5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. You may know tryptophan as the agent in turkey that makes you feel like taking a nap after Thanksgiving dinner (in addition to a full belly). 5-HTP is a direct precursor of the important inhibitory neurotransmitter serotonin, which is secreted in response to mood or emotion swings. Serotonin soothes and calms and brings about feelings of contentment.
Griffonia simplicifolia is an African plant which is extracted to produce 5-HTP, the intermediate metabolite between the amino acid L-tryptophan and serotonin.
Is 5-HTP safe to take? The FDA has warned that it has found batches with impurities similar to the Japanese batches of tryptophan in 1980.
5-HTP and tryptophan are not the same. 5-HTP is related to tryptophan, but is derived from a different source. The 1980 scare concerning the Japanese tryptophan was attributed to a large batch the Japanese produced that was contaminated during the fermentation and/or filtration process.
The contaminant caused affected persons to develop symptoms of EMS (eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome). 5-HTP, unlike tryptophan, is now extracted from the seed of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant and is not produced via bacterial fermentation, virtually eliminating further occurrence of EMS. Although there have been a couple of cases of EMS–like symptoms arising after 5-HTP supplementation, no direct correlations have established, and EMS can occur on its own.
Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, take 1 5-HTP Vcaps daily, preferably on an empty stomach at bedtime.
Free of: yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, milk, sugar, salt, colors, preservatives.
Other Ingredients: White Rice Powder and Cellulose (capsule).
Warnings: Please discard the inedible freshness packet enclosed. If you are currently taking antidepressant medications please consult a physician prior to use. May cause drowsiness.
Serving Size: 1 Vcap
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) (Griffonia simplicifolia) 100 mg