5-HTP

What is Griffonia Seed Extract and What Are Its Benefits?&h=140&w=140&zc=1

What is Griffonia Seed Extract and What Are Its Benefits?

Added October 19, 2014 in 5-HTP

Griffonia seed extract is a natural supplement which is extracted from the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. This plant is native to West and Central Africa, which yields green flowers and seed pods. It is the seeds that contains the compound 5-HTP, which is of interest to the nootropic community.

Since 5-HTP is important for the production of serotonin, Griffonia seed extract has been researched for its nootropic abilities. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that control mood, appetite, and sleep. When serotonin is increased, feelings of anxiety and depression decrease.

Since this supplement is natural and herbally sourced, it’s the most popular form of 5-HTP supplement sold. It is said to be highly safe, while providing multiple benefits.

History of Griffonia Simplicifolia

As mentioned, this plant is native to Africa. It typically grows about ten feet tall, producing small seeds. These seeds are then harvested for their 5-HTP content. Within these seeds, 5-HTP exists in a pure state, being a natural intermediary for processing tryptophan into the neurotransmitter serotonin.

These seeds are traditionally ground into a powder. They are also consumed in tea, for medicinal purposes. When consumed, the user experiences enhanced mood. Due to these effects, it has been used in folk medicine for a number of years, targeting a variety of light ailments.

It was only recently that the discovery was made regarding 5-HTP. Today, these seeds are exported for this purpose, as many are now taking this supplement to boost their mood naturally. Due to very little negative effects, it is a prefered choice over antidepressants by many users.

griffonia_seedsHow Does Griffonia Seed Extract Work?

Serotonin is made from tryptophan, which is found within our diet (or often supplemented). Although this is true in theory, individuals who suffer from mood disorders and anxiety tend to have low levels of serotonin.

Supplementing with tryptophan has been found to be effective. However, it is even more effective to supplement with 5-HTP. This is because 5-HTP is converted into serotonin at a faster rate. Since Griffonia is one of the few natural sources of 5-HTP, it has become increasingly popular.

Once Griffonia is taken, it’s broken down within the liver. 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is then released into the blood stream, making its way to the blood-brain barrier. Once it crosses this barrier, it’s able to target the brain, being converted into serotonin and binds to receptors.

The effects of Griffonia are experienced, due to an increase in serotonin. Although dopamine is often increased through nootropic supplements, Griffonia actually has the opposite effect. When dopamine levels drop, the benefits of increased serotonin are experienced further. Feelings of pleasure and contentment increase, creating various benefits for your mental state.

Griffonia’s Role in Dopamine Levels

As mentioned, this supplement effects dopamine levels. Instead of increasing them like many nootropics, Griffonia controls dopamine levels that are over-abundant. Although medications like Adderall target dopamine levels, causing an increase, this does not work harmoniously with a calm mood. Since 5-HTP takes a more natural, softer approach, one’s cognition is soothed and calmed.

Benefits of Griffonia

When users take Griffonia on a dose-dependent basis, levels of anxiety are decreased. Due to its effects on serotonin, this supplement produces feelings of relaxation, confidence, and an increased well-being. It is also noted for releasing built-up tension, while improving symptoms of depression.

One of the key benefits is how natural it is. It is a mood enhancer that is in its natural state. Not only does it improve mood, but it can provide pain relief from headaches and muscle strains. This is more than likely due to its effects on tension and stress.

Griffonia is being researched for its potential benefits for ADHD treatment. It is believed to control impulsive behaviour. Once again, this benefit is linked to high levels of serotonin. Research is still being conducted, looking for further benefits regarding ADHD treatment.

This supplement has also made its way into the weight-loss community, as it is an active appetite suppressant. When you consume 5-HTP, you feel satiated, preventing feelings of hunger and the consumption of excessive amounts of food. This is becoming an option for individuals who want to stick to their strict diet plan.

Is Griffonia Safe to Take Regularly?

This plant has been used for thousands of years, providing medicinal benefits. Due to this vast history, there’s already a proven track record of safety. When taken in proper doses, modern use is said to be safe. When users take 100 mg or less a day, the effects are not only harmless, but effective.

Generally, users take this supplement in the morning, just as they would take a vitamin. Others take this supplement when they’re feeling the effects of depression, stress, or anxiety. It is acceptable to take this supplement when needed, as long as you stick to the recommended dosage (some take up to 200 mg daily). Speak with your doctor before increasing your intake.

Users should take caution if they are already taking anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications. If users are exposed to a surplus of serotonin, then acute serotonin syndrome may be possible. This is a serious syndrome, creating negative effects. So, please avoid taking this supplement if you’re currently taking medication for these conditions.

Recommended Dosage

This supplement is generally packaged in 50 mg capsules. When first beginning to take this supplement, start with one capsule a day. You should not exceed 4 capsules, even if you’re an experienced user. This is due to the possible effects mentioned above. If you’re taking a larger dose, you can spread your intake into two doses.

When you split doses, this ensures that serotonin levels stay stable throughout the day. Since some researchers would not suggest doses over 100 mg daily, start with a small dose and see how you’re affected. Many users do not need to take 200 mg to experience positive effects.

Griffonia Simplicifolia Alternative

Although this a a natural, safe supplement, some users do not like the sound of the potential risks. There are hundreds of supplements to choose from, so users can pinpoint the exact benefits in which they’d like to experience.

When starting out, focus on a choline supplement. When you take choline, you’re supplying your brain with the materials it needs to produce acetylcholine. Choline also improves the growth of neural structures, increasing the brain’s ability to communicate signals, while aiding in memory.

If you’re looking to boost your mood, try taking Aniraceteam. Not only is mood improved, but cognitive functioning is also positively affected. This leads to increased concentration and better memory formation.

Substituting Anti-Depressants with 5-HTP Powder&h=140&w=140&zc=1

Substituting Anti-Depressants with 5-HTP Powder

Added October 4, 2014 in 5-HTP

As an all-natural mood enhancer, 5-HTP is a great alternative to prescription drugs. Prescription drugs, such as anti-depressants, are being handed out like candy. This drugs can yield some dangerous side-effects, which is why 5-HTP is the preferred choice.

Basically, 5-HTP provides your brain with the materials it needs to target feelings of anxiety and depression. It targets mental wellness, without creating negative side-effects. This is ideal, allowing you to boost your mood in a safe and effective manner.

How 5-HTP Affects Serotonin Production

Our bodies naturally make 5-HTP, as it is synthesized from tryptophan. This amino acid is found in numerous foods, including meat, fish, and some vegetables. Once these foods are consumed, tryptophan is broken down and is synthesized into 5-HTP.

5-HTP can then cross the blood-brain barrier, as it’s immediately turned into serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is known to produce feelings of calmness and peace. When enough serotonin is produced, we experience feelings of happiness and joy.

Serotonin is not the only neurotransmitter that’s influenced. 5-HTP also controls the amount of dopamine, so that feeling of calmness can be experienced. Many supplements work to increase dopamine levels, while 5-HTP prevents this. This continues to produce calm feelings. 5-HTP also influences melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for our sleep patterns.

Why Would You Use 5-HTP?

There are various benefits associated with this supplement. The overall experience is feeling relaxed and an overall calm mood. When you take a dose of 5-HTP, you are able to balance out feelings of stress and anxiety. This will allow you to take control, especially if you endure high levels of stress each day.

Due to this supplement’s anti-stress effects, 5-HTP can combat migraines and feelings of exhaustion. It is also being examined for potential benefits regarding ADHD treatment. This is due to an improved short-term attention span. If ADHD patients were given 5-HTP each day, they would avoid drugs like Adderall. More importantly, they would be able to focus better.

How Does it Compare to Anti-Depressants?

Adderall for instance, is a prescription drug and is also a stimulant. It targets dopamine levels, allowing the user to concentrate more effectively. When you take a natural supplement, such as 5-HTP, you’re providing your body with the materials it needs to create serotonin. It increases levels of serotonin, without over-working hormonal glands.

Unlike prescription drugs, 5-HTP does not put any extra stress on your central nervous system. This natural approach is appealing to many, as anti-depressants are quite taxing on one’s system. They increase serotonin levels artificially, which doesn’t allow pre-existing, natural serotonin to metabolize.

The Main Benefits of 5-HTP

When it comes to 5-HTP, there are many benefits. Due to the natural properties of this supplement, it’s a great alternative to many harsher options.

Boosted Mood

As mentioned, this supplement circulates to the brain, creating higher levels of serotonin. This has a direct effect on mood, making users feel happier. When taking 5-HTP, users have a more positive outlook, increasing feelings of satisfaction and joy.

When individuals are depressed, they often have low levels of serotonin in their brain. This is why 5-HTP can target issues relating to stress, anxiety, and mood. Some experts believe that this option is just as strong as some of the prescription drugs available. Not only does mood improve, but motivation and productivity have also been noted.

One study, looked at 63 participants that were given either Luvox (an SSRI) or 5-HTP. It was found that the group that took 5-HTP, showed the same positive results as the Luvox group. They also displayed less negative effects. Although this yielded great results, larger studies need to be examined.

Improves Sleep

Our sleep cycle is highly complex, but serotonin plays a role. Since users experience increased relaxation, they find it easier to fall asleep. Not only do users fall asleep easier, they also spend more time in deeper levels of REM sleep.

When you are able to reach deeper levels of REM sleep, you wake up feeling re-charged and invigorated. Since 5-HTP also plays a role in melatonin, sleep cycles can be more consistent. Melatonin is an important sleep aid.

In one study, participants that took 5-HTP were able to fall asleep faster and slept more deeply in comparison to a placebo group. For some, these results may take 6-12 weeks to take full effect.

Cognitive Ability

5-HTP has a number of nootropic effects, especially in terms of spatial memory. When a user takes 5-HTP, the hippocampus is targeted. This area of the brain is essential for memory formation. Due to this, 5-HTP is believed to also increase short-term memory, learning abilities, and recall speed.

Controlling Headaches and Weight

There has been a link between 5-HTP and headache relief, especially in users that experience migraines. Research is still being conducted, however this effect is promising. Due to increased serotonin, appetite is also influenced.

When there are low levels of 5-HTP, individuals can experience feelings of hunger and take part in binge eating. When taking 5-HTP users feel more satisfied and full after they eat. Therefore, 5-HTP is a great tool when trying to control diet and weight loss.

Potential Side-Effects and Dosage

When taking 5-HTP, it is advised to do so on an empty stomach. Most users will take their powder or tablet first thing in the morning. The recommended dosage is between 50 and 100 mg daily. When higher doses are taken (300 mg and above), some side effects have been reported.

Some of these side-effects include, rashes, nightmares, nausea, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these mild symptoms, then lower your dosage or speak with your doctor. No serious side-effects have been reported, making this a much safer choice than it’s pharmaceutical alternatives.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have liver disease, do not take this supplement. If you are currently taking anti-depressants, do not combine them with 5-HTP supplements. When combined, users can experience serotonin syndrome. This is a dangerous condition that creates hot flashes, fluctuating blood pressure, and even coma.

What Is 5-HTP? How Do You Use It & What Are the Benefits?&h=140&w=140&zc=1

What Is 5-HTP? How Do You Use It & What Are the Benefits?

Added October 4, 2014 in 5-HTP

What is 5-HTP?

5-HTP (Oxitriptan) is a naturally occurring amino acid that makes serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, responsible for mood, sleep, and appetite. Therefore, when people take 5-HTP, they ultimately boost serotonin levels.

You will commonly find this amino acid in nootropic stacks, allowing users to decrease stress levels and enhance mood. If you have stimulating nootropics in your stack, then this is a great addition for balancing everything out.

Due to its role in the breakdown of tryptophan (which produces serotonin and melatonin), it is highly efficient regarding appetite suppression and improved mood. Although some individuals take tryptophan supplements for this purpose, taking 5-HTP eliminates one of the metabolic steps, making it more potent.

History of 5-HTP

Since 5-HTP is an important step between tryptophan and serotonin, its history started with L-tryptophan. When released in the 1980s, there were issues linked to the use of L-tryptophan. It was not tryptophan itself that made people sick, it was the impurities that occurred during its manufacturing.

When looking for alternatives, 5-HTP was released in 1994. It was believed to yield less risk in terms of contamination than tryptophan. It is now being used as a more natural alternative to other prescription drugs. It is used for a variety of conditions, making it a well-rounded supplement.

How to Use 5-HTP

Our bodies actually produce some 5-HTP from tryptophan found in our diet. This is found in high protein ingredients such as beef, chicken, fish, and dairy. However, taking a supplement ensures that you’re consuming enough.

5-HTP comes in both tablet and powder form. Regardless of which option you choose, users tend to take 50 to 100 mg daily. This should be taken in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach.

How Does 5-HTP Work?

Once taken, 5-HTP is broken within the liver, where it’s then transported to the blood-brain barrier. After 5-HTP reaches the brain, it is converted into serotonin. This is so much more effective than taking serotonin, because serotonin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier like 5-HTP can.

5-HTP is a direct precursor to serotonin, while serotonin is a precursor to melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that’s responsible for sleeping. It helps to control your sleep and wake cycles. So, some of the 5-HTP you take, will eventually become this sleep hormone.

When both melatonin and serotonin levels increase, you will experience less anxiety, higher levels of relaxation, greater sense of well-being, and you will sleep better at night. This is why 5-HTP is ideal in a stack, as it can make users feel relaxed, while they increase cognitive functioning.

Benefits of 5-HTP

There are various benefits associated with 5-HTP. Although it is not a direct nootropic, it does help increase the benefits of other nootropics. The following benefits are commonly experienced:

  • Improved mood is commonly experienced. It has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of depression. In some studies, it was actually found that 5-HTP is more effective than prescription drugs like Prozac.
  • It is noted for reducing feelings of anxiety. This is due to an increase in serotonin.
  • Helping individuals sleep, especially those that suffer from conditions like insomnia. This is due to both serotonin and melatonin levels. Users are able to reach deeper levels of sleep, while falling asleep faster.

nausea-bathroom-woman-400x400Potential Side Effects of 5-HTP

Majority of users do not experience negative side-effects. However, this is a possibility when taking high doses. The most common side-effects include; heart burn, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

If you’re a healthy adult, then taking 5-HTP at the recommended dose is not dangerous. However, if you are taking any depression or anxiety medications, you should not mix this supplement with prior medication.

When taking anti-depressants, acute serotonin syndrome has been observed. As well, nausea and vomiting have been reported for individuals who are currently taking Carbipoda, which treats Parkinson’s.

Recommended Dosage

In the United States, Canada, and UK, you can purchase these capsules over the counter. They generally come in 50 mg or 100 mg capsules. Depending on your reason for taking 5-HTP, your dose will vary.

If you are not being treated for depression, a sleeping disorder, or anxiety, then 50-100 mg daily is typically enough. However, if you’re experiencing sleeping issues, then it is recommended that you take 200mg before bed with water.

If you are suffering from anxiety, a 50 mg capsule each day is generally sufficient. However, some individuals take these capsules three time daily. Speak with your doctor if you’d like to increase your intake. The same is true for depression, as 50-100 mg is generally recommended. Since each case is different, your doctor will be able to advise you further.

If taken at high doses, 5-HTP can be dangerous. Do not take 5-HTP is you are under the age of 18. No matter what age you are, please refer to your doctor before beginning use. It is also recommended that you do not exceed 500 mg per day (pill or powder). Start with lower doses and see how your body reacts.

5-HTP Capsules & Mental Wellness&h=140&w=140&zc=1

5-HTP Capsules & Mental Wellness

Added September 6, 2014 in 5-HTP

History of 5-HTP

5-HTP supplements were approved in 1995 for over the counter use. You can find tryptophan in a number of foods, but 5-HTP is extracted from Griffonia simplicifolia (a native African plant). Since its release, there has been further research conducted regarding treatment for anxiety, depression, and pain.

What is 5-HTP and What Does Is Do?

5-HTP is a metabolite of Tryptophan, which is an amino acid necessary for the human body. Amino acids are essentially protein building blocks. 5-HTP is a compound that is involved in the biosynthesis of both serotonin and melatonin. 5-HTP helps breakdown tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid within our diet. Tryptophan is found in red meat, fish, turkey, and seeds. This breakdown yields both serotonin and melatonin.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) increases serotonin levels. This helps to reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression, while helping users sleep. This supplement is generally taken in a stack, providing calming benefits.

Due to the neurotransmitter and hormone that are produced, 5-HTP is commonly used as an anti-depressant and sleep aid. In terms of nootropics, it is often used in a stack to improve relaxation and combat lucid dreams.

What Is Serotonin?

As mentioned, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is derived from tryptophan. It contributes to feelings of happiness and overall well-being. It is also associated with both appetite and sleep. This is why 5-HTP is sometimes used to help with obesity and insomnia.

Not only does serotonin improve mood and one’s ability to sleep, but it contributes to some cognitive functioning. Memory and learning are positively affected by an increase in serotonin. If you’re taking nootropics in a stack, refrain from taking nootropics that also increase serotonin levels. Serotonin can not cross the blood-brain barrier, which is why 5-HTP is so effective.

How Does 5-HTP Work?

5-HTP is broken down in the liver and is then partially broken down into both Vitamin B6 and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. The 5-HTP that is left, travels to the brain where it effectively crosses the blood-brain barrier.

Once inside the brain, 5-HTP is converted into serotonin. As mentioned, serotonin can not cross the blood-brain barrier, so taking serotonin on its own will need help achieve the results you’re after. Melatonin is then produced from serotonin, as it is a precursor. Once both serotonin and melatonin are increased, you will experience lower levels of stress, less anxiety, a greater feeling of well-being, and have an easier time sleeping.

L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP Stack

Taking L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP in a stack produces a greater effect, significantly boosting your mood. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin. It is also believed to block hormones that are related to feelings of stress.

When taking this stack, a time-released serotonin effect is experienced. This stack helps produce additional serotonin, rather than preventing re-uptake. The prevention of re-uptake is what is experienced when taking anti-depressants. This stack is much safer, and more natural in comparison.

Benefits of 5-HTP Capsules

There are many benefits associated with 5-HTP capsules, especially in terms of one’s mental health. Although it is naturally occurring, sometimes our bodies do not make enough. Outside sources are sometimes necessary, allowing for an increase in serotonin.

5-HTP creates many positive benefits, but the most widely known is aiding depression and anxiety. These two conditions are extremely hard to manage and can have a large negative impact on one’s life and overall health. When taking a 5-HTP supplement, you can lift your mood and improve anxiety. This is due to an increase in serotonin levels.

If you have trouble sleeping, 5-HTP will reduce the effects of insomnia. Once you take 5-HTP, you will feel more relaxed and calm. This is due to an increase in melatonin, which helps induce sleep. This is a great alternative to sleeping pills, as they’re much safer. Due to this calming effect, it has also been recommended for individuals with ADHD.

Taking 5-HTP has been shown to reduce headaches. When serotonin levels are low, migraines and headaches may be experienced. Once again, this is a great way to avoid painkillers and other drugs that may make you experience dangerous side-effects.

You can also read up on mood enhancing nootropics here. This will give you a better idea of how these supplements work with your brain to produce positive effects.

Possible Side-Effects

Majority of users experience no side-effects when they take the correct dosage. However, some users will experience diarrhea, heart burn, nausea, and stomach pain. If you’re a healthy adult, there are generally no serious side-effects involved when taking 5-HTP on its own.

You should not mix 5-HTP with any other sleeping supplements, depression, or anxiety medication. If you’re taking 5-HTP in a stack, avoid taking other nootropics that increase serotonin levels. Once again, speak with your doctor if you are already taking medication.

How Much 5-HTP Should I Take?

You can obtain 5-HTP over the counter from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. These capsules tend to come in either 50 mg or 100 mg. Depending on why you’re taking these capsules, the dosage will vary.

You should not be taking extremely high doses of 5-HTP, as this can be very dangerous. Before you begin taking 5-HTP, seek medical advice from your doctor. Your healthcare professional will be able to help you with dosage, depending on the condition you’re trying to treat.