The brain needs L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) to manufacture serotonin
L-tryptophan and 5-HTP are widely used alternative treatments of generalized anxiety. Both amino acids are essential for the manufacturing of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in the regulation of mood and anxiety. Greater research evidence supporting the use of 5-HTP for anxiety, together with smaller effective doses and increased CNS availability, generally make 5-HTP the preferred choice over L-tryptophan.
5-HTP reduces the severity of generalized anxiety
More research has been done on 5-HTP than l-tryptophan. In a double-blind study, 58 percent of generally anxious patients (79 total subjects) randomized to L-tryptophan 3 grams per day reported significantly greater reduction in baseline anxiety compared to individuals who received a placebo. Both animal studies and human clinical trials show that 5-HTP has anti-anxiety effects. There is some evidence that 5-HTP may inhibit panic attacks induced by carbon dioxide.
Uses of 5-HTP in integrative psychiatry
In the rapidly growing field of integrative psychiatry, prescription medications and natural supplements are often used in combination to improve treatment response and reduce side effects when medications are taken alone. 5-HTP is an example of a natural supplement that may be safely combined with a prescription anti-anxiety medication with little risk of adverse effects.
5-HTP is sold for research purposes only and is not be utilized for any other purposes.