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5-HTP Benefits and Side Effects – Real User Testimonial

A lot of people wonder if 5-HTP works for depression. I will answer this for you based on my own experience. Throughout this article, I’ll tell you exactly what it is, the 5-HTP benefits and side effects, how it helps those suffering from depression, how it is the best natural alternative to antidepressants, and what the best 5-HTP supplement is (the one I take).

Long story short, if you have come here wondering if 5-HTP actually works, then I can assure you it does. I have been taking 5-HTP daily for a while now and the only thing I regret is not learning about it earlier to treat my depression.

Below I will recommend the best 5-HTP supplement in my opinion which is the one I personally consume.


What is 5-HTP?

5-HTP or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, also known as oxitriptan (INN), is a naturally occurring amino acid in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

5-HTP is essentially a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical found throughout the body and brain. Lack of serotonin can result in feelings of depression.

5-HTP Benefits

By consuming 5-HTP, your serotonin levels will be restored to the normal levels.

5-HTP is a natural supplement or dietary supplement that has many positive effects and benefits for everyone with the main benefits of elevating your mood and emotional well-being.

What is awesome is that 5-HTP encourages an increase in serotonin levels throughout the brain just like prescribed medication does.

I am not bashing prescribed antidepressants nor have I took them before but from research and the word of mouth, they come with many side effects, can be addicting, and even take months to work, maybe longer if you can’t find the right one the first time around which is a common occurrence.



So ultimately how does 5-HTP produce serotonin? (if you are into the chemistry behind it – if not then ignore this part)

5-HTP is a natural chemical that our bodies make from tryptophan. After tryptophan is formed into 5-HTP, 5-HTP is then reformed into this natural happy chemical called serotonin that I mentioned above. It is as simple as that.

With the increase of serotonin levels throughout the central nervous system, you can expect to have feelings of well-being, mood enlightenment, and an overall positive mood.

This can then lead to feelings of motivation, dedication, and a strong work ethic allowing you to be more productive.


Best 5-HTP Supplement

  • Rated 4.5/5 Stars with over 60 customer reviews. (You will notice the reviews are overwhelmingly positive – Click on product to read reviews)
  • Promotes Emotional Well Being – 5-HTP allows for the increase of serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of brain activity responsible for mood, emotion, appetite, and sleep cycle.
  • Sleep Support – Serotonin is an important neurostransmitter involved in balancing sleep/wake cycles.
  • Appetite Support – 5-HTP has been shown to help regulate appetite and food cravings.
  • Pure Ingredients – This 5-HTP supplement is manufactured by Pure Encapsulations. Pure Encapsulations manufactures a line of hypoallergenic, researched-based dietary supplements. Their products are precisely formulated using pure ingredients designed to produce results to the benefit of all patients.
  • Free From – Pure Encapsulations products are free from wheat, gluten, peanuts, egg, hydrogenated fat, magnesium stearate, artificial sweeteners and colors, and other unnecessary excipients. Any product containing ingredients derived from allergens such as soy, dairy or shellfish is clearly labeled.

Why Do I Like This Supplement?

Simply it works for me and most people. You may hear some people say that 5-HTP does not work for them and that could be true.

Depending on the person, their depression state, and brain chemistry, some treatment options will not work for everyone.

I believe 5-HTP works for majority of patients and serves as a natural, healthy alternative opposed to prescribed antidepressants.

Give it time to work! Do not expect 5-HTP to kick in instantly because you will be disappointed. Your serotonin levels need time to be restored when consuming this supplement.

For me, I started to notice a mood improvement around a week and a half I would say. Some people, it will take longer and others shorter. Nonetheless, give it a least a couple weeks to work before you conclude it’s not for you.

Another great thing about taking this 5-HTP supplement is that for me there were no side effects.

In regards to the pricing of this supplement, it is a bit more pricy than other 5-HTP brands. However, I know I am paying for top quality that proves to work for me. So I will not switch my 5-HTP brand.

The dosage of each capsule is 100mg. That is a good amount. I started with taking 3 capsules per day for the first 2 weeks. That is what I would recommend and then drop your dosage down to 1 capsule per day. I only take 1 capsule per day now.


5-HTP Benefits

I have touched upon the benefits a little above in regards to the Pure Encapsulations supplement, but here I will go more in depth for you.

First of all, since 5-HTP is the main precursor to serotonin, I will discuss what serotonin can play a role in.

Serotonin has many important bodily and mental functions such as an essential role in sleep, memory, temperature regulation, sexual appetite or behavior, appetite, learning, endocrine regulation, cardiovascular (heart) functions, as well as muscle contraction.

You will notice that serotonin plays a role in both the physical and mental aspects of our bodies. This in turn plays a huge role in our physical and mental lives.

If you are depressed or diagnosed clinically depressed, then you may have feelings of insomnia, ongoing fear, ongoing sadness, isolation from family and friends, feelings of guilt or shame, appetite loss or overeating, loss of joy in things you once liked, anxiety, headaches, hopelessness, and the list goes on.

5-HTP Side Effects

These feelings suck. They are terrible and depression in my opinion, is the worst feeling of life. It literally feels as if you are half-empty and dead inside.

What is life without joy or happiness? You are in darkness and cannot see the light. That is not living and needs to be addressed.


What Will Happen to You When You Consume 5-HTP?

  • You can expect mood elevation and an increase in mood enlightenment. Think about what this would do for you. If you’re mood was suddenly improved and you started to experience an overall increase in your well-being, what would you do? Would you be more productive? Would you talk more or be more out-going? Would you have motivation to do better things such as exercise or eat healthy? Would you get better sleeps? Would you show more affection towards your family and friends? Would you lose your feeling of fear and isolation? Would you take the risks you were scared to take before? Would you offer a helping hand? The answer is yes you would. I did and know 100% this worked for me. This even in turn made me build this website to help those with depression and other mental illnesses.
  • You can expect an increase and overall healthy physical balance. With mood elevation, you can expect a lower level of stress on the body and mind. Your cardiovascular state will expand into a healthy state (if you do not have pretense issues with your heart). Headaches can be caused from a high level of stress, mood deprivation, and imbalance of healthy chemicals in the brain. By taking 5-HTP, you can expect a reduction of headaches. Without the headaches, you can expect to be more productive and think straighter. Since 5-HTP serves as an appetite suppressant, it can also help you lose weight as you can expect to have less feelings of hunger, over-eating, and binge-eating – actions depression often induces. However, more scientific research is needed in regards to 5-HTP and these benefits.
  • You can also expect 5-HTP to help with problems associated with fibromyalgia, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), seizure disorder, Parkinson’s disease, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).



5-HTP and Antidepressants

Clinical research has shown that taking 5-HTP by mouth reduces or eliminates symptoms of depression.

Again. I would also like to stress that 5-HTP may not work for everyone. Personally, it worked for me and majority of people.

However, there are reviews out there as you can see from Amazon, that some people felt there was no affect for whatever reason.

Several studies have found that doses of 100-300 mg daily for 2-4 weeks can improve your state and symptoms of depression.

Furthermore, some early research has shown that 5-HTP may be as beneficial as prescribed antidepressant therapy for some people.

I cannot attest if that statement is true. I have never taken prescribed medication for depression, so I can’t offer a comparison. However I do believe it is true.

5-HTP and forms of prescribed antidepressants both contain the main goal of eliminating or reducing the symptoms of depression by increasing/restoring serotonin levels to a healthy state.

I know from research, fact, and my own experiences that 5-HTP does this. Research shows that antidepressants does this as well.

However, I would again like to point out that prescribed antidepressants come with many side- effects proven through clinical and scientific research. Some side effects of antidepressant medication could be:

  • insomina
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • loss of sexual desire and other sexual related functions such as erectile dysfunction and reduced orgasm
  • fatigue and drowsiness
  • constipation
  • suicidal thoughts
  • increased appetite or weight gain
  • addiction

If 5-HTP can be classified as beneficial as antidepressant medication, then I would like to encourage you to take 5-HTP as it comes with very limited side effects.

It is natural, not synthetic, and is considered a natural supplement. You will expect to have very little side effects when taking this supplement.

Also, prescribed medication can take anywhere from weeks to months to start working. That is if you find the right fit the first go-around.

5-HTP Benefits and Side Effects

I have heard of cases where it took even longer to start to feel an increase in mood by prescribed antidepressants and some people who seemed to never find the right fit for them.

With 5-HTP, you can expect an increase in mood and emotional well-being within a week or two, possible longer. Give it at least a couple weeks.

That is how long it took for me (a week and half). Just remember to be consistent with your doses.


5-HTP Side Effects and Dosage

Of course with any medication, supplement, or vitamin there is going to be a range of possible side effects.

This is important to know as every person is different and every person may experience products differently. I cannot attest for these side effects as when I take 5-HTP, I don’t receive any.

Generally, 5-HTP is extremely safe to use when taking by the mouth, which as far as I know is the only way to appropriately use it.

5-HTP has been clinically recorded to be used efficiently and safely in doses up to 400 mg daily for up to one year. However, there have been recorded incidents where people who have taken it for a prolong amount of time have developed a condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), known as a condition that involves muscle tenderness and blood abnormalities. It is commonly believed that EMS from 5-HTP may be because of an accidental contaminant or ingredient in some of the products.

There is not enough clinical or scientific evidence to suggest that EMS is caused by 5-HTP or some other factor. Until otherwise proven, 5-HTP is considered an extremely safe product to use. Read the labels on the bottle. Every 5-HTP bottle that is sold over the counter or online has a respectful, safe dosage which ranges from the mg amount in the capsule.

Other side effects can include nausea, low libido, nightmares, and low appetite (which may be a good thing).

100-400 mg daily in up to three divided doses is considered a normal dosage. I would not worry about your dosage.

As for the 5-HTP brand I use, I used take 3 capsules a day. I would allow myself to take one during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is recommended to take with food.

Lately, I have been taking only 1 capsule per day of 100mg because of steady mood improvements.

5-HTP is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth in very large doses. It has been recorded that doses ranging from 6-10 grams daily have been connected to muscle spasms and severe stomach problems.

There is not enough information to suggest that 5-HTP for pregnant or breast-feeding women is unsafe. I would stay on the safe side and avoid use for cautionary measures.

Before surgery, I would recommend to stop taking your 5-HTP 2 weeks prior to the surgery. This is because drugs administered during surgery may affect the serotonin, thus resulting in too much of it in the brain. This can result in side effects such as heart problems, anxiety, and shivering.




Combining 5-HTP With Other Medication

Like I said before, 5-HTP increases the brain chemical of serotonin (happy chemical). Some medications administered for depression also increase the amount of serotonin throughout the brain and central nervous system.

Consuming 5-HTP with these medications might cause side-effects including heart problems, anxiety, and shivering. Do not take 5-HTP if you are taking other antidepressants. I know some people who alternate. I do not recommend this at all.

5-HTP Supplement Benefits

Some of these antidepressants include paroextine (Paxil), amitriptyline (Elavil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), imipramine (Tofranil), clomipramine (Anafranil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and phenelzine (Nardil), plus others. Again, do not take 5-HTP when using prescribed antidepressants.

I would recommend to stop usage of antidepressants if you would like to use 5-HTP. I would generally wait a couple of days after stopping usage before consuming your first 5-HTP capsule.

If you are willing to make the transition from antidepressants to 5-HTP, then slowly lower your doses of antidepressants until you feel comfortable to stop taking them.

Do not just abruptly stop taking your antidepressants and jump on 5-HTP. After you have slowly stopped to take your antidepressants, then it is safe to start consuming your 5-HTP.

I recommend this transition from prescribed antidepressants to 5-HTP because you are transitioning to an all natural, pure product that has the same benefits without side effects.


My Experience With 5-HTP

It’s been around 8 months since I have started using 5-HTP and I can for sure say that I have a definite mood improvement. I do believe I am at a positive mental state which is amazing considering how rough my lows were.

5-HTP has allowed me to gain the motivation and dedication I need to do daily tasks such as exercising, cooking, eating healthy, and school work.

I love to exercise and exercise around 3-4 times a week now. I stay away from junk food and eat healthy food groups.

Overall, I have become a lot more productive while taking 5-HTP.

Not only have I become more productive, but I want to be productive. I have the drive to do things now. I have the drive to make a difference. I want to ace that test. I want to help those in need. I want to be there for people. I want to exercise.

These are desires that I had no interest in before taking 5-HTP and taking necessary actions to combat my depression.

I would also like to suggest that it was not fully 5-HTP that allowed me to combat my depression.

To ultimately treat your depression, you are going to have to incorporate a variety of life-style changes. Do not just rely on 5-HTP.

Of course 5-HTP is a massive help in getting there. Think of 5-HTP as your mood enhancer, the chemical that gives you the happiness to actually do things.

It is ultimately your fist building block or stepping stone. Then, it is up to you to act on those things. Change your diet. Exercise. Think only about the present and how it will be positive.

Do not linger in the past. Do not care what people think. Do you and be yourself. Take the risks you wanted to take before. Help others and stay away from negative, toxic people.

Get a good night’s sleep. Fix your appetite. Connect with others. It is all very possible and depression is extremely treatable.


Other Activities To Get You Started

If you find yourself experiencing depression, then I would also like to recommend doing other things.

The four greatest things I did to combat my depression were:

I have first hand experience with this mental illness and I want you to know that I’ve been though the rough times. I have hit rock bottom before. It is okay not to be okay, but we must do something about the situation.

Start with 5-HTP. That is what I did. I honestly had no clue at first that there were natural supplements or vitamins you could take to increase serotonin levels.

I thought that the only way to access any form of serotonin uptake would be by prescribed antidepressants – a road I did not want to go down.

Remember I mentioned making life-style changes above, well that’s what you have to do. Do you eat unhealthy right now? How do you feel after consuming junk food? Change this. Change your diet. Consume your vitamins. Consume your healthy food groups.

I would also like to stress exercising. Exercise regularly. It doesn’t have to be a full hardcore workout unless you want that.

Even just going for a light jog or a walk during the day counts. Exercise lifts your spirits and releases endorphins, satisfying and rewarding chemicals in your brain. Your brain and body will feel much more energized and satisfied by exercising.

This will also give you motivation and dedication to complete your daily tasks.

On a final note, I would like to stress that depression is extremely treatbale if you allow it to be. Again, there is no set cause or not set cure for depression. This disease works in weird and wondrous ways and affects everyone differently varying from factor to factor.

Nonetheless, we can all take steps to reduce the symptoms of depression and try to eliminate the disease completely.

Start with 5-HTP. You cannot go wrong by just giving it a try. I fully attest to its benefits and my only regret is that I wish I jumped on it earlier.


If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to connect, leave me a comment below.

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Robert Sherwood

64 Comments

  1. Amazing information…..do you know if this product is available in the uk as lots of us products are not sold in uk as they are prohibited here?

    • Yes, 5-HTP is sold in the UK over the counter or online. I am not sure about this specific brand, but I know for sure there are plenty of 5-HTP products with differing brands being sold in the UK.

  2. Hi Rob, great and informative article. I would add that if someone is experiencing depression to visit their health care provider and get a physical first. The reason is to make sure the depression is not “biological” or medical issues. Brain tumors and other issues can play or alter one’s mood as they may play with your hormonal balance.

    I love this, ” Then, it is up to you to act on those things. Change your diet. Exercise. Think only about the present and how it will be positive. Do not linger in the past. Do not care what people think. Do you and be yourself. Take the risks you wanted to take before. Help others and stay away from negative, toxic people. Get a good night’s sleep. Fix your appetite. Connect with others. It is all very possible and depression is extremely curable.”

    5-HTP really sounds promising! Anyone who has eaten Turkey can probably attest to the calming affect of the tryptophan. After a Thanksgiving meal where Turkey is served you want to take a nap because of the relaxed feeling you experience. Great article!

    All the best to you,
    Don

    • Hi Don, thanks for reaching out! I agree with you on your first point. Depression can stem from many causes and there is definitely no set cause nor a set cure. I have an article on my site relating to the symptoms as well as the causes of depression (biology, genetics, hormones, brain chemistry, environment etc). I’ll include the link at the bottom of this comment.

      Turkey does have a big calming effect. No wonder we all feel so delighted and yes, fatigued after a big Thanksgiving meal. Lots of tryptophan. Thank you for your compliment Don!

  3. 5-HTP seems really beneficial and these days I try improving my sleep quality, I think I will give it a shot. However, I do intermittent fasting and what would be the best time to take it?

    • 5-HTP is really beneficial for numerous reasons as explained in my article. You can’t go wrong with it. Intermittent fasting will not affect your 5-HTP consumption at all actually. Take it whenever you desire. I personally like to take all my supplements and vitamins while I eat a meal for efficient and cumulative intake of nutrients, however that is just me. If you want to take it without a meal, then that is completely fine. Cheers.

  4. What a brilliant cover on 5 HTP. This is so detailed and really puts all the pros and cons in perspective for me.
    I’ve used 5 HTP on and off for a few years and also was battling years of mental illness. I’m glad to say that I’m cured after years of battling and 5 HTP was one of the tools I used.
    Now I use 5 HTP leading up to any stressful events and I find it helps (normally about 7 days before the event). I can say its not a wonder supplement but effective if used correctly.

    • Thanks for sharing Vince! I totally agree with you. It is extremely useful if used correctly. Everything that i have read from people on 5HTP is that it helped them a lot!

  5. Glad to see someone bringing light to this HIGHLY important topic. I’m all for helping people as well, so I’ve gone and shared this page to all my social medias. I had no idea what 5-HTP was before reading this article, so I’ve learned a lot about it already. I’ll be back to read more of your great content. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks a lot Brandon! You are right! Mental illness is real and we all need to start realizing it more! 5HTP really does work and brings out the better and positive you!

  6. Hi Rob,
    Depression is a very real subject matter and I’m glad to see there are products out there that can help prevent this, As 2 of my idols, Robin Williams and Chester Bennington, both have taken their lives due to this ‘illness’. It’s very sad. Thanks for the great article on this product that could save lives! Cheers,
    Darren D.

  7. Hi Rob! Your post has given me much to think about. I was on several anti-depressants over the years but after the honeymoon period I just went back to feeling unsatisfied with life. I had a number of health concerns at the time, one of them being stomach problems from over-use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
    I now believe that many of my mental health problems developed as a result of having stomach issues.
    This past winter I decided to stop all prescription drugs. I was having sleep issues and went to the health food store to find something with 5-HTP, as I had read that it could help. I read about a product that was recommended by Dr. William Davis (“Wheat Belly” author) that would aid in sleep and was affordable; it also contained melatonin. It worked great! And I noticed that my mood was improving daily. At first I thought it was just because I was getting good sleep without Lorazepam, but after more research I realized that it was the 5-HTP that helping my mood. Thanks to the better sleep, I was able to really target the food that were aggravating my gut and eliminate them, and I feel like I am finally getting past all of this stuff.
    I am sure that anti-depressants help a few people, but right now it is a cash grab by big pharma. I know so many people who have quit those drugs and say that they are never going back, and I agree. I think they are garbage that makes life worse.
    Sorry for rambling! Thank you for this post 🙂

    • Thanks Irma for sharing your story! Yup 5HTP can do the trick! Like I said in my article there are no side effects and they really do increase your mood. I agree with the anti-depressants. They can work for some people but for most people, I have read more that it has not helped and that natural supplements are better! My pleasure for the post!

  8. Great information! I have never heard about 5-HTP and had lived my life without much of being depressed, but recently I had a lot of challenges that wear off my energy, and I keep thinking negative thoughts. I easily get nervous and anxious by nature, so my current situation is really stressing me out. I feel it is time to get something, but did not want to have medication because of the danger of side effect.

    This item looks really great. I would like to take a look at it. Is it something I need to take it for the rest of my life, or just a temporary serotonin booster?

    Thank you for your great information. Timing cannot be better!

    • Hi there, I actually never heard of 5-HTP either until I stumbled upon it, then gave it a try, and now I love it. It would definitely work in your situation where you find negative thoughts/impulses coming at you. I agree with you. 5-HTP is a natural supplement and comes with very limited side effects if not any. It is extremely safe to use. I use it everyday and have noticed only positives. 5-HTP is mostly temporary. However, you can use it in moderation for the rest of your life, but definitely if that is your plan, use it in moderation. Definitely lower your doses every couple months. However, I do believe it is not necessary to use it for the rest of your life for anyone. 5-HTP boosts your serotonin, and then it is up to you to act on this mood elevation. Change your life-style and do other things that make you elevated. The two will work together until you find yourself in a comfortable atmosphere where you can stop taking 5-HTP and continue with your healthy, daily activities. Any other questions, let me know!

        • I personally recommend 100 mg. That is what I take and I find it to be a very efficient and moderate dosage. I take 3 a day (one during breakfast, lunch, and dinner) so my total adds up to 300mg per day. If you ever think that is too much, then you can always cut back on your dosage to 1 or 2 capsules a day. Overall, it is a very efficient product and definitely let me know what you think if you try it!

  9. The thing with depression is it can really grab you by the throat. Before you know the things you used to enjoy doing mean nothing. Your whole outlook on life can/will change for the worst and it totally sucks.

    I battled depression for the better part of 7-years after exiting the Army. At first, i isolated myself. Shortly after i reach for drugs and alcohol just to feel anything.

    I eventually spiraled out of control and had a suicide attempt. That was my rock bottom. The first thing my VA doctors wanted to do was put me on a list of medications most of them being anti-depressants and before you know it i was a walking talking chemistry set.

    The list of side-effects was seemingly endless and upon further examination by another doctor i was asked “how are you able to function?” I guess getting up in the morning and being zombed out classifies as functioning.

    I told my doctors i had enough i can’t take all this meds. I was having to take a liver support in order to keep it from failing due to the amount of meds they fed me.

    I really like 5-HTTP because i have had ZERO side effects. I won’t say that it saved my life by itself becasue i had to do other things as well. I introduced yoga, working out at the gym, a change in my diet, and hiking.

    I didn’t do them all at once but i introduced them one at a time and after a year and half i rebuilt myself from the ground up.

    Easily one of the hardest things i’ve ever had to do. Learn to love myself and treat myself with respect.

    For those who are dealing with depression my advice for you is this…….

    Life is truly an amazing things that we can take advantage of at some point in our life. Life can be hard and at times we can feel backed into a corner.

    But, its all in our heads. We are choosing to focus on ONLY the negatives in our life. We constantly feed our minds evil self-defeating thoughts and with that there is no winning.

    Give yourself a hug. Tell yourself that you love you. Tell yourself that things are going to get better. Tell yourself that you are worth your weight in gold. Be your own number one fan. Tell yourself that soon you will be where you want in life.

    The past is long gone and you cannot dwell on it. The only things you can change are your present and by doing so you are ensuring that your future will be bright and full of love and happiness.

    If you think my advice is silly so be it…. But, how much good is your current way of thinking doing you?

    Man/woman becomes that which we think about the most
    -The Law of Attraction-

    Thanks for the excellent read i’m all for all-natural methods of treatment.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Justin! I agree with you completely! You are completely right on the negative thoughts! Self esteem is key. You quoted “tell yourself that soon you will be where you want in life.” That is perfect positive thoughts that the mind and body need! I appreciate you telling us your story!

  10. What a great article and information that is really needed. As a therapist I have so many clients battling with depression and/or anxiety that want to know whether or not medication is the answer. I am always a little conservative and believe until we have tried the natural approaches which include a healthy diet, exercise, spiritual practices like meditation or Qigong along with natural supplementation like you have talked about in this article that medication should be a last resort. The side effects from psychopharmaceuticals is just frightening, why not try other methods that will likely include every aspect of your health first. Thanks for the information and sharing your own experience.

    • Thank you Maryjane. I completely agree with you. I definitely think we should all give natural remedies a try before jumping on medication. If then and only then, those who are struggling find themselves unable to feel better or a little elevated, then talk to your doctor/therapist/psychiatrist and see if medication is the way to go.

      I love how you say why not try other methods that will likely include every aspect of your health first! That is so true. Natural remedies offer so much more than just a cure for depression or another mental illness. Exercise, eating healthy, supplementation, mediation, yoga etc. are all extremely healthy for the mind, soul, and body! It seems to me you would get much more out of this then on prescribed meditation.

      Thank you for reaching out!

  11. This is such a great alternative to your typical prescribed medications. I’ve never heard of it until now. It’s so sad how wide-spread depression really is, and how little people know of natural supplements such as this one. This will really benefit so many people, as I can already tell from the comments! So wonderful of you to share this, cheers!

    • I agree with you Courtney. It is a great NATURAL alternative! I actually never heard of it until along time after it was sold. I am so glad I found out about it. Depression is very wide-spread and the numbers are constantly increasing. I feel as if prescribed medication is almost a money grab. That industry makes so much money and I can’t seem to wrap my head around the side-effects. I have heard terrible stories of people with their side-effects. They of course work in the long run once you find the right fit which could take months but then I feel as if it would be so hard to get off them. Just my thoughts. Thank you for reaching out and thank you for your compliment.

      I definitely wish more people knew about this awesome natural supplement. It truly is great!

  12. Rob, such a wonderful article on 5-HTP! I work in the medical field and we treat so many people that suffer from depression, I have also had a few friends who suffered from it. It is sometimes very hard for people to talk about and can spiral down before friends and family may even notice. The benefits are fantastic and the fact that 5-HTP is all natural is even better! Thank you for being so clear about ALL the ways you can fight depression, so people don’t think that taking a vitamin will cure all their depression. You are very realistic and having battling depression yourself, it is nice to hear from an actual “patient”. We tend to push meds and just put a band-aid on mental health, I hope more people discover the benefits of 5-HTP, it sounds like a great option for people, give them hope. thank you for your insightful and uplifting post, Kris:)

    • Thank you Kris. Yes, I agree with you, depression can sometimes be extremely difficult for those to talk about let alone even admit. 5-HTP is an all natural product and is extremely beneficial for these depression patients. I am extremely grateful I jumped on it to help my own. Sometimes doctors/therapists are too quick to recommend medication before giving natural alternative methods a try. Thank you for reaching out and you are most welcome!

  13. Great info. I don’t suffer from depression but do in fact suffer from anxiety. The way this product is described leads me to believe that it could be useful in the treatment of anxiety also. Would that be a fair assumption?
    For some time my anxiety was being treated with depression medication by doctors but it didn’t seem to work at all. In some cases, it even seemed to make it worse. In your article, you explain that anxiety can be a side effect of depression medication which I never considered until now.

    • That is a very fair assumption Jean. 5-HTP helps regulate serotonin levels giving the brain chemistry a healthy balance, thereby regulating other mental illnesses such as anxiety. However, there are some natural supplements/vitamins that are better for anxiety as they focus more on the central nervous system and calming it. GABA is a really good natural supplement for anxiety. If you were on antidepressants for your anxiety, then side effects could have definitely been the reason you were experiencing heightened anxiety levels. I strongly recommend GABA for anxiety. I take that for mine and it really helps. Here is the link to my article on the best natural supplements for depression and I do have GABA on that list for anxiety where you can take a look. https://combatyourdepression.com/best-supplements-for-depression

  14. Thank you for sharing this great review. You gave me so much information and details about 5-HTP. And thank you also for linking to Amazon it’s indeed the best place to buy it.

    Thanks again

    • You are most welcome and I am so glad I could help. Amazon is very efficient and the cheapest place to buy!

  15. Thanks for the comprehensive review! Your suggestions are top notch. Depression affects so many people, it’s great to have this kind of information available!

    • You are most welcome. Thank you for reaching out. Depression can affect anyone. Anyone can be a victim. I am so glad I can lend a helping hand to those suffering. We can all spread awareness together.

  16. Thanks for this informative post. I’m wondering why not more psychiatrists prescribe this instead of the usual meds. Do they end up prescribing this after a patient tries many medications but can’t find the right one for them? Any thoughts on this?

    • Hi there, thank you for reaching out Vanessa. I believe some doctors/psychiatrists won’t recommend this product because the antidepressants make huge dollars. That is a huge industry and antidepressants are expensive for those who do not have coverage. It’s profit and revenue. I am not saying they don’t work, but I feel as if this is the go to for some doctors/psychiatrists. Maybe some of them also believe this is the only resort. Mental illness is still a controversial subject. However, some doctors/psychiatrists will actually recommend 5-HTP and I have heard plenty of stories where they will actually recommend 5-HTP first instead of antidepressants, which is they way I think it should always be. No, I don’t think they will recommend this after antidepressants don’t work. I think once you start with antidepressants, it’s pretty much a trial and error until you find the right one – which is what I can see doctors doing. 5-HTP should always be recommended first!

  17. Very Interesting. I know of a lot of people that take antidepressants and they probably have no idea about 5-HTP. I am going to pass this information on. Thanks

  18. Great post. I have experienced bad times, i’m sure everyone has. But I do agree that the seriousness of it all can really creep up on you.

    • Yes, that is the scary part Kevin. It can get bad quickly and that is why a healthy diet is important.

  19. Great stuff!! I personally never heard of htp-5 until now. Did maca root for awhile..loved that stuff.

    I was surprised that you did not mention meditation or mindfulness as a treatment as I know that can help,too I would suppose that is not for everyone also.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • 5-HTP is truly awesome! Meditation and mindfulness are also excellent techniques to help beat depression. I actually have several articles that touches on both. Thank you for reaching out.

  20. Excellent post about 5 htp which I also recommend for my clients too. Very brave to share your story. Sharing our experience’s helps people understand they are not alone. Getting outside and exercise are also very important as your mention.

    • Thanks Helen, and yes it makes everyone more aware that mental illness is a common thing and we all need to be aware. Exercise and and getting outside and enjoying the outdoors are key. Glad I could help.

  21. While reading through I couldn’t help to see myself reflected as a mirror in what you describe here, I thing we all have been through that dark ally of depression, in my case it was only time who could help me, but there was no internet back then, nor would I begin to consider anything else.

    Another thing that came to mind was Anandamide, some call it the bliss molecule, so this is the endogenous cannabinoid made by the body that the cannabinoid thc or delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol is analogue, by using the anandamide receptors in the central and periphery nervous system, but its upbeat effect or psycoactivity should be dose and balanced with cannabidiol in order to have a pleasurable experience, which varies from one person to the other, so it’s no easy to find what you need, and if you feel like taking that path I would suggest to take one or two hits with a vaporizer, so you can gage the effects in a safe manner.

    • Hi Thomas, I can totally understand where you are coming from. Depression is a real disease and it hurts in any way possible. Sometimes help seems like such a long stretch away.

      Thank you so much for that recommendation, I will have to look more into it. It does seem interesting and promising once you get the right fit.

  22. What great information. I have been on medication for about 10 years and I would really like to get off it. I read your article twice and I will definitly try it. Thanks

    • So glad I could help Bill. 5-HTP is truly an excellent natural supplement to combat depression. Thank you for reaching out.

  23. Rob,
    Lots of good information on 5-HTP. I think I will try your diet and other ideas first as I have a hard time taking medicine of any kind on a routine basis.
    Working from home leads to some anxiety by not seeing or talking to a lot of people every day.
    Do you have some suggestions for people working from a remote location that does not have any other foot traffic daily.
    John

    • Hi John, good to hear! Yes, I agree, working from home can bring a sense of independence that makes it sometimes hard to get out there and socialize and what not.

      As for some suggestions, yes of course. If you work home strictly from a remote location and you find it hard to get out and about, then I would advise to just take small steps. Get out and about if this means grocery shopping or going for a run. You will feel better this way and then you might feel like you are an active member of society with that satisfaction. Then after this, you can take bigger steps like going out for dinner with friends or family. It is that simple. Just be you and don’t worry about making traffic, let the traffic come to you!

  24. Hi Rob!

    I’ve been a little concerned about ordering the 5-htp. Thanks for writing this complex review! I’ve read that you mentioned that 5-htp was among the things that helped to improve your life in the past 3 months along with other things. How sure are you that what you experience is not a placebo effect? How you tried to reduce or increase the dosage and see if it would affect your mood?

    • Hi Andrei, thanks for reaching out. I am sure it’s not a placebo effect. I think that would be impossible considering depression is difficult to overcome and so a placebo effect to cure depression would seem very rare. Also, 5-HTP does increase serotonin levels in the brain, therefore allowing for mood elevation and an overall emotional well-being so it’s hard to have any placebo effect in this situation. I am consistent with my dosage. I haven’t experienced with my dosage because I don’t feel the need to as 5-HTP is working great for me. Any other questions, let me know!

  25. Hi Rob,
    Great post as usual. This stuff sounds really good. I had never heard of 5-HTP before and if it raises the serotonin levels in the brain that would really help anyone with depression, raising their mood.
    I love your posts as you cover everything. As someone who has had a fair bit of down time with depression I really appreciate your insights. It is a real black dog and some people see no way out and that is really hard. Having more natural and holistic ways to deal with it I think is going to make a big difference to those with it.

    Thanks again. Kev

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for reaching out. 5-HTP is really an outstanding natural supplement that allows mood elevation, an increase in overall well-being, and increase in brain power. I agree Kevin, incorporating natural remedies to combat depression and other mental illnesses is the way to go.

  26. Thanks for the detailed information about 5-HTP. I know someone for whom antidepressants all seem to have horrible side effects. he should really try this alternative..it sounds much safer and potentially just as effective!

    • You’re very welcome. 5-HTP is a very effective alternative treatment for depression. The best part about it is that it is natural. There are no side effects. I strongly recommend your friend gives this a try.

  27. This is great information on how to combat your depression! I had never heard of 5-htp. I’m glad that I stumbled across your page. I’ll definitely recommend it to my friends. Are there other methods that you use to combat depression in addition to 5-htp?

    • 5-HTP is a very efficient natural supplement for depression. It helps to stabilize and elevate the mood by increasing the levels of serotonin (happy chemical) in the brain. I strongly recommend this product. It works for me and I have noticed only positives. There are no side effects. Yes, there are plenty of methods to combat depression naturally. Some important and worthwhile methods are exercising, eating healthy, and opening up about depression. I have articles of these topics on my site.

  28. Hi Rob,
    Your site is very impressive with a lot of information and very easy to read.
    I have seen much of the effects, and side effects, of medication for depression and anxiety and not very positive to that solution.
    Frankly I have not found medication to be a solution other than to hide the problems.
    When I see words including “anti”and “block” am become quite “anti” myself. The only real solution to any kind of health problems should be “pro” and the only way to really heal you is to bring your body back to the level it was before all our environmental problems made it unbalanced.
    What is needed is to get your body cells back to being capable of healing your body on its own. So, having lived for a long time, my conclusion is that what we need is “education” not “medication”.
    But that is just my experience.
    I, and many doctors I have had discussions with, have seen that very often, something that looks like a physical problem actually is a mental one, and mental problems you cannot heal by medication.
    One case was a man who had all the signs of having had a stroke, all the usual symptoms were there. When he had gone through all the necessary tests there was no physical evidence of a stroke. After one week of treatment by a doctor specializing in hypnotherapy he was back to normal again.
    He just had to get his subconscious mind set straight, so “education” not “medication” brought him back from a seriously looking state.
    Of, course, medication can hide a medical problem for some time but what is needed is to heal the under-laying, real issue, of a problem.
    Anyway, this is only my take on it.
    You may help many with your information on this site to feel better.
    Thank you and all the best.
    Leif

  29. This is very interesting and helpful. What I like most about it is the fact it is a dietary supplement. I also like that if assists with sleeping cycles. A lack of sleep is definitely a problem with a lot of people that suffer from depression.

    I am wondering though how bad some of those side effects are, especially anxiety. I will definitely do more research as this is very helpful.

    • Yes, insomnia and lack of sleep in general is a huge symptom of depression. Side effects to 5-HTP are not bad. Not nearly as close as prescribed antidepressants. I actually didn’t have any side effects, but everyone is different.

  30. Would you say this is recommended for someone with just small amounts of depression or is geared to help more severe depression such as ptsd?
    I would be thankful for your opinion to that question since your someone who has taken and first handedly experienced 5-htp.

    • Anyone can take 5-HTP actually. If you suffer from persistent depressive disorder, major depressive disorder, situational depression, SAD, and all other types, 5-HTP is recommended. In fact, you don’t even have to have depression to take 5-HTP. It’s a dietary supplement that is healthy and natural.

  31. This was very interesting. I wish more doctors would recommend this to patients instead of just handing out antidepressants.

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