Have you heard about 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and wondered what it is all about? Did it stir your interest too?
- 1 What Is 5-HTP
- 2 How Does 5-HTP Work?
- 3 5-HTP For Sex: Helps You Get In The Mood
- 4 5-HTP For Premature Ejaculation: Increased Serotonin Helps With PE Problems
- 5 5-HTP For Testosterone: Giving You Enough Sleep Boosts Your Testosterone Level
- 6 5-HTP For Erectile Dysfunction: Keeps You Well-Rested For Your Erectile Health
- 7 Is 5-HTP safe?
- 8 Recommended 5-HTP Usage
- 9 5-HTP Warnings
- 10 Conclusion
5-HTP is a popular alternative to anti-depressants medication. It is primarily used for depression and in normalizing sleep patterns. But aside from this, a number of users claim that it also helps them boost their libido. Many believed that this is possible due to the rise of serotonin, which also increases oxytocin or “love” hormone.
If you are interested about 5-HTP you are on the right page. Continue reading to see how this neurotransmitter works in helping you achieve a better overall sexual health.
What Is 5-HTP
First let me give you an overview about 5-HTP. It is necessary that you know this before I discuss how it works in your sex life.
5-HTP is a chemical by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan. This is an integral precursor in the synthesis of the ever important neurotransmitter chemical Serotonin. It can also convert into serotonin (when tryptophan breakdown) and aids its production.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that can be found in several staple foods especially on protein-rich foods like turkey, eggs, fish, seafoods, oats, lentils, green beans, garlic and chickpeas. Unfortunately, some individuals can only produce low levels of 5-HTP. In this case, 5-HTP supplement is necessary.
Good news! 5-HTP is also produced commercially from the seeds of African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. Its seeds are known to contain as much as 5-HTP by weight.
In general, this element is used for sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seizure disorder and Parkinson’s disease.
How Does 5-HTP Work?
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin, which can affect your sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior and pain sensation. It performs the following:
- Increases serotonin levels in the brain
- Enhances mood and alleviate stress
- Improves sleep and regulate appetite
However, aside from the aforementioned, more and more are convinced that this also works in improving sexual health by giving boosting the libido and addressing sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Let’s address these concerns in the next sections.
5-HTP For Sex: Helps You Get In The Mood
Your mood can affect your performance in bed. Actually, it can either make you say yes to your spouse or turn her down. Pretty sure, you know how important it is in a relationship to keep yourself sexually active and available to your partner. But sometimes, your mood gets in the way.
5-HTP can gives you a better mood by allowing you to have a more satisfying sleep. This particular element is known to improve your quality of sleep particularly the restorative stage 4 of dreamless sleep.
A good slumber paves the way for better sexual function. When men are alert they are more likely to be aroused.
Let’s admit it, nowadays achieving a good sleep is challenging for some due to over-stress or adverse physical and psychological manifestations. As a result this depletes the serotonin level.
Using 5-HTP will make you feel better. This also mitigates depression, anxiety, obesity and insomnia. But more importantly, it makes you more inclined to participate in lovemaking. A number of those who used this drug testified that it increases their sex drive. A number of users who take 5-HTP supplement in this forum admitted that their libido increases.
Aside from this, 5-HTP can delay your orgasms so this will allow you to last longer in bed. It is given that men achieve their orgasm easier than women. In fact, a lot struggle to keep their woman finish before them because once the man ejaculates his energy is down
Since it takes longer for ladies to peak, your power to control your orgasm will be very helpful in allowing your lady to achieve her own Big O. Delaying ejaculation is something that most men want to be a pro.
So, for men who lack the interest in coupling due to low libido and have difficulty controlling their orgasm, 5-HTP can help. However, you should observe your body’s reaction to it because results may vary.
5-HTP For Premature Ejaculation: Increased Serotonin Helps With PE Problems
Premature ejaculations or the uncontrolled ejaculation before or shortly after sexual penetration is one of the most common male sexual dysfunctions. If you are suffering from the same condition, 5-HTP supplements might help because this can increase your serotonin levels.
Low serotonin levels can cause premature ejaculation. It can also slow or retard your familiarity with your sexual limits, thereby making it more difficult for you to control you ejaculations.
How does 5-HTP helps with premature ejaculation?
5-HTP provides your brain with the essential amino acid to produce more serotonin on its own. This is a natural serotonin booster. When your serotonin level is elevated you have higher chances of beating premature ejaculation problems.
According to a study, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) has moderate effect in the treatment of PE. However, this is not approved by the FDA yet as it still needs further evaluations.
5-HTP For Testosterone: Giving You Enough Sleep Boosts Your Testosterone Level
When your body has its optimal testosterone level, you will enjoy tons of benefits like plenty of energy, happier disposition, increased muscle mass, healthy heart, strong bones, strong erections and a healthy libido. So just imagine what you will go through if your testosterone level drops.
According to Charlie Seltzer, MD, one of the most effective ways to boost testosterone level safely is by getting adequate sleep. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that men who only slept 5 hours per night experienced 10-15% drop in their testosterone level. The same results were proven by a number of studies on both human and rats.
If you have problems sleeping, 5-HTP is an effective solution. As mentioned, this can help normalize your sleeping habit.
5-HTP For Erectile Dysfunction: Keeps You Well-Rested For Your Erectile Health
As men aged, they are more prone to suffering different sexual problems including erectile dysfunction or the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. One should take note though that age only increases its risk, it does not cause the problem.
Men of all ages may experience this, as ED or impotence is caused by certain medical conditions like medications, trauma and outside influences. Other common causes are overconsumption of alcohol, stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
According to this report, oxygen-rich blood is essential for erectile health. The oxygen level varies from low levels during the flaccid state to very high levels in the erect state. During sleep, a man can normally have three to five erections, bringing more oxygen-rich blood to the penis.
Now, that you know how 5-HTP can help you solve your sexual problems, it’s time to check if it is worth trying. Is this safe to take?
Is 5-HTP safe?
5-HTP supplements can be safely taken by mouth. However, you should be keen on the doses. A dosage of 400 mg daily for up to one year is safe, according to WebMD.
Also, you should check your body’s reaction. Some users who have taken this developed eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia). However, there is no scientific evidence supporting the claims that 5-HTP can cause EMS.
Take note that this is not safe to be taken by mouth in large doses. Doses from 6-10 grams daily have been linked to severe stomach problems and muscle spasms.
Here are some of the potential side effects of 5-HTP:
- Stomach pain
- Gastro problems
- Sexual problems
- Muscle problems
Recommended 5-HTP Usage
In general, 5-HTP is safe to be taken and is well-tolerated. However, to keep you from any side-effect you should only take between 50-250 mg of 5-HTP a day, per Nootriment.
Meanwhile, WebMD suggests this dosing: For depression: Several studies have used doses of 150-3000 mg daily in up to three divided doses for 2-6 weeks. Doses have also been gradually increased from 150 mg daily for 2 weeks up to 400 mg daily for 4 weeks.
For those who have been prescribed with certain common antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications like SSRIs or Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), taking 5-HTP is not advisable as this may raise your serotonin to unsafe levels.
When serotonin level gets too high in the brain there’s risk of developing Serotonin Syndrome. Its symptoms include excessive sweating, irregular heartbeat, confusion, muscle rigidity, agitation or restlessness. This condition in extreme cases can be fatal.
This chemical compound is very promising, but there are things that you should consider too. For instance, according to Progressive Health, drugs that increase the levels and activities of serotonin such as SSRIs are known to cause sexual dysfunctions such as reduced sex drive, difficulty reaching orgasm and difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection in men.
Also, while some men are happy with the increase of their libido after taking this, some experienced the opposite. Here are some users whose sex drive dropped after talking 5-HTP while another one suffered anorgasmia.
In general, there are opposite views when it comes to 5-HTP’s effect to our sexual health. Some experience positive results, others don’t. So, it’s your discretion whether you should take this or not.
5-HTP is proven to give a slight boost to your libido and testosterone levels. In addition, it works in addressing premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. However, it’s effect on sexual health may vary depending on the user.
So, if you are keen on taking this, observe the reaction of your body if there’s a positive or negative change in your sex life. It’s also best to talk with your doctor.