Serotonin Support (5-HTP) Overview: Benefits, Dosages, Side Effects, and More

Serotonin Support (5-HTP) Product Breakdown

"5-HTP is the direct precursor to serotonin, meaning our bodies use 5-HTP when producing serotonin. This makes 5-HTP supplementation a natural and holistic way to increase serotonin levels in the brain."

-Article written by Ethan Wood, CPT & Registered Nutritionist


What is 5-HTP?

Serotonin Support (5-HTP) Woodwell Supplements

5-HTP is a dietary supplement made from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia1. 

It is a chemical byproduct of the amino acids L-tryptophan2. 

5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin2.

It has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating depression or fibromyalgia12. 

Other uses not proven with research have included insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seizure disorder, and Parkinson’s disease12.


What Benefits Can I Expect?

5-HTP Benefits Woodwell Supplements

5-HTP supplements may raise levels of serotonin in the brain2.

Some studies have found that 5-HTP supplements help relieve depression234. 

In small clinical studies, 5-HTP alleviated depression better than a placebo4. 

Some research showed that 5-HTP worked as well as some antidepressants4.

Supplementing with 5-HTP may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by fatigue, widespread pain, and brain fog35. 

It has eased pain, morning stiffness, and sleep problems in some studies52.

In addition to these benefits, 5-HTP supplements may also help with panic attacks and anxiety4, appetite, cravings, and weight loss4.

Since 5-HTP is naturally present in the body, supplementing with it is a clean, holistic way to increase serotonin levels.


Are There Any Side Effects?

Common side effects of 5-HTP include nausea, heartburn, gas, feelings of fullness, stomach rumbling sensations6. 


Too much 5-HTP in your body can cause a spike in serotonin levels, resulting in side effects such as anxiety and shivering3. 

The most common side effects include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems2.

Possible severe side effects include serotonin syndrome and anaphylaxis. Anyone who experiences symptoms of these side effects should seek emergency medical attention7.

If taking medications prescribed by a doctor, always consult with them first before supplementing with 5-HTP.


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