Serotonin, an important brain neurotransmitter, is key in the regulation of mood. Serotonin is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier and is therefore synthesized in the brain. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is a precursor for the synthesis of serotonin. Tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier and is converted to L-5-hydroxytryptophan, which in turn is converted into serotonin. As a metabolic amino acid intermediate in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, 5-HTP can also serve as a precursor of serotonin. 5-HTP crosses into the brain more readily than tryptophan as it does so without competition for uptake. 5-HTP exerts its beneficiary effects to promote healthy mood balance by increasing serotonin production, which in turn decreases excitatory hormones in the brain including dopamine and noradrenaline.
- Temporarily promotes healthy mood balance