5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is something our bodies make. We get an essential amino acid called tryptophan from food, which gets converted into 5-HTP. This chemical is then converted into serotonin, a crucial brain chemical that plays an important part in regulating our moods and behavior. It is not found in the foods we eat, but can be derived from the seeds of a plant from Africa called Griffonia simplicifolia. It is known as a Smart Drug, credited with helping a person’s mood, appetite, pain sensation, sleep, and anxiety.
I started researching 5-HTP when I was looking for something to help boost my moods and overall cognitive function. I was struggling both with my weight and with my sleeping patterns. Because this Smart Drug already occurs in the body to create serotonin, the logic is that taking more should increase your serotonin levels. This is especially helpful in the treatment of depression. While I don’t currently suffer from depression, I was finding that I was having irregular moods and a lot of mood swings, which could be caused by an imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin. I decided to give it a try and see what it did, especially since the side-effects are pretty rare and mild, including stomach issues, sexual problems and drowsiness. There hasn’t been a tremendous amount of research on Smart Drugs, but they are available over the counter, and are quite easy to access.
I started on a small dose of 5-HTP to see what happened. It was slow to start, so after about a month I increased the dose slightly. The results started to pour in at that point. The first thing I noticed was my sleep! I was sleeping though the night, and actually felt very well rested when I woke up, which was something I hadn’t felt in many years. I was able to get out of bed when my alarm went off instead of sitting the snooze button several times. I didn’t notice the changes in my moods until after my partner mentioned that I was in a good mood all the time. The feelings of stress and helplessness were nonexistent, I just felt good all the time. I felt sharp, like a light switch had been turned on in my head. To top it all off, I started losing weight without much effort. A few pounds here and there, a reduced appetite, and general feeling of health. Those evening cravings for carbs has all but disappeared, and it has really improved my self-image. I started to feel my clothes fitting better, and the scale even showed a solid change. I have continued at that dose because it feels like the sweet spot for this Smart Drug, and I’ve been going about 60 days. I haven’t noticed any issues with my stomach (other than eating less than I did before) or with sexual functions. Maybe I’m lucky, but the only side-effects I’ve noticed are being happy and losing weight. I’ll take that.
I was talking to a friend about this recently who suffers from depression, and she has started taking it as well. All the research I’ve done shows that increased levels of serotonin in the brain can actually function the same way as an anti-depressant medication does, but without the vast list of serious side-effects. It is also reported to reduce the severity of anxiety attacks. I think this opens up a whole new world for those who suffer from depression, mood disorders, etc., as there is a way to combat it without necessarily having to deal with a whole bunch of doctors. While it’s always a good idea to see a doctor when you think something isn’t right, so many people are afraid of the stigma associated with mental illness of any kind, and it is nice to know that Smart Drugs like 5-HTP are available over the counter for those who feel like they need a little boost to their moods or feelings. I read that it can help with anxiety, and even with migraine headaches. It seems to be more effective than St. John’s wort when it comes to treating the symptoms of depression, and has been known to start working in as little as two weeks, although it can take longer for the Smart Drug to take effect. 5-HTP has also been reported to treat the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
One thing I have noticed about 5-HTP is that when I take it later in the day or evening, I have extremely vivid dreams, some of them less pleasant than others. I have managed this by taking the Smart Drug first thing when I wake up in the morning. There is not point to taking a drug to help my sleep issues when I am kept awake all night by dragons trying to burn down my castle. I have no issues with strange and vivid dreams taking it in the morning.
I think it is important to do your research about smart drugs, and choose a reputable source to purchase them from. There are all kinds of places on the internet to choose from, and what I look for is a company that does their own research, stands behind their product with a good return policy, and has great customer service for help with any questions about the smart drug you may have. I also like to read other customers’ 5-HTP reviews of a product to help me get a full picture and as many possible perspectives of the Smart Drug’s effects, side-effects, etc. I learned that there was once a contaminant in some 5-HTP that caused a severe muscle problem to those who took it. This is high on the list for me of good reasons to research and find a source you can really trust to ensure the purity of their product. There can be some issues using 5-HTP in conjunction with other drugs, so it is a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about and contraindications.