Serotonin cannot be directly administered to support brain health because it is unable to cross the protective layer around the brain known as the blood brain barrier. Thankfully, serotonin can be supported by 5-HTP, which crosses the brain’s protective layer and converts into this crucial neurotransmitter.
5-HTP is the most direct way to support serotonin.
- 5-HTP crosses the blood brain barrier
- 5-HTP is freely converted into serotonin without biochemical feedback inhibition
- 5-HTP is more efficient at supporting serotonin than tryptophan
When it comes to supporting serotonin, some view both tryptophan and 5-HTP as viable nutrients for supporting serotonin. However, 5-HTP is superior to tryptophan because tryptophan hydroxylase, which converts tryptophan into 5-HTP, is limited in terms of enzymatic activity. Once tryptophan hydroxylase reached its threshold, additional tryptophan will not yield more 5-HTP. Therefore, tryptophan does not support serotonin as well as 5-HTP.
5-HTP is found in very trace amounts in a very small number of foods. Therefore, 5-HTP supplementation is the most direct way of providing additional 5-HTP.
Important: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.