What is 5HTP?

Written by Anti Aging Systems

5htp pro spotlight

Many people are turning to natural supplements to support their health and wellness journey.  One particular compound that has garnered attention is 5HTP, known for its potential to boost mood, induce relaxation, and improve our quality of sleep.

What Is 5HTP (5 Hydroxytryptophan)?

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) is a building block for the all-important neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a critical role in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and other processes. 5HTP is naturally produced by the amino acid tryptophan in the body, which can also be found in foods like turkey, chicken, and milk.

What Does 5HTP Do When Taken as Part of a Supplement Routine?

Supplementing with 5HTP is proven to help increase serotonin levels, which can contribute to improved mood and stress reduction [1]. 5HTP also has the additional benefit of being able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Serotonin alone can’t cross this barrier, making 5HTP an effective way to increase serotonin levels in the brain.

Why Take 5HTP Over L-Tryptophan Supplements

Although serotonin production is connected to both 5HTP and L-tryptophan supplements, 5HTP is more compatible with the metabolic pathway as it bypasses tryptophan conversion [2]. 5HTP also is naturally made from seeds and is easier for the body to absorb. L-tryptophan has to compete with other amino acids to cross the blood-brain barrier – 5HTP doesn’t have this issue.

Not to mention, it is less likely to be contaminated (L-Tryptophan has been linked to a neurological condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome).

Ideal 5HTP Supplement Routine

It’s always important to begin with a small dose of 5HTP to gauge tolerance. A dose ranges from 50-100 mg, but this may vary depending on individual needs. It is generally recommended to take 5HTP with food and start with evening supplementation to avoid daytime drowsiness. You can adjust the dosage and timing based on your experience.

Can You Take 5HTP With Any Other Supplements Such as Melatonin?

5HTP acts as a precursor to serotonin and serotonin can be converted into melatonin – meaning your levels of melatonin could become incredibly high if you take both. It is also advised not to combine any antidepressants (which is essentially what 5HTP is) with melatonin unless specifically recommended by a healthcare provider.

You should always seek medical advice if you or a loved one have any health concerns or want to combine supplements.


5HTP is an established supplement that can contribute to supporting emotional well-being. It’s a natural alternative to traditional antidepressants, with fewer side effects! If you’re interested in learning more about 5HTP or incorporating it into your routine, check out the 5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) page on our website.

[1] 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Natural Occurrence, Analysis, Biosynthesis, Biotechnology, Physiology and Toxicology – PMC (nih.gov)

[2] The 5-Hydroxytryptamine signaling map: an overview of serotonin-serotonin receptor-mediated signaling network – PMC (nih.gov)