5-HTP SAP is used as a precursor to serotonin and can be used for patients with a serotonin deficiency.
5-HTP SAP can be used to help treat mild to moderate depression and bipolar disorder.
5-HTP SAP may be helpful to treat insomnia.
5-HTP SAP is a treatment option for children suffering with night terrors.
5-HTP SAP can be used to help reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Each capsule of 5-HTP 50 SAP contains:
5-HTP (l-5-hydroxytryptophan) ... 50 mg
Each capsule of 5-HTP 100 SAP contains:
5-HTP (l-5-hydroxytryptophan) ... 100 mg
Each bottle contains 90 capsules. Contains no:
Preservatives, artificial flavor or color, wheat, gluten, soy, salt, dairy, egg, corn, sugar or
Depression and insomnia are two of the most prevalent concerns for which patients will seek medical treatment. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is derived from the seed of Griffonia simplicifolia and is a precursor needed for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin as well as for the neurohormone melatonin.(1) Serotonin is synthesized in the intestinal tract by the enteric cells as well as in the central nervous system.(1) Orally administered serotonin is not able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and therefore cannot enter the CNS.(1) 5-HTP, however, is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, where it can then be utilized as a precursor to generate serotonin. Serotonin plays a role in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, sexuality, body temperature and aggression.(2)
-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) has been shown to help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and somatic pain in a variety of patients. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, which is thought to be the mechanism of action as to how it helps treat these various conditions. When tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier, it is uptaken by serotonergic neurons.(2) Once inside the neurons, the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase adds a hydroxyl group and produces 5-HTP, which is then decarboxylated to produce serotonin.(2) Serotonin is then stored in synaptic vesicles until it needs to be released to activate the receptors in the post-synaptic neurons.(2)
5-HTP is effectively absorbed in oral dosage form, with approximately 70% ending up in the bloodstream.(3) The other benefit to 5-HTP dosing is that it isn't affected by absorption of other amino acids and can therefore be effectively taken with or without food.(3) The level of serotonin in the central nervous system (CNS) is highly dependent of the quantity of 5-HTP, which is easily able to cross the blood-brain barrier, unlike l-tryptophan which requires transport molecules to enter the CNS.(3)
5-HTP AND DEPRESSION
A placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted with 60 patients diagnosed with depression. Patients received either fluvoxamine or 5-HTP orally three times daily for 6 weeks.(4) Symptoms monitored included mood, anxiety, insomnia, and somatic pain, and researchers found that improvements were equivalent in both groups.(4) Adverse side effects, however, were documented to be higher in the fluvoxamine group.(4) Several other studies have demonstrated that patients with both unipolar or bipolar depressions have demonstrated a positive clinical response at doses of 50–300 mg/d within two to four weeks.(5)
5-HTP AND FIBROMYALGIA
In a study assessing the efficacy and tolerability of 5-HTP, researchers conducted a 90-day open-label study with 50 patients who had been diagnosed with primary fibromyalgia syndrome.(6) Symptoms, including the number of tender points and pain intensity, as well as anxiety, quality of sleep and fatigue, were monitored.(6) All symptoms showed significant improvement over baseline, with the average clinical improvement being 50% during the treatment period.(6) 30% of patients reported side effects; however, one patient withdrew from the study.
5-HTP AND INSOMNIA
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers examined the use of a combination formula including 5-HTP and GABA, compared to placebo.(7) Sleep latency and duration were measured via questionnaire, and sleep quality was measured via 24-h electrocardiographic recording.(7) Researchers found that the treatment group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in all areas measured compared to the placebo group, including a reduction in time to fall asleep, decreased sleep latency, and improvement in both the duration of and quality of sleep.(7)
In a review of studies examining 5-HTP in the treatment of sleep disorders, researchers have found that 5-HTP does increase the length of patients' REM sleep.(3) Effective doses varied from 200 mg to 600 mg to achieve maximum benefit.(3) At higher doses, some patients reported extremely vivid dreams or nightmares.(3)
In a rat study, researchers found that insomnia induced by administration of parachlorophenylalanine (a serotonin synthesis inhibitor) was reversed by an injection of 5-HTP and an aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor.(8) Researchers found that 5-HTP injection did not increase cerebral 5-HTP concentrations, indicating that the ability of 5-HTP to restore sleep may be mediated by a more central action of 5-HTP.(8)
5-HTP AND SLEEP TERRORS
A placebo-controlled trial was conducted testing the effectiveness of 5-HTP in children with sleep terrors. In the treatment group, 5-HTP was administered at a dose of 2 mg/kg/d at bedtime.(9) All participants had complete medical sleep history taken, as well as neurological exams and EEG recordings while awake and during sleep.(9) After treatment for 1 month, 93.5% (29/31) of patients showed a positive response, in comparison to only 28.6% in the placebo group.(9) After 6 months of treatment, 83.9% of children treated were sleep terror-free.(9) Researchers concluded that 5-HTP is able to modulate the arousal level in children and can induce a long-term improvement of sleep terrors.(9)
For 5-HTP 50 SAP, take 1–2 capsules three times daily or as directed by your health care practitioner. For 5-HTP 100 SAP, take 1 capsule three times daily or as directed by your health care practitioner.
For some patients, 5-HTP can cause nausea, so it is recommended to start with 50 mg dosages for two weeks and to adjust the dosage from there as recommended by your health care practitioner.
Some patients experience nausea or gastrointestinal upset and drowsiness when taking 5-HTP. If this occurs, please discuss dosing with your health care practitioner.
Please consult your health care practitioner before using this product if you are taking any medications or supplements that have serotonergic activity; these include many antidepressants, St. John's wort, l-tryptophan, cold medications containing the ingredient dextromethorphan and some antimigraine medications.
5-HTP SAP should be used by women who are pregnant only under the guidance of their health care practitioner.
1. Juhl, J.H. “Fibromyalgia and the serotonin pathway”. Alternative Medicine Review 3, No. 5 (1998): 367–375.
2. http://www.macalester.edu/psychology/whathap/UBNRP/meth08/biochemistry/ serotonin.htm • Viewed January 1, 2012.
3. Birdsall, T. “5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor”. Alternative Medicine Review 3, No. 4 (1998): 271–281.
4. Poldinger, W., B. Calanchini, and W. Schwarz. “A functional approach to depression: serotonin deficiency as a target syndrome in a comparison of 5-hydroxytryptophan and fluvoxamine”. Psychopathology 24, No. 2 (1991): 53–81.
5. [No authors listed]. “5-hydroxytryptophan [Monograph]”. Alternative Medicine Review 3, No. 3 (1998): 224–226.
6. Sarzi Puttini, P. and I. Caruso. “Primary fibromyalgia syndrome and 5-hydroxy- l-tryptophan: a 90-day open study”. The Journal of International Medical Research 20, No. 2 (1992): 182–189.
7. Shell, W., et al. “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep”. American Journal of Therapeutics 17, No. 2 (2010): 133–139.
8. Touret, M., et al. “The role of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle in parachlorophenylalanine (p-CPA) pretreated rat: a multiple approach study”. Experimental Brain Research 86, No. 1 (1991): 117–124.
9. Bruni, O., et al. “l-5-Hydroxytryptophan treatment of sleep terrors in children”. European Journal of Pediatrics 163, No. 7 (2004): 402–407.
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