What is 5-HTP? 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that your body naturally produces through the breaking down of another amino acid called Tryptophan. 5-HTP is the precursor chemical to serotonin (5-HT), the neurotransmitter primarily thought of being responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. How does 5-HTP work? After ingesting 5-HTP, it will get broken down via the enzyme L-amino acid decarboxylase into Serotonin. 5-HTP is very reliable in increasing the levels of serotonin in the blood. This is due to the fact that the primary purpose of 5-HTP is to get converted into serotonin and it does not get interrupted by other bodily processes. What is 5-HTP used for? Increases levels of serotonin Boosts feelings of happiness & well-being Decreases symptoms of depression Reduces anxiety Improves ability and quality of sleep Reduces appetite How to use 5-HTP? A typical dose of 5-HTP is in the range of 100-300 mg, taken either once daily or in divided doses. Lower doses may also be effective, although usually when paired with other substances. For the purpose of reducing food intake, 5-HTP should be taken with a meal as it increases satiety from food intake (rather than reducing appetite/hunger). Side effects of 5-HTP When taken at normal doses (100-300 mg) per day, there are virtually no side effects. It is not until people reach doses of 50 mg per kg of body weight that toxicity responses have been noted. However, 5-HTP should not be taken with any neurological drug that has been prescribed for antidepressant or other cognitive purposes unless cleared by a medical doctor.