5 Hydroxytryptophan or 5 HTP is a form of amino acid that the body naturally produces. It is used by the human body to come up with the chemical known as serotonin. It serves as a neurotransmitter, sending signals between the brain and different parts of the body. Some studies show that people with low serotonin may have issues like weight gain, sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. As such, it is believed that increasing an individual’s 5 HTP intake can have certain health benefits. In this article, we’ll explore how 5 HTP for sleep apnea may work.
What Are the Health Benefits of 5 HTP?
5 HTP has a number of health benefits and it may have some form of benefit for patients with sleep apnea. Listed below are some of them:
Help people improve their sleep patterns and production of melatonin
Serotonin can be produced by 5 HTP which can then be converted melatonin, a hormone directly linked with sleeping. This is because the hormone melatonin is critical in helping sleep regulation. Melatonin levels help the sleep cycle of human beings as their levels drop in the morning to encourage people in waking up and levels that increase in the evening to ease individuals into a restful sleep.
As such, taking supplementations with 5 HTP can help people increase their body’s production of melatonin and help in the promotion and regulation of sleep. Evidence suggests that combining GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid and 5 HTP can help people achieve sleep faster, lengthen the duration of sleep, and improve sleep quality which may help reduce the incidence of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. GABA can promote relaxation during sleep and having it mixed in with 5 HTP can have effects that can be considered as synergistic. In fact, several studies conducted on animal test subjects showed that the combination of GABA and 5 HTP did indeed help improve the test subjects quality of sleep. Further studies are needed, though, to establish that the same effects can be achieved and observed in humans.
Aid people with weight loss through increased feelings of satiation
Data shows that 5 HTP can help in weight loss by making individuals feel satiated or full resulting in less food and caloric intake and reduced cravings. Losing weight can elevate the levels of hormones that encourage or drive hunger and cravings. The said cravings can become detrimental for people wanting to lose weight. 5 HTP can help counteract hormones and help suppress and control appetite and hunger.
One research showed that people who were given 5 HTP supplementation for around two (2) weeks took in fewer calories (around 435 calories less) compared to other patients who did not. In addition, 5 HTP controlled the caloric intake of individuals coming from carbs. This decreased or reduced intake of calories from carbs has been associated with better control in terms of blood sugar levels. Other studies also showed that 5 HTP added to feelings of being full or satiated and that 5 HTP can help lessen stress eating in patients.
Help people fight off depression through increased levels of serotonin
5 HTP effects and benefits for depression has been documented and studied extensively. Experts are still uncertain as to what exactly causes depression but some believe that a serotonin imbalance may be one major factor for depression. 5 HTP is believed to be beneficial in terms of treating depression as it can elevate the levels of serotonin. It may be noteworthy to point out, though, that 5 HTP may be more effective against depression when used in combination with other antidepressants compared when utilized on its own.
May address the symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is characterized by fatigue, muscle pain, and bone pain and 5 HTP may help alleviate the aforementioned symptoms of fibromyalgia. Experts are still unsure as to what the exact cause of Fibromyalgia is but it is believed that low serotonin levels may be one of the factors for developing the aforementioned condition. This led to the belief that increased serotonin through 5 HTP supplementation can help address and fight off against fibromyalgia.
Data collected supports the fact that 5 HTP can fight off against the more common symptoms of fibromyalgia. These symptoms include feelings of being fatigued, anxiety, sleep disorder, and muscle pain. Research also showed that people with fibromyalgia who were given 5 HTP supplementation experienced reduced pain.
Decrease the frequency of migraine attacks
5 HTP has also be used to treat migraines which can be described as headaches that are usually throbbing, blurry vision, and nausea. Similar to depression and fibromyalgia, experts believe that migraine attacks may be caused by low levels of serotonin and that increasing the said serotonin levels can help individuals alleviate the symptoms of migraine. In fact, one recent study on the effectiveness of 5 HTP for migraines showed that 5 HTP supplementation can be as effective as other anti-migraine drugs.