5-HTP: Natural Mood Booster
Are you not feeling like yourself lately? Are you battling sad, anxious thoughts? Some doctors will diagnose this as depression and prescribe an antidepressant. In reality, you may be experiencing low serotonin levels. By acknowledging that this could be the cause of your sadness and increasing serotonin with a natural mood booster like 5-HTP, you can get back to feeling like your wonderful self in no time. 

Serotonin is a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter. It helps relay messages from one area of the brain to another, and also helps with mood regulation. 5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan and it is an amino acid that is the precursor of serotonin, which is why it is often used to boost mood and help relieve depression.

Be sure to avoid prescription antidepressants at all costs. Studies show that they cause suicidal and homicidal thoughts, and have many other negative side effects. If you are currently taking an antidepressant, please talk to your doctor before stopping it, as it can be dangerous to stop them “cold turkey.” Ask your doctor to help you wean off of an antidepressant slowly and safely.

3 Causes of Low Serotonin 

Low serotonin can be caused by several different things, and by managing these areas, you can start feeling better much sooner. 

1. Unhealthy eating can deplete serotonin, so it’s probably time to restrict or refuse refined sugar and processed carbs, if you have not done so already. Eat as many brightly-colored, organic fruits and vegetables as possible. Eat complex carbohydrates (like brown rice or sweet potato) in moderation if you aren’t on the yeast-free eating program. If you are eating yeast-free, then stick to the meal plan and food lists, as these foods are optimal for supporting serotonin production

2. Stress can also cause serotonin to dip, and this is why sadness can be common during the stress of the holidays. Reduce stress with prayer, quiet time or yoga at least twice a week. If you have taken on too many obligations, this may be a good time to be honest with yourself about what you can handle. 

3. Too much caffeine is a common cause of low serotonin. If you are making it a habit to have more than two cups of coffee per day, then it may be time to cut back or switch to decaf. Green tea is another good option with less caffeine, and it has mood-boosting benefits. Do not drink energy drinks, as they typically have more caffeine than coffee and can cause severe dips in serotonin. 

Whatever the cause, low serotonin can be boosted quickly and naturally by taking 5-HTP. Although it can be taken during the day in smaller doses, the best time to take it is at bedtime. Take 100-200 mg on an empty stomach right before you go to sleep, and this will help replenish serotonin. 

If you need to take a daytime dose, take 50 mg before a meal. 5-HTP is the immediate precursor to serotonin, which will naturally boost your own production of it. Having better levels of serotonin is not only great for moods, but it can also improve sleep and memory, increase sexual desire, decrease sugar cravings and enhance digestion. 

The key to overcoming depression naturally is to take a holistic approach and incorporate as many of these suggestions as possible. It helps to remember that low serotonin is serious business and can lead to bigger issues later if not addressed. 5-HTP will help, but the best results come from also improving your eating plan, reducing stress and lowering caffeine intake. 

Call our Certified Holistic Nutritionists and Vitamin Consultants at Physicians Preference Vitamins at 281-646-1659 with any questions you have and to find out if 5-HTP can help you. It will be our privilege to serve you!