5-HTP. Control Your Cravings. Get Better Sleep. Elevate Your Mood

Updated: 12/20/23

Being healthy is challenging, especially when cravings, poor sleep and low moods constantly get in the way of our goals. For many of us, it feels like an uphill battle to stick to healthy routines and balanced habits. However, what if I told you there is a natural supplement that could help with all three of those issues? 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is an amino acid produced by the body that acts as a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter in our brains that regulates appetite, sleep patterns and emotional stability. If low levels of serotonin are your roadblock to health and happiness, then 5-HTP may be the answer. Some promising research suggests it can help curb cravings, induce deeper sleep and lift mood. 

What is 5-HTP? 

5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid that is derived from an African plant, the Griffonia simplicifolia. More specifically, it is the compound that is an extraction from the plant’s seeds. 5-HTP is not naturally in the human body, but it is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a crucial role in regulating our moods, sleep, and appetite.

After going through absorption into the bloodstream, 5-HTP converts by our bodies into serotonin, which can then cross the blood-brain barrier. From there, it can impact our mood, behavior, and other physiological functions that rely on serotonin regulation. One of the key benefits is that it can increase serotonin levels in the brain, leading to improved mood, appetite control, and better sleep quality.

Interestingly enough, griffonia simplicifolia has been in use in traditional African medicine for centuries. The plant has been historically in use to treat a variety of conditions, including pain, fever, and infections. Today, scientists are studying 5-HTP’s potential benefits for depression, anxiety, and obesity. While these studies are still in early stages, it has already receiving recognition by many individuals as a dietary supplement that can help improve mood and reduce stress.

What is 5-HTP Made From? 

5-HTP is actually a compound that is an extraction from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant. But here’s the interesting part: 5-HTP is actually made by converting a natural sugar in the plant into 5-HTP through a specific enzyme process. This sugar is tryptophan, and it plays a crucial role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep.

While tryptophan can be found in many foods, it can be difficult for the body to convert it to 5-HTP on its own. That’s why 5-HTP supplements are becoming more popular in the natural health community. Taking a 5-HTP supplement can support the body’s own production of serotonin, leading to better mood, improved sleep, and a range of other benefits.

Benefits of 5-HTP Supplements

Supports Mood Enhancement

It is known for its ability to increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating mood and emotions. Studies show that taking 5-HTP supplements can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and promote feelings of relaxation and overall wellbeing. If you’re dealing with stress, low mood, or anxiety, 5-HTP could provide much-needed relief.

May Improve Sleep Quality

Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. Thankfully, 5-HTP can help improve sleep quality and promote restful sleep. By increasing serotonin levels in the brain, 5-HTP can regulate sleep-wake cycles and enhance feelings of relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Better sleep means better energy levels and mental clarity during the day, too!

May Reduce Appetite and Cravings

If you struggle with overeating or food cravings, 5-HTP might be able to help. Studies find that 5-HTP supplements can reduce appetite and food intake, particularly when it comes to carbohydrates. By increasing serotonin levels, which play a role in regulating appetite and satiety, 5-HTP can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce the urge to snack. This makes it a potentially useful tool for weight management and healthy eating habits.

May Receive Pain Relief

It shows to have analgesic, or pain-relieving, properties. It may be useful in reducing headaches, migraines, and muscle pain, among other types of discomfort. Some studies have even found that taking 5-HTP supplements can be as effective as some commonly prescribed pain medications, without the risk of side effects or addiction.

Improves PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, affects many women every month. Symptoms can include mood swings, bloating, and cramping. Serotonin levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, leading to increased PMS symptoms. 5-HTP can help regulate serotonin levels, reducing the severity of PMS symptoms and promoting a more comfortable menstrual cycle.

Potential Neuroprotective Properties

Finally, it has been found to have neuroprotective properties, meaning it can help protect the brain from damage and degeneration. It may be useful in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as protecting brain function overall. As we age, it’s crucial to take steps to protect our brain health, and 5-HTP could be a valuable tool in that effort.

Side Effects of 5-HTP Supplements

Gastrointestinal Issues

One of the most common side effects is gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. These side effects are more likely to occur at higher doses, and can also be a result of taking the supplement on an empty stomach. To minimize these side effects, it is a recommendation to start with a lower dose and take it with food.

Serotonin Syndrome

As mentioned, it works by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain. However, in some cases, this can lead to serotonin syndrome, which is a potentially life-threatening condition. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include agitation, muscle stiffness, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and confusion. Serotonin syndrome is more likely to occur when at higher doses or in combination with other medications that increase serotonin levels, such as certain antidepressants.

Drug Interactions

It can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, Parkinson’s disease medications, and over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. These interactions can lead to increased serotonin levels and potentially dangerous side effects. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking 5-HTP if you are taking any medications. This is to make sure there are no potential interactions.

Mood Changes

While it is in use to improve mood, some people may actually experience mood changes as a side effect. This can include increased depression or anxiety, irritability, and restlessness. It is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any significant mood changes while taking 5-HTP.


Another common side effect of 5-HTP is dizziness. Some people may feel lightheaded or unsteady on their feet after taking the supplement, which can be disorienting and even dangerous in some situations. This side effect is by the effect 5-HTP has on blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If you experience dizziness after taking 5-HTP, it is important to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery. Be mindful of engaging in any other activities that require your full attention until the symptoms subside.


While it is common in use as a sleep aid, it can also cause insomnia in some cases. This side effect is usually more common when 5-HTP is at higher doses. It can increase the level of serotonin in the brain to the point where it disrupts normal sleep patterns. If you experience insomnia after taking 5-HTP, it may be helpful to take it earlier in the day. You can also reduce your dosage until your body adjusts to the supplement.

Triggering Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome 

In rare cases, 5-HTP supplements have been associated with a potentially serious condition known as eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). EMS is a rare disorder characterizing by muscle pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. While the exact cause of EMS is not available, some cases have links to contamination of batches of 5-HTP supplements. To minimize the risk of EMS, it’s important to only purchase 5-HTP supplements from reputable and trusted sources.

Other Side Effects

In addition to the above side effects, 5-HTP may also cause drowsiness, headaches, and muscle pain. These side effects tend to be milder and less common, but it is still important to be aware of them.


Although research supports its potential to address mental health, digestive health and healthy sleep, 5-HTP supplements are not an adequate substitute for medical treatment. They do not aim to treat, cure or prevent any health condition. You should check with your doctor for approval before you take it.

The recommended serving size for 5-HTP (Griffonia Seed Extract) powder is 50 to 200 mg per day with food, or as directed by a physician.

Where to Buy 5-HTP Supplements 

You can purchase 5-HTP supplements at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.

Do you have an interest in trying 5-HTP as a dietary supplement for its potential effect on mood, sleep, pain perception, digestion, and appetite? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.



Bottom Line 

With its numerous health benefits, 5-HTP is a supplement worth considering for anyone looking to improve their mood, reduce anxiety, improve their sleep quality, or manage their appetite and food cravings. Whether you’re dealing with a specific health concern or simply looking to support your overall wellbeing, it could be a valuable addition to your wellness routine. As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting to take it, particularly if you’re already taking medication or have a medical condition. But for many people, 5-HTP offers a natural and effective way to feel better and live a happier, healthier life. 

5-HTP can offer many potential health benefits. it is important to remember that there are also some side effects to be aware of. If you experience any of the side effects mentioned in this blog, it is important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to determine whether it is right for you. Additionally, be sure to follow the recommended dosage guidelines and avoid taking 5-HTP in combination with other medications or supplements that increase serotonin levels. With proper precautions and oversight, 5-HTP can be a safe and effective supplement for improving your mood, sleep, and overall health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 


Author: BulkSupplements Staff