on July 16, 2011
I have had insomnia due to anxiety for almost a year now. This arrived in the mail 2 days ago. The first night, it didn't do as much for me, but still put me to sleep pretty well. I took it at bedtime. Yesterday, I took it a bit earlier, about 2 or 3 hours before bedtime, and boy, did it work! I got to sleep before midnight and stayed asleep until almost 7 a.m. this morning. Oh, it was wonderful. I haven't slept regular hours in ages. I hardly ever write reviews, but if you have trouble sleeping, this is a must-try. I will definitely be ordering more.
on December 29, 2011
I've taken this product twice daily for the past two years. Previously, I would suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia where I was simply unable to fall asleep, at all. This only happened a few times a year, but my sleep cycle was generally equally dysfunctional. I couldn't establish a routine, and I'd often stay up too late some nights, and wake up too early others. This product changed both of those things for me -- I now never have trouble sleeping through the night, and am easily able to get into a routine and go to bed/wake up at roughly the same time each day.
Since I've been on it for so long, I started to think that maybe it was just placebo or that maybe my changes in diet, etc since the original problem would have resolved it. I've twice waited more than a week before re-ordering, and while it's a gradual change, both times I've noticed marked degradation in my sleep. As I experience no negative side effects while using it, I have no intention of stopping. I don't hesitate to recommend it!
on September 18, 2006
VERY GOOD MEDICINE FOR THOSE OF US WHO NEED IT
ABOUT BRANDS - 'SOURCE NATURALS'
Recently I ran out of 5-HTP and I purchased this 'Source Naturals' product with basically the results I attained from the same dosages from 'Now' or 'Nature's Way' or 'Swanson' brand products. This is a pretty good price and I will probably use this product again, especially if it is competitively priced. In the past I have purchased some products from Source Naturals, mostly amino acids, so I felt this would be a safe bet.
SO WHAT IS THIS - '5-HTP' STUFF ALL ABOUT?
As 5-HTP goes, this is good stuff and reasonably priced. It does seem to cause vivid dreams and it seems to have the effects it is supposed to. However, it should be noted that although you need take only 1-2 capsules for insomnia, the short half life of 5-HTP from "GRIFFONIA SEEDS" necessitates rather frequent dosing for depression and appetite suppression, usually 4x per day and attention needs to be paid to the timing of doses with other amino acids. Serotonin syndrome may also be an issue for some.
Whereas many important issues are not certain or resolved regarding 5-HTP dosage and usage, it does seem to do a lot of good when used appropriately. Naturally a lot more can be said and books have been written on 5-HTP. It is a product that must be used with considerable care and professional medical monitoring is advisable due to the serious conditions it is used for and its effects on human brain chemistry. [Depression, Obesity, Insomnia] Nevertheless after taking it for 3 years I can say that I have experienced no negative side effects. Also, I have noticed reduced cravings for sweets, less anxiety in social situations and have slept better than I ever have. There has also been no sign of 5-HTP being habit forming in my experience.
5-HTP COMBINES WELL WITH L-TYROSINE
If you are considering using this product for anxiety or sociophobic disorders [NOW] makes a 200mg dosage combined with the amino acid L-tyrosine. Many have found the addition of 250 mg of L-tyrosine to be most helpful and the product still retains all of its other characteristics.
[I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY PRODUCT OR COMPANY]
on December 26, 2009
I've submitted this review for other bottles of 5-HTP, for two reasons:
1. I think aspects of my review are important and I hope to help as many people as possible; and
2. I actually took several different brands of 5-HTP, so my reviews reflect that. Mostly. :)
I have taken 5-HTP for insomnia and depression. Well, to combat those things. ;) At first it was quite helpful to me and I found that my moods stabilised reasonably well. However, I did find that after a while it had a propensity to making me feel a little bit manic or just . . . weird. I was sort of hyper-aware, for want of a better way to explain it. When I eased off I was able to resume taking it again after a couple of weeks and I found that a regimen of three weeks on and two weeks off seemed to work best without generating any of the milder side-effects.
My main caution came about through a very dangerous experience, which I have fortunately learnt from and not repeated. I was first taking this several years ago and I had the foolish notion of "if a little is good, a lot is better". Basically, I was taking everything under the sun for mood enhancement--St. John's Wort, 5-HTP, fish oil, you name it. If it even vaguely hinted at any pick-me-up capabilities I was downing those pills. And, typically, I was exceeding the recommended doses. I mean, hey, I'd taken supplements for most of my life and safely exceeded the recommended dosages, why should this be any different? Well, it was. In the end I tripped some invisible trigger and developed serotonin syndrome. The only reason I actually knew what was happening was because I had gone to university and studied psych and this is something I picked up in my extra-curricular research on neurochemistry. You won't hear of it from 99% of doctors, although it is a genuine disorder. They just don't know of it. It is also invariably fatal, unless you realise what it going on and stop the medication/supplementation in time. Thankfully, I was able to cease and recover, though I have had lingering effects ever since, even though the supplements are by now long gone from my system. Things have not gone quite back to normal.
Anyway, that is my caution. 5-HTP works, but it should not be combined with other medication or supplementation without some serious research first. Stay safe!
on August 15, 2009
My experience, not medical advice. Read, research, and talk to your doctor.
After a bout of depression, my doctor prescribed Welbutrin. Within 20 minutes of taking the first pill, I knew it was addictive. I used it, while entering counseling, and starting acupuncture to manage my chronic pain all with in a matter of weeks.
The Welbutrin gave me enough clarity to start to research and start to put together a natural plan. (Welbutrin also gave me tremedous headaches and dizzy spells.) I'm really into holistic, herbs, and natural stuff. It was during this period that I can across 5-htp.
What is does for me:
It balanced out my brain chemistry, much like the Welbutrin, but with out the yum factor that leads people into addiction or the nasty side effects. Within 20 minutes I felt "different." Yes, 20 minute, but that's me. Advice: When you're taking natural or prescribed medicines, monitor your feelings and any changes closely.
5-htp calmed and soothed me. You know the way you feel on vacation or when you're not under a great deal of pressure. It is weird and very hard to describe. I was able to withstand the regular rigors and stress of my job. (I teach job readiness skills to people on public assistance.)
The usual crap that would make react negatively and push the limits of my patience, were now minor irritations. Not only did I notice the change in my disposition, my co-workers did as well. I am now able to navigate the turbulent, stressful ocean that is my work life without reacting like a maniac! Another benefit, I sleep better and dream more.
After using 5-htp for a few months. I was pleased enough with the product to recommend it to my friends. Let me explain, my best friend was on prescribed anti-anxiety. I tossed him a bottle and told him what it did for me. Told him to read up on it on the net and give it a try if he wanted.
Well he didn't , for a month or so, when his prescription ran out he popped 1 or 2. He continued to use the 5-htp until the bottle ran out and then went back to the prescription meds.
Once back on the medication he spent the weekend in the bathroom. He asked me, then I had to explain, most likely it was his body's revolting against the meds after getting use to a natural product that relieved him of his anxiety.
My co-worker now orders 5-htp regularly, but keeps a bottle of prescribed medication on hand "just in case." My buddy has recently been promoted to a supervisor's position and his stress level has increased 3 fold. He has doubled his daily dose of 5-htp to accommodate.
The office secretary lately has been looking exceptional stressed lately. (Yeah, we work in a pit and she works a second job.) I aked if I could recommend something to her. That something was 5 HTP. I gave her the same advice: research, read, and talk to your doctor. I told her, I had an extra bottle at home. The next day I gave it to her. I recommended a 2 pill dosage. I asked her how she was felling when I ran into her after lunch. She said fine and was smiling (that was Monday). When I cheked in with her at the end of the week, she had to stop taking them because she was feeling too calm. LOL. She even ran around the the building recommending 5 htp to anybody who would listen. She actually gave away a bottle to one of our co-workers.
I did not order 5 htp from source naturals but from puritans pride ([...]Their 5 htp is derived from Griffonia simplicifolia, aw well, and also contains valarian root, which adds to the soothing effect. I highly recommend puritans pride because the usually have most products for buy 1 get 1 free (see my review of then on [....]). Right now 8/2009, they are running a buy 1 get 2 free plus shipping. Okay, that's [...]for 1 bottle containing 120 capsules of 5 htp at 100mg. If you order during the sale you get 3 bottles for [....]
Yes, I am promoting puritans pride because I love a deal just as much as the next guy. Why pay [...] for only 1 bottle?
On with the rest of my review...
How does it work?
5-HTP works by manipulating serotonin, a neurochemical critical to a wide variety of brain functions. Serotonin, in turn, is made in the body from 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, which is simply a modified amino acid obtained from plant sources.
Without adequate levels of serotonin, you'd probably suffer from depression, sleep disorders, addiction, and obesity.
Studies have shown that there's often a direct association between obesity (due to overeating) and decreased brain serotonin levels. Without adequate levels of serotonin, the brain perceives that the body is starving and turns on the hunger mode. Obese people who suffer from low levels feel chemically compelled to eat more and more. Once they ingest carbohydrates and various sugars in general, they experience a temporary increase in serotonin levels.
That's why some people are willing to eat an excess of junk food that's entirely lacking in protein. That's also why drugs like the now banned Redux (dexfenfluramine), which increased serotonin production, were successfully used as an appetite suppressant in the treatment of common obesity. Once serotonin levels retained to normal levels, the food-jones disapeared.
Other "addictive" substances raise serotonin levels, too. Examples include alcohol, tobacco, certain narcotics, and caffeine.
5-htp worked for me and my friends. It has been liberating emotionally, physically, and financially. Being able to endure more and not having to pay prescribe medicine prices for it.
I take 100mg in the morning with breakfast and 100mg at night before bed or with dinner. Please, find out what works for you.
As a comparison I use to use St. Johns Wort. It too had a calming effect, but the side effect was light sensitivity. However, St. Johns Wort doesn't have the long lasting effect or soothing feeling that 5-htp does.
With herbs and natural medicine you have to find out the right dosage for you. Base dosages on height and weight and monitor the results.