Studies of oxytocin also have found that it is an important chemical messenger that controls some human behaviors and social interaction. It is oxytocin that triggers the bond between a mother and an infant, and it may also play a role in recognition, sexual arousal, trust, and anxiety. Some research shows that the hormone may affect addiction and stress as well.
When we asked a group of readers to test out 5-HTP to lose weight, they ate unlimited portions of healthy food and still shed up to five pounds in a week. We also talked to women who’d been using 5-HTP long term. Heather Miars started taking 5-HTP for her mood at Dr. Bhatia’s urging. “I was finally able to go off prescription antidepressants and lose 15 pounds!” recalls the 45-year-old mom. Meanwhile, Audra Holmes tried 5-HTP after developing “mood swings so wild, I was giving people whiplash,” she jokes. On 5-HTP, she says: “I didn’t have the highs and lows. I could suddenly get through the day without naps or comfort food!” She shed 50 pounds in 16 weeks. Wish you could have the same kind of success with an easy way to lose weight? As Dr. Oz put it: “5-HTP may be your pre-meal must-have!”
Oxytocin has been shown to help people with autism improve their ability to recognize emotion, and Wallum found that the same receptor variant that increases risk for marital crisis in women is linked to social problems in girls. These include trouble getting along with others and a preference for being alone. This and Feldman’s work on oxytocin’s importance for the mother–child bond suggests that the hormone is more involved in the communication component of love between couples than the romantic component of love.
5-HTP is sometimes taken by people coming down from MDMA to relieve post-MDMA dysphoria. As 5-HTP is a necessary precursor for the brain to produce more serotonin, and MDMA use depletes a person's natural serotonin levels, it is believed that taking 5-HTP after consuming MDMA will speed up serotonin production. DanceSafe claims that the anecdotal evidence is widespread and that the theory is physiologically reasonable. Backing up this approach is research conducted by Wang, et al. in 2007, which observed that MDMA-induced depletions of 5-HT (serotonin) were restored in rats after administration 5-HTP, and suggested that this approach might be clinically useful in abstinent MDMA users.