5 htp: A Naturally Produced Chemical that Can Help with Weight Loss

Recently, Doctor Oz did a show on a great natural supplement called 5htp and for many this was their first time hearing of the natural appetite suppressant which can help with weight loss. It is a chemical produced naturally by the brain, but can also be found in different types of food such as beans, nuts and milk. It is also used for treating problems with sleep along with depression and anxiety since it is a mood stabilizer as well. The way it works in the brain and central nervous system is by increasing the production in serotonin, a chemical in the brain which gives us pleasure. Serotonin can affect not only sleep but appetite of course, sexual behavior and pain sensation. A hungry brain typically is running low on serotonin which causes the body to want to eat and a diet can tend to suffer.

Doctor Oz recommends the use of 5 htp (5-Hydroxytryptophan) to balance out the serotonin and hunger receptors in the brain. When asking Denise Bruner, MD a Bariatric Physician to explain how it worked she said,” What happens is for 5-htp, it’s transported into the brain [and] it makes serotonin. Remember serotonin makes us feel good and feel happy and feel full and so when we are feeling that way we are going to eat less.” To understand better Doctor Oz had a scale with serotonin on one side and hunger on the other where he then explained, “When your hunger is always high it often means your serotonin levels are probably low. What [it] does very elegantly is it joins on the see saw to push down the hunger and increase the serotonin. As the serotonin floods the brain the hunger goes away.”

Of course there are always side effects to everything and the same goes for this supplement. Possible side effects could be nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Other side effects could include nervousness, insomnia, sweating, dizziness and headaches. In men it could possibly lead to erectile dysfunction. There are also some medications one would want to ask their doctor about before taking it like St. Johns wort, Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft and some chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics to name a few. It’s always a safe choice to discuss any vitamins or supplements with your doctor before adding them to your diet.

5 HTP is sold over the counter and you do not need a prescription for it. Also since it also helps with sleep and is a mood stabilizer one is able to have a good night’s rest and feel good in the morning and be able to make better food choices for their diet. With a new year just in its first stages everyone is eager to keep with their goals of weight loss and this natural appetite suppressant seems like a promising source of help.

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