5-HTP for ADHD
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan also known as oxitriptan is a chemical naturally produced in the body and is a by-product of amino acid L-tryptophan. Commercially, it is produced from the seeds of an African plant biologically known as Griffonia simplicifolia. 5HTP is used for a variety of health conditions like sleep problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, fibromyalgia, seizures, and Parkinson’s disease.
In the United States and other countries, 5HTP is marketed as a dietary supplement that may aid sleep, relieves depression, and suppress appetite.
This article takes a deeper look at 5HTP for ADHD and other health conditions and the possible risks and dangers associated with its consumption.
Is 5HTP Effective for ADHD?
Research revealed that 5HTP supplements help children experiencing ADHD symptoms and relieve other illnesses.
ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common condition affecting millions of children. The symptoms of ADHD appear before 5 years of age and often disappear at age 15. ADHD is a hyperactivity disorder common in school-age children and boys are more likely to suffer from this disorder than girls.
This attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be caused by genetic problems, poor parenting, or altered brain activity. The symptoms can be improved by giving some dietary supplements which can increase the production of neurotransmitters. 5HTP is one of those dietary supplements that increase serotonin levels in the body.
Studies showed that consumption of 5HTP supplements helps decrease the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
How Do They Work?
5-HTP affects the nervous system due to its ability to increase the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that can control sleep, temperature, behaviors, appetite, and pain sensation. As 5-HTP improves serotonin levels in the body it is supposed to treat all the illnesses in which serotonin seems to play a role.
Several studies have been done to evaluate the effects of serotonin on ADHD. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made from the L-tryptophan through a series of steps. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted to 5-HTP and is then to serotonin. Some foods like cheese, turkey, eggs, nuts, and seeds contain high quantities of 5-hydroxytryptophan which stimulate the production of serotonin.
What Does Research Say?
According to the studies, 5HTP also affects the faulty serotonin receptors and stimulates the production and metabolism of serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate brain activity and reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In addition, 5-HTP supplements also relieve other symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disorders.
Studies revealed that low levels of serotonin and other brain chemicals may cause the development of ADHD leading to impulsive behavior.
5HTP supplements can reduce ADHD symptoms owing to the ability to improve mood, memory, and learning abilities. As these supplements can reduce depression, physicians prioritize treating depression prior to treating ADHD.
The mood-enhancing potential of 5HTP makes them successful supplements for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
According to a study in 68 individuals suffering from ADHD, consumption of 5-HTP supplements resulted in significant improvement in ADHD symptoms in 67% of individuals.
5HTP Dosage for ADHD
There is no recommended dosage of 5HTP supplements for the treatment of ADHD however, it is suggested to start from a low dose of 24 or 50 mg to see the effects of these supplements on ADHD symptoms.
May Relieve Depression
Studies have shown that 5HTP supplements have potential to work as antidepressants. According to 6 weeks of clinical trials in 63 people, consumption of 5HTP supplements significantly improved the symptoms of depression.
Prevent Migraine and Headache
5-HTP supplements regulate the levels of brain chemicals which help reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. In a study, 124 individuals suffering from migraine were instructed to use 5HTP supplements for 6 months. There was reported a remarkable improvement in symptoms of migraine.
Fibromyalgia is a muscular problem affecting many people and causes fatigue, muscle pain, and tender joints. A study on 50 individuals was conducted to evaluate the effects of 5HTP supplements and placebo on symptoms of fibromyalgia. Half people were given 5HTP supplements and others were instructed to use a placebo for 4 weeks.
Results showed that there was a significant improvement in fatigue, anxiety, sleep, muscle stiffness, and tenderness in the 5HTP supplement group.
Help Increase Weight Loss
Studies showed that 5HTP supplements may increase weight loss and help you achieve your target weight. They work by increasing the feeling of fullness, inducing satiety, and suppressing appetite.
Possible Risks or Side Effects
Dietary supplements offer a variety of benefits for health however they may also associate with some risks and side effects.
Common and less serious side effects resulting from supplementing with 5-HTP include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. It is said that these symptoms are related to dosage and get worse on increasing the dose. This is the reason; health professionals recommended starting the dosage of 50 mg and then gradually increasing the dose.
Some prescription medicines like serotonin receptor reuptake inhibitors (SRRIs) boost the level of serotonin in the body. Taking 5-HTP supplements with these medications can increase serotonin to a dangerous level. As a result of increased serotonin levels, the body can develop a serious health condition serotonin syndrome which can be life-threatening.
5-HTP supplements can interact with some medications used for sleep problems, antidepressants, antitussive and pain relievers. It is suggested to avoid these supplements with medications.
It is tested by FDA that some 5-HTP supplements contain contaminants leading to a syndrome known as eosinophilia-myalgia contributing to blood disorders and muscle problems. In order to avoid these contaminants always purchase high-quality 5-HTP supplements from a reputable brand.
5-HTP supplements are produced from the roots of a plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. These supplements work by increasing serotonin levels in the body which control sleep, behavior, depression, and fibromyalgia. 5-HTP supplements are known to improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.
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