5-HTP is an amino acid that your body uses to create serotonin. As you may know, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects all sorts of functions in the body, such as:
- Regulating mood
If you’re low on serotonin, you may experience depression, weight gain, and sleep loss. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain healthy levels of serotonin to keep your body in balance. Since 5-HTP is essential to produce serotonin, you need healthy levels of it as well.
Of course, you should always consult with your doctor before beginning any supplement. That’s especially true if you’re currently on any medications. Make sure that you get the green light from your doctor to go ahead with taking the supplements.
If you’re diagnosed with low serotonin, your doctor may recommend 5-HTP for treatment. You can find 5-HTP capsules at many pharmacies, grocery stores, and supplement stores. There are also lots of online stores that sell high-quality 5-HTP pills.
If you decide to try out 5-HTP capsules, then there’s a lot that you need to know about the dosage. You see, there’s a distinct dosage level involved in treating each condition. There’s a 5-HTP dosage for depression and a far different amount of 5-HTP for weight loss. Let’s take a look at the dosages of 5-HTP to find the sweet spot for treating depression, weight loss, and insomnia.
5-HTP Dosages Explained
Finding the proper dosage for you will make a big difference when taking 5-HTP. That’s because the recommended dosages vary so wildly for treating different conditions. As a precursor to serotonin, 5-HTP will help to boost your serotonin levels when taking it.
It comes down to the amount of serotonin that your body needs for you to feel an impact. As with any supplement, you should start small and then slowly increase your dosage. 50 mg is a great starting point, and it’s the most common strength for capsules.
If you don’t witness any positive effects from 50mg, then you should increase your dosage. Try taking 75mg or 100mg after that and see if you feel any different.
5-HTP For Children
5-HTP can also be effective for children. One study found that 5-HTP is effective in reducing night terrors for children. That’s because it’s able to regulate the arousal level of children before bed. This regulation led to a long-term improvement of night terrors in several subjects.
A child’s dose should be far lower than an adult dose. If your doctor clears your child to start taking 5-HTP, they should start with a dose of around 5mg or even lower. If they aren’t showing any improvement or adverse side effects, you can increase the dosage. If you’re going to use 5-HTP for your children, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
Choosing the Right 5-HTP Dosage For Sleep
If you’re sick of tossing and turning every night for hours, 5-HTP may help you find some relief. Serotonin plays a massive role in regulating sleep, and you can’t get any without 5-HTP. Over the years, 5-HTP has become famous as a natural sleep aid. There are many reasons for this, so let’s take a look at each.
- As you age, 5-HTP levels go down. In fact, this may even be the cause of your insomnia. If you’ve slept like a baby all your life but suddenly can’t sleep a wink, you may have depleted your 5-HTP levels. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement can help you restore healthy levels of serotonin so you can rest.
- 5-HTP promotes a sense of relaxation in the body. It’s thought that this is due to the elevated levels of serotonin. Certain studies have indicated that subjects found relief from anxious thoughts. As you can imagine, feeling less anxious and more relaxed at night can help you fall asleep better.
- 5-HTP indirectly helps produce melatonin. You see, whenever your body is in a dark environment, serotonin becomes melatonin. This neurotransmitter is what makes you feel sleepy at night time. If you’re low on serotonin, you’ll also be low on melatonin. As a result, taking 5-HTP will boost your melatonin production.
- 5-HTP will help regulate your body clock. Melatonin is in charge of handling your body’s day/night cycle. If you don’t have adequate serotonin and melatonin, your body’s internal clock will be off. Supplementing 5-HTP can help you naturally feel tired at the correct times.
So if you want to take 5-HTP for sleep, what dose should you take? To be safe, you should start with 50mg. If you still have trouble sleeping after a week or two, increase your dosage as needed. Here’s a guide to help you out:
- Starter dose: 50mg
- Intermediate: 75mg – 100mg
- Heavy dose: 150mg – 300mg
As you can see, it can take a bit of trial and error to find the proper dosage level for you. Doses up to 500mg have been safely studied in humans. It’s essential to listen to the needs of your body when increasing dosage. Try to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I seeing any improvement in my sleep?
- Did I see any positive results from increasing my dose?
- Do I feel like I still need help sleeping at night?
As long as you continue to ask yourself those questions and stay within safe dosage levels, you’ll be fine.
Finding the Right 5-HTP Dosage for Depression
Are you often lethargic or uninspired? Can you not find enjoyment in the things that you used to love? Then you’re showing signs of depression, a mood disorder that can affect all areas of your life. While the exact cause of depression is still a cause of speculation, serotonin plays a part. That’s because serotonin helps to regulate your mood.
There have been many scientific studies that show the effectiveness of treating depression with 5-HTP. Serotonin is often a key ingredient in many antidepressants. As a result, 5-HTP is a natural antidepressant that can help you find relief.
Studies have also shown that a 5-HTP dosage for depression can elicit a sense of relaxation. This relaxing feeling can help you get rid of unwanted thoughts.
Lack of sleep can also contribute to depression. If you haven’t been sleeping well and feel depressed, 5-HTP can be just what you need. You should try out 5-HTP if you feel the following symptoms:
- Lack of motivation or lethargicness
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Lack of sleep
- Spiraling negative thoughts
- A constant feeling of unhappiness
If you experience any of the above, first consult with your doctor. If they determine that you have clinical depression, 5-HTP supplements can be a great start. Ask your doctor if they think the supplements are right for you.
Dosage-wise, it will vary from patient to patient. Try starting with the recommended dose of 50mg, and then increase it from there. Dosages up to 500mg have been declared safe by the scientific community. If you see positive results from taking 5-HTP, then continue taking it as an antidepressant.
Finding a 5-HTP Dosage For Anxiety
Studies have also shown that 5-HTP can treat anxiety in patients. Anxiousness differs from depression in a few ways. Those that have anxiety are often worried more than depressed. They envision things going wrong regularly. They may also experience panic attacks that can cause all sorts of problems. If you suffer from anxiety, you should know that 5-HTP for anxiety can help.
One study showed that 5-HTP could drastically reduce panic attacks. Subjects also reported relief from emotional stress and lack of sleep. You see, anxiety can cause insomnia due to spiraling thoughts and worrying all the time. 5-HTP can help you relax and clear your mind so that you can sleep and go about your day without worrying.
Talk to your doctor about taking 5-HTP for anxiety if you see the following symptoms:
- Panic attacks
- Constant worrying
- A general feeling of uneasiness
- Trouble sleeping due to worrying
As with depression, the dosage will vary. It would be best if you continued to increase your dosage until you feel an improvement in your anxiety. Do not exceed dosages of 500mg to stay safe!
Selecting a 5-HTP Dosage For Weight Loss
Finally, we have 5-HTP as an option for treating obesity and losing weight. There’s a unique reason for this. Elevated levels of serotonin have been shown to decrease the appetite in patients. If you keep your serotonin levels very high, you won’t want to eat as much, and you’ll feel full on less food.
Because of this, 5-HTP has become a weight loss supplement. You can use it to stop overeating and thus lose weight and fight obesity.
Can you not stop snacking on carbs? Do you love chips too much to stop? Then don’t worry, there’s still hope for you! One study has shown that high levels of serotonin are great for fighting carb cravings. That way, you can finally stop gaining weight from excessive carb snacking.
Here’s what makes 5-HTP for weight loss different, the dosage. You see, for 5-HTP to work for curbing your appetite, you need very high serotonin levels. That means you should take a dose in the range of 600mg to 900mg to make an impact. These are incredibly high doses, so make sure that you check with your doctor first.
As we’ve mentioned in this article, please seek professional advice before starting 5-HTP. You should always consult with your doctor or medical professional before taking any new supplement. Introducing new things to your body can have potential dangers, so make sure you visit a doctor before trying anything out!