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Fibromyalgia (chronic, body-wide pain)
  • Migraine
  • Tinnitus

In today's world we are exposed to a huge amount of stress. This can lead to persistent tension and constant nervousness. It can even cause illness.

The hormone serotonin occurs naturally. It is most commonly extracted from a plant called Griffonia.

However, taking serotonin alone as a nutrient digestive does not lead to results, as serotonin taken externally cannot reach the brain. Only certain substances can get into the brain, so the blood-brain barrier is responsible (it also protects against pathogens, its integrity is critical). So the blood-brain barrier does not allow serotonin to pass.

In contrast, researchers have found that when serotonin (5-HT) is combined with its precursor tryptophan (5-HTP), it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, where once it is separated from the tryptophan, the serotonin is able to exert its effects.

Studies have been shown that 5-HTP can improve a number of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and can help with stress management. It is also often given in cases of chronic inflammation (which occurs in diabetes and other metabolic syndromes), as it also reduces levels.

In addition, serotonin can also reduce appetite.

The most commonly used daily dose of 5-HTP is 300-500 mg. Since we are talking about a direct hormone, stick to the recommended dose and do not exceed it. To reduce appetite, take it with meals. 

5-HTP should not be taken with any other neurological medication unless authorised by a doctor. This is very important if you are taking SSRI medication as the combination of the two can be fatal.