5-L-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an intermediate neurotransmitter, con-verted from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan in the body and converted to 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) and N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine (mela-tonin). It is a key component in the complex chain of brain interactions that regulates our moods and sleeping patterns.
The neurotransmitter serotonin plays an important role in our affective states. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with carbohydrate cravings and weight gain, mood and sleep disorders and substance dependence. Because 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and converts to serotonin, 5-HTP has undergone much research regarding serotonin metabolism, which indicate it can play a supportive role in normal bodily functions.
After L-tryptophan was removed from the U.S. market in 1989 due to a contaminated batch, 5-HTP emerged to fill the gap. Very small amounts of 5-HTP are found in foods, including bananas, tomatoes, plums, avocados, eggplants, walnuts and pineapples. We obtain our 5-HTP from the seed of Griffonia simplicifolia, commonly used in the preparation of lectins (pharmaceutical-grade compounds used in blood typing for transfusions and bone marrow transplants). When 5-HTP is produced properly, there is no evidence that the pure substance itself can cause eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. Every lot of Allergy Research Group 5-HTP is carefully tested to ensure its purity and to guarantee the absence of contaminants.