5-HTP for Weight Loss
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.
Trying to lose extra weight and shedding some or a lot of pounds is an overwhelming task. A healthy diet and exercise may be the cornerstone of any weight loss plan but a little extra help can speed up the weight loss process.
Weight loss target is achieved through long haul improvements to the quality and amount of food you eat and activity you do. This weight loss success includes weight loss and maintaining that lost weight.
There is emerging research on finding out other supplements which help speed up weight loss. 5HTP is one of those supplements that cause weight loss by suppressing appetite.
This article gives detailed information on 5HTP for weight loss supported by scientific research and possible risks or side effects of this dietary supplement.
What is 5HTP?
L-5HTP is an amino acid naturally produced in the body and is also taken as a nutritional supplement. Our body converts this supplement into serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates hunger, mood, and gut functions.
5HTP itself is not present in food however an amino acid tryptophan which is used to make this chemical is present in some foods like salmon, chicken, egg, milk, turkey, nuts, and seeds.
However, supplementing 5HTP removes the requirement of making it from tryptophan. This natural supplement is a precursor of serotonin which can control mood, behavior, weight, and mental and emotional health. It is estimated that low serotonin levels can cause weight gain, depression, sleep problems, and other health conditions.
5 hydroxytryptophan is prepared from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. Health experts prescribe these supplements for various health condition and it has become increasingly popular weight loss supplement.
Before 1995, 5HTP was available only by prescription, it was then approved as a supplement by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Is 5HTP Effective for Weight Loss?
Studies showed that 5HTP supplements are highly beneficial for losing weight. These supplements change brain activity and divert the focus from high-calorie food. They increase the feeling of fullness, reduce appetite and make the person eat only a limited number of calories leading to weight loss.
What Does Research say?
Research greatly favors the weight loss effects of these dietary supplements. According to a study, 20 individuals were instructed to use 5HTP or a placebo for two weeks. Results revealed that people in the 5HTP group consumed 534 fewer calories than placebo group. Researchers concluded that these dietary supplements make people fuller and allow them to eat only limited calories.
In addition, 5HTP also reduced the intake of calories from carbohydrates which helps control blood sugar levels.
In another study, supplementing 5HTP in obese or overweight people increased the feeling of fullness and speed up weight loss.
5-hydroxytryptophan may help the person achieve behavior that promotes weight loss. A study was conducted to evaluate the response of the brain to various foods and supplements.
In this study, one group of people was given 5HTP supplements and another group was instructed to use vitamin C supplements. A brain MRI scan was performed to know the response of brain and results showed that brain response was more in people with 5HTP supplements than in those who did not take these supplements.
How Do They Work?
Before taking weight loss supplements, you may be keen to know the details necessary to shedding pounds and maintaining the lost weight. Various weight loss supplements work on some common mechanisms like suppressing appetite, burning fat, and boosting metabolism. Well, 5HTP supplements increase weight loss as they suppress appetite, increase the feeling of fullness and limit the number of calories intake.
5HTp supplements have potential to reduce appetite leading to weight loss. As the person starts to lose weight, some hormones are produced which can increase hunger and lead to unsustainable weight loss for a long time. 5HTP counteracts these hunger-producing hormones and suppresses appetite.
Reduce Food Cravings
5HTP decreases the craving for unhealthy foods and helps you choose protein-rich food. A study was conducted to compare the effects of 5HTP and placebo on weight loss. One group of overweight women was given 5-HTP supplements and another group was instructed to use a placebo supplement. Results revealed that women with 5HTP supplements had decreased BMI compared to a placebo group.
Increase Feeling of Satiety
5-HTP supplements may increase the feeling of fullness and allow you to eat fewer calories leading to weight loss. It may also decrease the craving between the meals. 5HTP works by counteracting the hunger hormones and increases the feeling of fullness and helps you shed some pounds.
Several studies showed that 5HTP supplements increase feelings of fullness and promote weight loss in obese people. Animal studies also found that these dietary supplements reduce excessive food intake.
How to Take 5HTP Supplements?
There is a variety of doses for 5HTP available in the market including,25mg 50mg, and 100 mg. There is no strict recommendation for the dosage of these supplements. Some people use the dose of 100mg starting from 25 mg and gradually increase the dose to 100mg.
Several studies used the dose of 250-300 mg and results showed no reported side effects. For weight loss, it is recommended to take 250-300 mg of 5HTP supplements 30-45 minutes before taking a meal. It will increase the feeling of fullness, reduce appetite and help you lose weight.
Possible Risks or Side Effects
5-HTP supplements offer a broad spectrum of benefits to health but too much consumption can lead to some adverse effects. These side effects may include anxiety, heart problems, and some digestive problems like stomach upset, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Some people may experience a serious health condition known as eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome characterized by blood abnormalities and muscle tenderness. More research is needed to confirm either EMS is caused by contaminants or 5HTP itself.
5-hydroxytryptophan supplements may also cause some side effects like drowsiness, muscular problems, and sexual dysfunction. It is suggested to discontinue the supplements if you experience any side effects.
These dietary supplements may interact with some medications like antidepressants and should avoid these supplements if you are taking medications.
It is suggested for pregnant and breastfeeding women not to use these supplements to avoid any adverse effects.
5-HTP supplements are used as over-the-counter weight loss supplements. They may induce satiety, suppress appetite, and refrain you from snacking between meals. In addition to losing weight, 5HTP supplements also help improve serotonin levels which can promote sleep, boost mood, relieve depression, and treat fibromyalgia.
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