5-HTP FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
5-Hydroxytryptophan (or 5-HTP for short) is a naturally occurring amino acid that is produced in the body from L-tryptophan.
It is a precursor to serotonin; a neurotransmitter which plays many important roles in the body.
5-HTP is typically not present in high amounts in regular diets, and is not easy to obtain through normal foods. Supplemental 5-HTP is derived naturally from the seeds of a West African plant known as Griffonia Simplicifolia.
5-HTP For Weight Loss: What Does It Do?
When 5-HTP is consumed, it is converted into serotonin to be used throughout the body. Serotonin is typically recognized for its effects on enhancing mood, improving sleep and suppressing the appetite.
It is the appetite curbing effect of this supplement that is said to make it a useful weight loss agent.
In addition, lower calorie diets are often associated with a decrease in mood due to the inhibited production of serotonin. 5-HTP can be used to improve mood during periods of restricted caloric intake.
So, 5-HTP does not directly burn fat on its own, but it can be used as an aid for better diet adherence and mood control during periods of calorie restriction.
Is it worth including in your program?
Well, since we know that an effective fat loss program focuses on only a slight calorie reduction with an increase in exercise, curbing the appetite is usually not going to be a huge concern for most people.
You’ll only be consuming an amount of calories slightly below your maintenance level, and for that reason most people won’t require an appetite suppressant during their weight loss program.
That said, hunger is something which varies quite a bit from person to person, and for those who do have a harder time controlling their appetite it may provide some benefit.
This is especially true for those who have a more significant amount of weight to lose and are making a more drastic change to their overall eating habits.
So, if hunger has become an issue during your weight loss diet, or you find that your mood is decreasing, 5-HTP may be reasonable option to try out.
5-HTP For Weight Loss: Proper Dosing
A typical dosage of 5-HTP is 100-300mg taken 3 times daily, about 20 minutes before meals. Nausea has been reported as a side effect when starting out with this supplement but decreases over time.
Also note that the long-term safety of 5-HTP is not confirmed. I would recommend using it as a temporary aid only.
5-HTP For Weight Loss: Bottom Line
For those of you who have a large amount of weight to lose and/or are experiencing difficulty dealing with the reduced calorie intake (either for hunger or mood reasons), 5-HTP may be worth trying out.
For everyone else, I don’t see any reason to bother with it as a fat loss aid, especially if you don’t already have your basic fat burning supplement needs covered first.
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