Research studies support the belief that an imbalance in serotonin levels can influence mood in a way that leads to depression. 5-HTP is an amino acid (a protein) that is a precursor of serotonin, helping the brain to produce this important neurotransmitter. Possible reasons an imbalance could occur include low brain cell production of serotonin, a lack of receptor sites able to receive the serotonin that is made, inability of serotonin to reach the receptor sites, or a shortage in tryptophan, the chemical from which serotonin is made. If any of these biochemical imbalances occur, researchers believe it can lead to depression, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic, and even excess anger. As a neurotransmitter, serotonin helps to relay messages from one area of the brain to another. Most of the approximately 40 million brain cells are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin. This includes brain cells related to sexual desire and function, appetite, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior.
This formulation by NatureWise is an effective alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressants. The formulation also includes vitamin B6 to help catalyze 5-HTP’s conversion to serotonin and boost its effectiveness. Buy it here.