As a naturally occurring amino acid, 5-hydroxytryptophan is similar to serotonin and has become a popular ingredient in herbal supplements. The substance supposedly helps with several conditions (such as depression and possibly weight loss) because it increases the levels of serotonin in the body. However, more research is needed to conclude that it is safe and effective for these uses. Possible side effects may include gas, nausea, and diarrhea.

What Is 5-Hydroxytryptophan?

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring amino acid that is closely related to serotonin, an important chemical found in the brain and other parts of the body. It has become a popular ingredient in herbal supplements and is often claimed to help with the following conditions:
It is also frequently used in weight loss supplements.
(Click What Is 5-Hydroxytryptophan Used For? for more information on what the supplement is used for.)

Side Effects

A few side effects have been reported with 5-hydroxytryptophan, including:
(Click Side Effects of 5-Hydroxytryptophan to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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