Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand (PressExposure) April 11, 2012 -- 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid involved in the production of neurotransmitters, chemicals used by the brain cells to communicate with each other. According to clinical experts, the symptoms of depression and anxiety are due to imbalance in the production of these brain chemicals. Neurotransmitters associated with depression and anxiety includes serotonin, GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), and dopamine. 5-HTP is said to help regain the balance, beneficial enough to relive the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
5-HTP for depression helps increase the available serotonin, because it is converted to serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in mood control, sleep regulation, blood pressure, and pain perception. More serotonin in the body causes elevated mood, relaxation, and more positive outlook. 5-HTP for anxiety works by enhancing the effects of GABA, the neurotransmitter that prevents hyperactivity and promotes calmness. In fact, there are some 5-HTP supplements added with GABA for synergistic effects on reducing agitation in anxiety. The last neurotransmitter that 5-HTP has influence on is dopamine. 5-HTP supplements help stimulate the release of dopamine, which works by lifting the enhanced mood and improving concentration.
The most common prescription antidepressant SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) work by blocking the re-absorption of re-uptake of serotonin in the brain, to increase serotonin availability. This helps the communication of nerve cells for mood coordination. SSRIs' mechanism of action to increase serotonin is same with 5-HTP, only that 5-HTP's method is more direct. On the other hand, anti-anxiety drugs more commonly known as tranquilizers work by slowing nerve transmission to achieve a more relaxed and calm state. 5-HTP supplements naturally work similarly.
Depression is characterized by feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness. Depressed people also lose interest in mingling with others, they want to be alone most of the time. They also find it difficult to concentrate on any given task and also in making decisions. Other signs and symptoms of depression include difficulty sleeping, appetite and weight changes, restlessness, decreased energy, irritability, and some have suicidal tendencies. Often, depression goes along with the symptoms of anxiety including being constantly worried, restlessness, irritability, feeling tensed all the time, fears the unknown, and always anticipating the worst.
Depression and anxiety are among the most common problems affecting our emotional health. Occasional depression and anxiety with known causes like you or one family member getting sick, being unemployed, breaking up from a relationship are considered normal. However, when depression and anxiety goes for long period of time, goes out of control, and starts to reduce your quality of life, it needs intervention. 5-HTP Supplements are considered natural remedy for depression and anxiety, without producing the same side effects of prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety.
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