How to Take 5-HTP Properly

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5-HTP regulates serotonin which is responsible for regulating behavior, mood and appetite.
5-HTP regulates serotonin which is responsible for regulating behavior, mood and appetite. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The dietary supplement 5-Hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, is a metabolic precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin and a chemical the body creates from the amino acid tryptophan. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels within the brain. Serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, improves sleep, lessens anxiety, improves symptoms of pain from disease such as fibromyalgia and may even help people lose weight. It is important to take 5-HTP properly since too much of this chemical can cause adverse effects.

Determine the amount of 5-HTP that is proper for you. Each individual's response to 5-HTP varies. It is highly recommended that you contact your doctor to determine your appropriate dosage and to avoid any possible interactions with medications or health conditions that you may have.

Obtain a 5-HTP supplement in either 50-milligram or 100-milligram doses, depending on your individual needs. The safe dietary supplement intake can range from 50 to 400 milligrams per day. Read the directions and recommendations on the supplement before use.

Ingest orally one to two capsules of 50-milligram 5-HTP pills one to four times daily depending on your needs. Use capsules of 100-milligram 5-HTP if you require higher doses. This size dose should be taken one to three times a day at evenly spaced intervals.

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