Can you imagine a single nutritional supplement that can help people lose weight, improve sleep disorders, and even eliminate anxiety and depression in many cases? No, it’s not a scam or some shady product that’s too good to be true. We’re just talking about giving your body more of a natural substance it already possesses.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is the body’s precursor to serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter that helps regulate everything from your sleep habits to your overall mood and appetite. A deficiency in serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and more. Thankfully, 5-HTP offers a safe and effective alternative for many who suffer from these disorders. Derived from the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia, this substance can be a godsend for the many people struggling with any of the following problems.

Anxiety

Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, ranging in severity from mildly annoying to serious, debilitating conditions. This can be embarrassing for sufferers because of the additional stigma associated with mental illness, even though there is often a physiological basis for the symptoms. There is certainly a strong genetic component, as anxiety attacks tend to run in families. But the demanding pace of modern life in industrialized nations no doubt contributes to stress and fear in so many patients throughout the world and especially in Western societies.

5-HTP is a wonderful option to consider for these men and women who desperately need help, and relief can often come quickly and without the side effects of prescription drugs. Once again, it works because it helps to increase the body’s levels of serotonin, and serotonin deficiency has been linked to anxiety disorders in addition to its well-known role in depression and sleep disorders.

Depression

As most of us know, depression is a heartbreaking and debilitating condition that can cause a long list of symptoms including fatigue, muscle aches, digestive problems, and more. Above all, depression causes an overall loss of interest in normal, everyday activities. If it becomes severe enough, it can disrupt every aspect of a person’s life including their marriage, friendships, and their ability to work a normal, full-time job. With all the possible complications of this debilitating disorder, depression not only affects the individual patient but everyone around him.

All that can change with a simple supplement like 5-HTP. Many patients have found relief either through their own research and self-navigation or in consultation with a nutritionist or a more “holistic” physician who recommends nutritional supplements. While it may not cure every incidence of depression, it is certainly a very important option to consider. Many have benefited greatly by using 5-HTP either by itself or in combination with other vital nutrients and as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Serotonin is the master “mood elevator” of the body, and because 5-HTP elevates the levels of serotonin in your body, you can experience profound improvement in your health and quality of life.

Weight Loss

It seems that you can’t go anywhere nowadays without being bombarded with weight-loss advertisements. You hear commercials on the radio and on television, you see advertisements everywhere online, and of course there are those annoying magazines at the supermarket with pictures of perfectly-toned people on the cover.

Yes, it may be annoying, but the truth is that there is always a great demand for weight-loss products including supplements, books, and magazines. Millions in the United States alone are considered obese, and more than a few million could definitely stand to lose 10 or 20 pounds!

While diet and exercise are definitely the foundation that we should all start with, you should definitely be on the lookout for helpful supplements that will improve your metabolism and help you reach your weight loss goals as quickly and smoothly as possible.
5-HTP definitely falls into this category because increasing serotonin helps your entire body in a variety of ways. Getting your neurotransmitters right isn’t just about improving mood disorders and treating tragic psychiatric conditions like Schizophrenia. Serotonin regulates appetite as well, and some studies have shown that women who took 5-HTP felt more satiated, ate fewer calories, and lost more weight than those who were simply given a placebo.

When it comes to weight loss products, there are a lot of fad supplements that you really have to be careful with. Products like Ephedra have raised serious health concerns after being linked to possible cardiovascular disorders. With 5-HTP, you don’t have to worry about that. You’re simply supplying your body with more of a nutrient that it already needs and uses on a daily basis.

Reduced Risks of Side Effects

5-HTP is considered safer and can be more easily purchased than L-tryptophan. In the 1980s, L-tryptophan was believed to be dangerous because of a number of deaths linked to the supplement. We now know that the actual problem was a contamination in the supply of the supplements and not the supplement or nutrient itself. Still, L-tryptophan was banned by the FDA and still carries some of that previous baggage and controversy, while 5-HTP does not.

When taking 100 mg to 200 mg daily, there is essentially no risk of serious side effects, although it will be would to consult your physician or healthcare provider if you intend to take the supplement for the very long term. Also, you want to be careful to ask your doctor if you are already taking a prescription medication for depression in order to avoid dangerously high levels of serotonin.

Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about any serious side effects that are often associated with prescription medications like Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors (SSRI). Usually the only mild side effect that is reported is mild nausea, since the gastrointestinal system also absorbs the supplement and creates its own serotonin. This will usually improve on its own after your body adjusts to the supplement. You can also try reducing your dose, taking the supplement with food instead of on its own, or using a sustained release formula.

If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or insomnia — or if you simply want to lose a little weight — why not give this safe and effective supplement a try before resorting to prescription drugs?

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