5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a supplement that may be helpful to those suffering from fibromyalgia. 5-HTP is a compound found mostly in the brain. It is made from tryptophan, a natural amino acid found in foods.
Tryptophan is what is called an essential amino acid, which means that it can’t be made by your body. It must be obtained from food, particularly proteins. In the liver and brain, 5-HTP is converted to an important neurotransmitter called serotonin. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals between neurons (nerve cells) in the brain.
According to researchers, taking 5-HTP leads to higher serotonin levels in the brain. And serotonin plays an important role in controlling behavior and moods. It influences many normal brain activities and also regulates the activity of other neurotransmitters. Having adequate levels of serotonin can make you feel good. Anxiety, fatigue, stiffness, and mental confusion may go away when serotonin levels are high.
When it comes to the symptoms of fibromyalgia, it seems that 5-HTP could be of significant help. When you suffer from fibromyalgia, you can experience pain, fatigue, insomnia and anxiety. There is no recognized cure for fibromyalgia. It is a condition that often baffles the medical community.
In one clinical study, however, 50 patients with fibromyalgia were given 5-HTP over the course of a 90 day trial. The patients were evaluated for the number of tender points, anxiety, pain intensity, quality of sleep, and fatigue.
Fifty percent of the patients recorded feeling “good” or”fair” when it came to clinical improvement after taking the supplements. The researchers concluded that 5-HTP could be effective in improving the symptoms of primary fibromyalgia and that it maintained this beneficial effect throughout the whole 90-day trial.