Natural Remedies for Losing Weight – 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

Another natural remedy for losing weight that has raised a few eyebrows is a substance called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). In fact, its been called into question for its safety record. 5-HTP actually replaced tryptophan supplements banned due to its link to a rare and potentially deadly blood disorder. Also, there has been a difference of opinion on whether or not it is actually a viable substance for achieving weight loss. Now, having said that, 5-HTP is found in some over-the-counter natural remedies for losing weight.

5-HTP is used to make serotonin for normal nerve and brain function. Lack of it affects sleep, emotional moods, pain control, inflammation, intestinal peristalsis (acts as a stimulant), and other body functions. It’s found in the cells of the brain(acts as a neurotransmitter speeding nerve impulses between synapses) and intestine and in platelets in our blood. When walls of blood vessels are damaged, serotonin is released from platelets to constrict the vessel and prevent hemorrhage.

The human body doesn’t make a lot of this. 5-HTP is derived from the seeds of a West African plant called Griffonia simplicifoli. Dieters who use this product claim it helps suppress appetite, and helps promote weight loss.

Initial research says 5-HTP is noted for its ability to reduce appetite by stimulating serotonin production in the brain. Clinical trials have appetite reduction and weight loss (averaging 11 pounds in 12 weeks) with 600 to 900 mg daily. Trials using 5-HTP did show that some people taking large amounts of 5-HTP had nausea, headaches, sleepiness, muscle pain, or anxiety.

With this natural remedy for losing weight, and others as well, you must change your eating habits and increase exercise. It will not work all that well just on its own. In addition, if you happen to be pregnant or nursing, check with a Doctor, as there is no research in this area to indicate whether it is safe to take this substance under these circumstances. Try not to get taken in with the common belief that if it is natural, it won’t hurt you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Get as much information as you can before you decide to try anything.

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