Why 5-HTP is better than Tryptophan

21st December 2012
Beryl Shuttleworth
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How do your nerves communicate with each other? How is a message passed from one area to the next? Your brain uses chemical substances called neurotransmitters. One of which is called serotonin.

Studies in animals and humans have revealed that serotonin is responsible for feelings of well being, calmness, relaxation, confidence and concentration.

What happens if you don’t have enough serotonin? Fear, aggression, anxiety. But serotonin deficiency is often simply due to dietary imbalances. Easy to fix.

This is how serotonin is made in the body:
Tryptophan (an amino acid) is converted into 5-HTP (another amino acid) which in turn, is converted into serotonin (a neurotransmitter).

When we first started making herbal products, we formulated Calm mix using tryptophan. But we encountered a problem – the product seemed to become less effective with time.

A bit of research showed us where we were going wrong:

  • Tryptophan doesn’t pass easily from the blood into the brain.
  • It is also used to make proteins – hence some of it is used elsewhere.
  • The liver breaks it down to a mildly toxic substance.
  • It feeds back on itself, and inhibits its own conversion to serotonin.

Because of these problems, we switched to using 5-HTP. 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP) is also a completely natural substance, derived from the seed pods of Griffonia, a West African plant. Side effects are very rare and 5-HTP has been shown to be VERY effective.

As far as I have seen, our Calm mix is the only product for horses which uses 5-HTP instead of tryptophan. This makes it a safer, more effective alternative.

It means that if you have a spooky, flighty horse or an overly aggressive dog, supplementation with Calm mix (for horses) or Serenity Formula (for pets) might just help. Why don’t you give it a try?

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Why 5-HTP is better than Tryptophan
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Why 5-HTP is better than Tryptophan
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