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5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a natural supplement that the body converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for a variety of functions including mood regulation and sleep patterns. Here’s how it might help people with chronic fatigue syndrome:

  1. Sleep Regulation: Since chronic fatigue syndrome often leads to disrupted sleep or insomnia, increasing serotonin levels by taking 5-HTP can help to regulate sleep patterns and improve the quality of sleep. This can result in reduced fatigue.
  2. Mood Enhancement: Chronic fatigue syndrome commonly comes with mood disorders like depression or anxiety. As 5-HTP increases the production of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter, it can help improve mood and well-being.
  3. Reduced Pain: Sometimes, chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with chronic pain. Some studies suggest that increased serotonin from 5-HTP can help in reducing chronic pain.

However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as 5-HTP can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everyone.

  • Increases serotonin production, improving mood.
  • Boosts melatonin for better sleep.
  • Helps combat fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Improves energy levels and alertness.
  • Reduces anxiety and stress reactions.

5-HTP: Purchase | Dosage | Benefits | Science

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Important Note: This information serves as a guideline only and should NOT replace specialist advice. Always consult your doctor, pharmacist or a health care professional like a nutritionist before starting any new treatment.

5-HTP Dosage for Chronic Fatigue

The recommended dose for 5-HTP for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome hasn’t been specifically established. It’s generally advised to follow the package instructions, which often suggest a range of 50-200mg daily. However, it’s crucial to consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

  • Adults (18 years and older):
    • For general use, 50-400 milligrams of 5-HTP has been taken by mouth daily.
    • According to a clinical trial, patients with fibromyalgia have taken 100 milligrams of 5-HTP three times daily by mouth.
  • Children (under 18 years old): – There is no established safe or effective dose for 5-HTP in children.

5-HTP Benefits for Chronic Fatigue

  • Enhances serotonin production, improves mood.
  • Helps regulate sleep patterns.
  • Fights chronic fatigue symptoms.
  • Improves overall cognitive function.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety.

1. Boosts Serotonin Levels: 5-HTP is a direct precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood, anxiety, and happiness. Low serotonin levels can contribute to fatigue, so boosting it can help improve energy levels.

2. Improves Sleep: 5-HTP has been found to improve sleep by increasing melatonin production. Proper sleep assists in fatigue reduction, particularly in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

3. Helps Manage Depression: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is often associated with depression. As 5-HTP can boost serotonin, it potentially helps in treating depression thus reducing fatigue caused by it.

4. Reduces Anxiety: Some research suggests that 5-HTP can help reduce anxiety. Anxiety can drain energy resources leading to fatigue, therefore managing anxiety levels can assist in reducing chronic fatigue.

5. Helps to Regulate Appetite: 5-HTP can help to regulate appetite by increasing the feeling of fullness, which in turn can prevent unhealthy eating habits that can contribute to low energy levels.

Science: 5-HTP for Burnout recovery

While there isn’t currently any specific scientific papers directly connecting 5-HTP with chronic fatigue syndrome or ME, we find a comprehensive source from MEpedia that discusses 5-HTP in the context of these conditions. The MEpedia page provides an overview of the theory behind the use of 5-HTP, its potential effects on serotonin levels in the central nervous system, and mixed reports regarding serotonin levels in ME/CFS patients. It also covers the risks and safety concerns associated with 5-HTP, especially when used with other medications that affect brain serotonin levels.

For further details, you can refer to the MEpedia page on 5-HTP.

Natural sources of 5-HTP

  • Griffonia Simplicifolia Plant: The seeds of this African shrub are known to be high in 5-HTP content.
  • Tryptophan-rich Foods: While not a direct source of 5-HTP, foods rich in tryptophan (amino acid) such as turkey, chicken, milk, potatoes, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnip and collard greens, seaweed, and parsley can support the body’s production of 5-HTP.
  • Dietary Supplements: These are usually made from the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant, providing a concentrated source of 5-HTP.
Natural sources of dietary 5-HTP (Turkey, Banana's, and Eggs)

Our favourite 5-HTP brand

We don’t yet have a preferred 5-HTP brand to recommend, if you have any experiences of 5-HTP supplementation to share, please do share them on this page.