A: 5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan. 5-HTP is classified as a dietary supplement; it is made from the seeds of an African plant, Griffonia simplicfolia. 5-HTP is a metabolite (a metabolic by-product) of the amino acid tryptophan, and it is converted by the body into serotonin, which acts in the brain to sooth a person's mind and comfort one from stress and worry. People are using 5-HTP for a variety of conditions, including weight loss, depression, anxiety, PMS, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and headaches. 5-hydroxytryptophan has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. One should follow the dosage recommendations on the particular packages of 5-HTP they purchase. According to one researcher, the suggested dosage range of 5-HTP is between 50 mg and 1,200 mg per day, with the usual range being 100 to 600mg. It is always a good idea to check with one
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The enzyme dopamine decarboxylase (aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) mediates the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin, and this enzyme is expressed in stomach tissue.[53] Inhibition of this enzyme in the stomach during 5-HTP ingestion is thought to promote the concentration of 5-HTP that reaches neural tissue, which is supported by a study using 100-200mg Carbidopa (pharmaceutical inhibitor) alongside 5-HTP to increase radioactivity of 5-HTP (indicative of neural accumulation) in humans.[54]

The short half-life (<2h)[16] of 5-HTP may inherently limit the therapeutic potential of 5-HTP,[17] as the systemic 5-HTP exposure levels will fluctuate substantially, even with relatively frequent dosing. Such exposure fluctuations are usually associated with increased adverse event burden, resulting from Cmax drug spikes, and decreased clinical efficacy resulting from sub-therapeutic exposure for large parts of the day. It has been proposed that 5-HTP dosage forms achieving prolonged delivery would be more effective,[17] as is generally the situation with short-acting active pharmaceutical ingredients.[18]
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