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5-HTP

What it is:

5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. 5-HTP is derived from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia and is commonly used as a supplement to boost serotonin levels. 


Benefits:

5-HTP increases serotonin levels, which can signal to the brain that the body is satiated. Its ability to suppress appetite and reduce food intake makes it easier to adhere to a calorie-restricted diet. Additionally, while many people tend to overeat in response to stress, anxiety or depression, 5-HTP can help mitigate these emotional eating behaviors that contribute to weight gain due to its ability to improve mood and reduce symptoms of these conditions. 


Science:

This 12 week double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trial gives us some important insight into the efficacy of 5-HTP. Over two consecutive 6-week periods, subjects receiving 5-HTP experienced notable weight loss, even without dietary restrictions, and further weight reduction when on a calorie-restricted diet. The 5-HTP group also reported reduced carbohydrate intake and early satiety, while the placebo group did not show significant weight loss. 5-HTP significantly promotes weight loss in subjects when compared to placebo.