5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is gained through the diet. After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, it is then converted into another chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which relays signals between brain cells. Healthy serotonin levels have been linked to mood and behavior, most notably an overall feeling of well-being. In the brain, serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior. Balancing serotonin levels may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation. Serotonin is also closely linked to appetite, and some health professionals even consider 5-HTP to be among the best natural appetite suppressants.
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