5-hydroxy tryptophan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan.
It is sourced from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia. A woody climbing shrub native to West Africa and Central Africa. It grows to about 3 m, and bears greenish flowers followed by black pods.
You can buy 5-htp over the counter of most good herbal shops. However, as with all complimentary medicine, you get what you pay for. If you buy a cheaper version you will find the strength greatly reduced.
It is used widely across the western world as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid.
In fact tryptophan is one of the key ingredients of many SSRIs. In using 5-htp you are simply stripping away many of the unnecessary chemicals you find in modern anti deps.
5-Hydroxytryptophan converted into to serotonin by the natural body enzymes. Therefore adding more 5-htp will increase this pain relieving chemical the body naturally produces.
Though 5-HTP is found in food only in insignificant quantities, it is a chemical involved intermediately in the metabolism of tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, milk, potatoes, pumpkin, and various greens. However, it has been commonly found in fibromyalgia patients that there is a significant shortage of tryptophan and serotonin present. Supplementing this lack can only be a good thing, in my opinion.
There are cautions, of course. 5-htp is contraindicative with many modern medicines. It should never be taken alongside an anti depressant as it can cause serotonin syndrome. Also, along side tramadol is may cause fitting and/or serotonin syndrome.
*It has been suggested that 5-HTP may cause eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition which results in extreme muscle tenderness, myalgia, and blood abnormalities. However, there is evidence to show that EMS was caused by a contaminant in early 5-HTP supplements, before the introduction of the current Good Manufacturing Practices by the United States FDA in 2007. Many countries now employ similar regulation..
I am, myself into my third day using 5-htp. So far all I can say is IT WORKS. I feel so much better. Aches and pains are less (not gone). Energy is better.
I'm still fiddling with dosage and timings as it can make you drowsy. I am looking at 50mg in the morning and 100mg at night.
Stay tuned folks and we'll see how it goes.