5-HTP (5-hydroxy L-tryptophan) is a naturally-occurring metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is converted in the brain to serotonin, a neurotransmitter substance found at the junctions (synapses) between neurons. 5-HTP helps maintain mental and emotional well-being and promotes healthy sleep. Doctor's Best 5-HTP is extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant.*
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Servings per container: 120 servings
Amount Per Serving %DV
Vitamin C 200 mg 333%
Vitamin B6 15 mg 750%
(as pyridoxine hydrochloride)
5-hydroxy L-tryptophan 100 mg †
† Daily Values Not Established.
Other Ingredients: Modified cellulose (vegetarian capsule), rice powder, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), silicon dioxide.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 1 capsule, 1-3 times daily, with or without food or as recommended by a nutritionally informed physician.
CAUTION: Not to be used concurrently with MAO inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or other anti-depressant medications. It should also not be used by individuals taking any of the category of medications known as "triptans". KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
Best 5-HTP is tested to ensure that it does not contain "Peak X".
Non-GMO & Gluten Free
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring metabolite of the essential amino acid tryptophan. The 5-HTP in dietary supplements is derived from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.
5-HTP functions as the precursor for serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter found in the central nervous system (CNS) and some cells of the digestive tract. In the body, 5-HTP is formed by the addition of a hydroxyl group (–OH) to tryptophan, a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase. This enzyme can be hindered by stress and conditions such as vitamin B6 deficiency, which is one reason B6 is included in this formula. Additionally, pyridoxal phosphate (vitamin B6) is necessary for 5-HTP to be converted to serotonin. Vitamin C participates in the conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP and of tyrosine to norepinephrine, another important neurotransmitter.
Synthesis of serotonin in the brain requires an adequate supply of either tryptophan or 5-HTP as precursors in the CNS. The supply of tryptophan available for conversion to 5-HTP depends on a number of factors, including the nutritional status of the individual and the competition between tryptophan and other amino acids for transport across the blood-brain barrier. Whereas tryptophan may be sidetracked into the production of niacin or protein, 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and becomes available for serotonin synthesis. Therefore, supplementation with 5-HTP is a more direct route to serotonin production.1
In contrast to tryptophan, orally consumed 5-HTP is readily absorbed by the mucosal cells of the gastrointestinal tract, with up to 70% then appearing in the bloodstream.2 The implications of possibly altering serotonin in this manner are significant: serotonergic neurons (nerve cells stimulated by serotonin) regulate sleep, appetite, nociception (the perception of pain), and aggressive behavior.
Enhances sense of well-being*
A synaptic serotonin deficit is hypothesized to be capable of a major adverse effect on mood.3 Supplementation with 5-HTP therefore is believed to balance mood via an increase in serotonin synthesis. This was researched extensively upon discovery that 5-HTP could be used to alter serotonin levels in rats. In a pilot study on humans, the subjects receiving 5-HTP showed a 35% increase on a mood rating scale, whereas the placebo group showed a 6% decrease.4
A comprehensive review of seven open and seven controlled clinical studies found that oral consumption of 5-HTP improved mental and emotional status in 60 to 70 percent of subjects.5 The results varied from "modest" to "marked." Dosages ranged from 50 to 300 mg daily.
In a study of 134 recently bereaved men, mood was assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire. Men in this study who had adequate pyridoxine (vitamin B6) status had significantly better total mood disturbance (TMD) and confusion-bewilderment subscale scores. Additionally, pyridoxine deficiency was specifically related to a fatigued mood.6
Promotes calming down and relaxing*
In a study of 32 healthy adults, half of the subjects were given 200 mg of 5-HTP, and the other half given placebo. All of the subjects were then given a stress-inducing substance (CCK-4) to provoke tension and elicit nervous irritability. In the female subjects who took the 5-HTP, there was a significant reduction in the rate and intensity of the negative cognitive reaction.7 This research built on previous studies where administration of 5-HTP produced a calming effect in subjects prone to nervous irritability.
Promotes satiety and supports healthy eating patterns*
May promote weight loss as part of a weight loss plan*
An exciting area of research recently regaining attention is the relationship between serotonin and appetite—and therefore its potential to aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight. While serotonin is renown for its function in the brain, 95% of serotonin is actually found in the gastrointestinal tract. Accordingly, serotonin is deeply involved in gut physiology, including visceral perception and weight maintenance.8 In research where 5-HTP was administered at higher doses, it was discovered that these high doses of 5-HTP produced weight loss in subjects, mainly through its influence on satiety and an altered appetite for specific macronutrients.
A study that orally administered either 5-HTP or placebo to 19 women for 5 weeks (without any dietary restrictions) resulted in significantly decreased food intake and weight loss in the women taking 5-HTP, compared to placebo.9 In a double-blind, randomized study, 20 subjects received either 5-HTP capsules or placebo for 6 weeks with dietary restrictions, and then for 6 weeks without dietary restrictions. During both periods (with or without dietary restrictions), the 5-HTP subjects experienced early satiety, a reduction in carbohydrate intake, and significant weight loss compared to placebo.10 In a subsequent double-blind, randomized study, 11 subjects received placebo and 9 subjects received 5-HTP capsules for 2 weeks. The 5-HTP group experienced weight loss through a significant decrease in carbohydrate and fat intake.11
An animal study took experimental use of 5-HTP a step further by investigating food deprivation and also stress-induced eating. Although the 5-HTP was injected rather than orally administered in the rats, results clearly showed that administration of 5-HTP suppressed eating compared to placebo treatment in food-deprived rats and even more so in rats undergoing stress.12
May improve quality of sleep*
Studies have shown that 5-HTP influences the quality of sleep by increasing REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Administration of as little as 200 mg of 5-HTP in the evening prior to bedtime has been shown to increase the duration of REM sleep from 5 to 53% and decrease the amount of non-REM sleep.13
Potent scavenger of free radicals*
Compounds such as vitamin E and flavonoids derive their free-radical quenching ability from their hydroxyl groups (–OH), which donate electrons to oxidants. 5-HTP is formed from tryptophan by the addition of an –OH group, which gives 5-HTP its antioxidant properties. This is in contrast to tryptophan, which is sensitive to oxidation. The effectiveness of 5-HTP in preventing lipid and protein oxidation is believed to contribute to liver cell integrity by countering membrane rigidity.14 A recent laboratory test demonstrated that 5-HTP is a more effective hydroxyl radical scavenger than even vitamin C.15
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
What is Silicon Dioxide and how is it produced?
Silicon dioxide is the most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust, and it is found across the world in various forms. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) in its pure form is colorless to white. Precipitated synthetic amorphous silicas are obtained from a process essentially using sand.
Precipitated silica is a safe (non-crystalline) mineral. According to the relevant United States and European Union standards, precipitated silica is non-hazardous with regard to manufacture, transportation and handling. Precipitated silica is an inert powder and a certified food and feed additive.
Do you test your products for heavy metals and pesticides, etc.?
We receive Certificates of Analysis from all our ingredient suppliers. These certificates specify the maximum allowable amounts for any impurities and report the precise amounts of impurities present. We always strive to use the purest ingredients available.
What does 5HTP stand for?
"5HTP" is the shorthand everyone uses to mean "5 Hydroxy L-Tryptophan." 5HTP is the common, or "street name." The "L" designates the chemical "rotation" of the amino acid.
What is Peak X?
Some years ago an impurity was found in the raw material from which t-HTP is derived. It was named "Peak X" because, on a certain kind of test, the impurity shows up, but at first no-one knew what it was, so it was named "peak x." The producers of 5-HTP have found a way to eliminate the impurity, and thus there is no longer a "peak x" to be seen on the test.
What is HPLC?
HPLC stands for "High Performance Liquid Chromatography." This is an analytical lab testing method that is used to quantify the active ingredients. It is considered to be a very sensitive and accurate test. HPLC testing is a tool recognized as a quality benchmark for herbal extracts.
Since Doctor's Best does not manufacture its supplements, how are the purity and integrity of supplements verified? In addition, how are your prices lower than other brands? Does this mean that quality is being compromised?
Doctor's Best supplements are manufactured in the US at cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facilities. All of our manufacturers and suppliers go through our vendor qualification program, which includes inspections and testing, before we agree to work with them. Our finished products have also been tested at the raw material level, in process, and as a finished product to ensure safety and quality. We place the highest importance on safety and quality and do not compromise for the sake of a better price point. The price points are lower because of production size and the overall business structure. We also place great importance on making our supplements available and affordable to those who need them most.
What is cellulose and modified cellulose produced from?
Vegetarian capsules are made from cellulose, a non-animal product, which complies with cultural and/or vegetarian requirements. The capsules are certified with Kosher and Halal. Cellulose is derived from high quality wood pulp.
What kind of rice constitutes the rice powder excipient commonly used in several DRB products?
Rice Powder comes from white rice unless otherwise specified on the label.
It seems that information is now out claiming that magnesium stearate is a form of, or implicated in, trans fat, which everyone now regards as being bad. Why does Doctor’s Best uses magnesium stearate in its products?
Magnesium Stearate is used to work as a lubricant in the formula. Magnesium Stearate is a salt of stearic acid. Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid. A trans fatty acid (commonly shortened to trans fat) is an unsaturated fatty acid molecule. Stearic acid, being a saturated fatty acid, is not a trans fat. The magnesium stearate used in Doctor’s Best products is vegetable sourced from palm oil.
Why is silicon dioxide used as an excipient in DRB products?
Silicon Dioxide is commonly used as a flow agent in supplements. It also works as an anti-caking agent, and is added as an ingredient in foods, many multivitamins and mineral supplements because silicon is necessary for good health and is a necessary nutrient for the health of skin, hair, nails and bones.
Should I be concerned when I see that Silicon Dioxide has been used as an excipient in DRB products?
According to numerous studies reviewed to date on this long-term Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) listed food additive, the following was found:
The oral toxicity in mice is greater than (>) 5 grams/kilogram of body weight (Kimmerle 1968), or greater than 350 grams in one dose in humans based on allometric comparisons between mice and humans.
A single dose of 2.5 grams of amorphous polymeric silicon dioxide to human volunteers did not significantly raise the SiO2 excretion in the urine thus suggesting poor absorption of the compound (silicon dioxide)--(Langendorf 1966). Less than one one-hundredth (1000th) of the dose was found in urine, suggesting extremely poor absorption--(Langendorf 1966).
This would suggest that there is no scientific reason to eliminate silicon dioxide as an excipient at the very low levels found in dietary supplements.
For further information re: Silicon dioxide, see "Minerals, Trace Elements and Human Health, 4th Edition."
What are the other ingredients and why are they used?
These are used as flow agents and aid in the production to keep the machinery running smoothly and the capsules filling correctly. Similarly for the croscarmellose sodium, which is cellulose (sourced from the cell walls of green plants), and is used to help the tablet to dissolve in the stomach.
Is there a limit to how many vitamins can be taken safely in one day?
While our bodies need vitamins and minerals, like other things, if taken in large amounts they may adversely affect health. Large amounts of anything can be toxic. It is important to follow all label directions and discuss any concerns with your physician.
I am somewhat confused on how to take the DRB products. On many of the labels the Suggested Adult Use will list something along the lines of: Take 2 capsules daily, but it does not state whether they should be taken together or separately. What is the correct usage?
Unless otherwise specified on the label, the product may be taken together or separately.
What is modified cellulose and is it safe?
The cellulose is derived from alpha cellulose from softwood pulp. This softwood pulp may be derived from hemlock, spruce or other soft woods. It is made by cooking raw plant fiber in an aqueous solution to separate the cellulose, and then purified. It then goes through extra processing to further break down the fiber. The finished product contains no residual solvents. Excipients are needed to make the materials flow into the capsule and are extremely minute in amounts and are safe.