Dosages for 5-HTP for Help With Depression & Appetite

5 HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is not present in a typical diet. It has to be manufactured from an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which is found in most dietary proteins. 5-HTP in pill form can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, similar to the antidepressants that are thought to boost the body's serotonin levels. Too little 5-HTP dosage can lead to emotional upset and large appetite, while taking too much 5-HTP can also lead to harmful consequences. Thus, it is important to take 5-HTP pills only at their recommended dosage.

White supplement pills. (Image: limpido/iStock/Getty Images)

Function

The tryptophan present in the diet is biochemically converted into 5-HTP in the body. 5-HTP dietary supplements raise the serotonin levels in the brain, which helps support mood and appetite balance. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to the development of depression and increased appetite.

5-HTP Dosage for Depression

According to Nutritional Supplements and Health Guide, a good dose of 5-HTP should range from about 50 to 400 mg. 5-HTP supplements are sold in 50 and 100 mg capsules. For depression, the normal dosage will involve intake of a 50 mg capsule once to four times daily. For 100 mg 5-HTP pills, intake of three tablets in a divided dose is recommended. The individual sensitivity to the 5-HTP pills may vary. Consult with your doctor to know which dose is best for your need.

5-HTP Dosage for Appetite

5-HTP dietary supplements help raises the levels of serotonin in the brain, which may have positive effect on appetite. According to Vitamins and Health Supplements Guide, 5-HTP supplements may decrease fat and carbohydrate intake by promoting a feeling of satiety. Initial recommended dosage for 5-HTP is usually 50 mg, three times a day. Appetite reduction may occur with a 5-HTP dosage of 600 to 900 mg daily. It is advisable to begin with 50 mg dosage of 5-HTP and titrate upwards.

Side Effects

Large dose of 5-HTP may increase the concentration of serotonin and may result in serotonin syndrome, symptoms of which include agitation, diarrhea, fast heart beat, hallucinations, increased body temperature, loss of coordination, nausea, rapid changes in blood pressure and vomiting. 5-HTP should not be taken with weight-control drugs and antidepressants. The exact dosage of 5-HTP should be prescribed by a healthcare professional.

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