There is one glaring problem, however: the supplements come with a disclaimer that recommends not taking them for more than three months. Most of the information out there on 5-HTP is anecdotal, and most of them are stories of it helping people, rather than hard facts about its scientific properties. I approached neurologists, psychologists and experimental doctors about 5-HTP, and many responses were strange. Not many people were willing to speak about it, saying they weren't qualified or hadn't read the relevant material, but there isn't much material to speak of. The main source of legitimate scientific evidence came from the University of Maryland Medical Center website, who stated that 5-HTP may work as well as certain antidepressant drugs to treat people with mild-to-moderate depression. But all the studies that support that statement were done in the 1980s and 1990s. I wanted to know if 5-HTP was a realistic alternative to SSRIs. Could I stay on 5-HTP forever, basking in its natural glory?
This article is authored by a PhD Candidate and her supervisory team at University of Queensland, and reflects the interests of the student’s doctoral project in undertaking the nation’s first qualitative study into experiences of Melanotan use among the general population. Dubbed ‘Project Melanotan’, the investigation aims to directly engage with ‘melanotanners’ in a non-judgemental environment, in an effort to both critically evaluate as well as understand lived experiences of melanotaning as they relate to conceptually relevant notions of risk, technology and the body.
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.