NutraBio 5-HTP: Bring the Sleep, Smiles, & Appetite Suppression

Here on PricePlow, it goes without saying that NutraBio is one of the leaders in the supplement industry, as their effective, fully-disclosed process helped set the trend that we find other companies following today.

NutraBio 5-HTP

With added Vitamin B-6, NutraBio 5-HTP can help boost serotonin levels, leading to better mood, sleep, and even less appetite!

They didn’t build this reputation by continuing to cycle the same supplements, though. No, they’ve stayed ahead of the game by innovating, whether that be introducing new ingredients, formulas, or even brand new products. NutraBio is constantly looking for different ways to produce supplements they think we can benefit from, and have done so with their newest product, NutraBio 5-HTP!

Busy times at NutraBio

This comes hot on the heels of two other single-ingredient releases, NutraBio Alpha GPC and NutraBio KSM-66 Ashwagandha, both of which can boost mental prowess like 5-HTP, but in different ways. In the midst of those releases, we also have the best new protein powder on the planet in NutraBio’s Breakfast Series, and their incredible Dragon Fruit sports supplement series flavor!

So how do you keep your spirits high and sleep state solid when your boss is working you non-stop with all these product releases? Add in some 5-HTP!

In this product, each vegetable capsule contains 200mg 5-HTP, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan.

Back to 5-HTP

5-HTP is an important amino acid that has many uses within the body, and it’s something some of us may really want to add to our supplement regimen (you’ll have a better idea once you read the details below). In this post, we’ll break down this natural amino acid, what it does within your body, and why you should (or should not) consider taking it!

Before we do that, however, be sure to sign up for NutraBio news updates from PricePlow for the best and latest price alerts, news, and reviews in the supplement industry!

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Kickstarting the “feel-good” neurotransmitters

NutraBio 5-HTP Ingredients

200mg per capsule, with a large dose of Vitamin B-6 (reasoning explained below), and no fillers!

5-Hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, is a naturally-occurring amino acid which your body produces to aid in the process that breaks tryptophan down into serotonin.

In your body, tryptophan becomes 5-HTP, which when met with thetryptophan hydroxylase enzyme, becomes serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a massive impact on your body, as it aids in regulating your mood, digestion, sexual health, and even cardiovascular health. It’s widely known as a “feel-good” neurotransmitter, and is used in treatment for various medical disorders. However, some of us tend to lack in its production!

5-HTP naturally synthesized from tryptophan, an essential amino acid

We get tryptophan from our food, mainly meat. Remember, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that must be ingested since our bodies cannot synthesize it ourselves. It’s included in full-spectrum essential amino acid formulas like NutraBio’s EAA Energy and Alpha EAA, but you honestly need far more, and that comes from food… primarily meat. This is why we emphasize eating complete proteins, and once you’re done reading this article, you’ll understand why there’s greater risk of tryptophan deficiency[1] and mental disorders for people who don’t eat dairy, meat, fish, shellfish, and eggs.[2-6]

Tryptophan 5-HTP Serotonin Pathway

The Tryptophan 5-HTP Serotonin Pathway. Don’t have enough tryptophan around because of weak diet? Supplementing 5-HTP and B-6 may help

After getting that tryptophan in, the body is entirely responsible for producing 5-HTP, which is integral in converting that tryptophan into serotonin. Supplemental 5-HTP, as we see on the label, is derived from Griffonia simplicifolia, a plant native to Africa.

Vegan Amino Acid Levels

Just one week (V2) on the vegan diet can drop essential and aromatic amino acid levels down[1] to a compromised state. Keep protein high and supplement around areas you can’t get naturally.

Suffice to say, you want to make sure your serotonin levels are adequate, and that there’s enough 5-HTP in your body. When you don’t have enough of either, things can get down and out in a real hurry. We still suggest eating more meats, eggs, and fish as high sources of tryptophan, but supplementing with 5-HTP will also help aid in serotonin production, as well as boosting your mind and body in other areas, too!

What else can 5-HTP do?

  • Effective sleep aid

    From an athletic standpoint (most NutraBio customers are athletes), 5-HTP may be most useful in helping improve your sleep. Truthfully, many of us don’t get the 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night that doctors recommend. Everyone’s body is different, but very few of us can effectively last on sub six hours for long. Whether we toss and turn for awhile, work too much, have unsympathetic children, or life just always seem to get in the way, sleep can be hard to come by for us active folks. If you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight, or improve your health overall, this could seriously hinder your progress and raise cortisol to boot. But, there are solutions out there to help, and 5-HTP seems to be an effective o

    5-HTP Sleep Study: 200mg Used alongside Glycine

    In an industry-funded study of individuals who were taking 200mg of 5-HTP per day for 5 days, we can gain some insight on the chemical’s promise in this helping with sleep. They compared their 5-day experience to the previous 5-day period, where they took no such supplement. Subjects reported a 20% average decrease in time it took to fall asleep,[8] in addition to being more likely to remain asleep.[8]

    5-HTP Sleep

    The study showing lessened night terrors with 5-HTP and a few other sleep-inducing ingredients also showed improved time to sleep.[15]

    Even though these individuals self-reported (meaning they all knew they were taking 5-HTP, and there was no blind placebo group), the results warrant consideration. After all, you’re likely not going to blind and placebo control your use either, so it could work for you.

    Note that 200mg is what’s inside NutraBio 5-HTP here, so our dose is right on the mark.

    Animal studies in conjunction with GABA

    Another study from 2018 saw similar results, as well. Scientists tested a GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) + 5-HTP combination on caffeine-induced flies and mice. They found that the combination showed inhibitory effects in brain activity, sleep quantity, and sleep quality.[9] Although not tested in humans, these results are definitely promising, especially for those of us who consume caffeine later in the day. If you’re interested in testing that angle, there’s NutraBio GABA which has other benefits as well.

    Reduction of Night Terrors?

    Another wild sleep study shows a reduction of night terrors![15] This one, however, was also confounded – it included GABA ad Valerian, which we know helps improve sleep as well.

    Regardless, there’s definitely something to be said for this ingredient, but the most human research is performed in conjunction with other known sleep aid ingredients, so your mileage may vary.

  • Potential depression combatant

    Note: The following section is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you are depressed, seek help immediately. Never make any supplemental changes without your medical practitioner’s knowledge and approval, especially if on prescription drugs.

    Because of its relation to serotonin, 5-HTP has been postulated and tested to help alleviate symptoms of depression. Since serotonin is mainly tasked with regulating your mood, having enough of it is crucial to keeping a healthy mind. In fact, low serotonin levels may relate to depression, although scientists definitely continue to debate this theory[10] it’s only one of dozens (if not hundreds) of factors.

    5-HTP Benefits

    Important: “Supports mood” doesn’t mean it’s going to fix serious medical conditions. Get psychological and dietary help if you need it.

    With that said, 5-HTP has shown some potential antidepressant effects of its own. Research published in 2013 found that the chemical lowered symptoms of depression in 22 patients.[11] Additionally, they saw that it was equally as effective as fluoxetine, a commonly used medication.[11]

    5-HTP has been shown to be a worthy adjunct to depression medication, specifically SSRIs. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a popular antidepressant, as they help your nervous system absorb serotonin.

    A study from 2006 saw that 5-HTP supplementation augmented the effects of SSRIs, hinting at a potential combination of use. However, more research here is needed, and this might actually be a bad thing, hence our disclaimer above. Too much of a good thing is not always a great thing, and you should be weary with this research because everyone’s individual. One patient may need more serotonin, the next person may be on the edge of too much, and 5-HTP could put them over the edge… and you may not know which one you are. This is why working with your doctor is a must.

    So if you find that you may have depression, please get help immediately, and don’t try to solve the problem alone. There are diets postulated to help, but professionals are called so because they know what they’re doing, and we recommend going to see one!

  • May help with weight loss (via appetite suppression)

    Limited research has shown that there might be some potential for 5-HTP for those of you who are dieting. One study has shown that it may help in reducing cravings,[12] whereas another reported it may be effective in making you stay satiated, preventing overeating.[13] Both of these are relevant in terms of keeping weight off, especially if one of your problems is “food addiction” or “carbohydrate addiction”, two very real things we’re seeing out in the world today.

    Carbohydrate Craving Hypotheses

    A great summary of the various theories surrounding carbohydrate addiction / carbohydrate “craving”[13]… and the serotonin system is front and center of it all

    Due to the amino acid’s relation to serotonin levels, this makes sense. When you’re not feeling great, you tend to make poor choices regarding food. Some of us may eat rather unhealthy stuff, and some may end up overeating due to their mood. In theory, 5-HTP may boost serotonin, which in turn would help prevent these kinds of decisions.

    With that said, it’s practical for dieters who use food as a stress crutch to find a new “crutch” – and that could be as simple as walking a few flights of stairs, calling a close friend, or taking on some creative arts. As much as we love 5-HTP, not everything needs to be replaced with a pill.

Why the added Vitamin B-6?

Remember up above, you’re not going to get to the final step of serotonin if you don’t have the tryptophan hydroxylase to get you there. And unfortunately, its activity can be downregulated if you have a Vitamin B6 deficiency.[14]

5-HTP Dosage

Just 1-2 caps per day, depending on your situation and diet. It may be wise to take a cap before bed if going for the sleep benefits.

5-HTP Dosage

As we saw in the sleep study above, 200mg was the dose used, and that means just one capsule before bed. You may need to tinker with the timing a bit.

Outside of that, for general use, the label states, “As a dietary supplement, take 1 capsule 1-2 times a day or as directed by your physician.”

Another item to consider in the stack: Magnesium!

Important to note – tryptophan hydroxylase can also be downregulated if you’re magnesium-deficient, which is unsurprising given how much anxiety and poor sleep we see in people who don’t have enough of this critical mineral.[14]

NutraBio Reacted Magnesium

A high quality magnesium to keep your tryptophan hydroxylase at top form.

NutraBio has a few great ways of getting more magnesium — with NutraBio Reacted Magnesium (our suggested supplement), NutraBio Reacted Calcium Magnesium & Vitamin D (powder), or NutraBio ZMA (adds zinc but would give even more B6, possibly not necessary). These contain different forms of magnesium, but none of them contain the low quality magnesium oxide stuff we never recommend in those cheaper Mg supplements.

Since 5-HTP is a capsule supplement, and we don’t need the extra B6 in ZMA, we suggest stacking in the Reacted Magnesium linked above, which is extremely bioavailable thanks to the chelation process used.

The extra specs and lab tests

As with all of NutraBio’s supplements, it’s third-party lab-tested for purity, and NutraBio publishes those reports so you can check out the lab test done on your bottle’s batch!

In addition, NutraBio 5-HTP is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegetarian, and kosher — and there’s no fillers or excipients used in their capsule process, which is performed in NutraBio’s cGMP certified and FDA-inspected manufacturing facility that they completely control in New Jersey.

Conclusion – NutraBio knows no bounds!

Being a sports nutrition company, yes, NutraBio tends to focus more so on proteins, pre-workouts, and essential amino acid supplements. And they’re dominating that space lately (let us remind you about the Breakfast Series Whey Protein Isolates!)

5-Hydroxytryptophan

Also known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan, 5-HTP can help you boost serotonin levels!

However, staying content with inventory just isn’t the way they do things, especially when there’s an ingredient out there that can be so incredibly useful! By branching out into the more “lifestyle” type of supplements, they’re aiming to be a company that provides something for you no matter who you are.

In NutraBio 5-HTP, they’re giving us a supplement that can help us sleep better, stay positive, and stay happy. But there are limitations to that, there are some serious disclaimers to be had with this one, and eating real meat and food may be what’s really needed.

We hope we’ve kept things as “real” as possible for you here. It’s a fascinating ingredient, but only when it’s in the hands of the right person at the right time.

In a world like the one we live in, sometimes a little realism with that positivity is just what we need!

NutraBio 5-HTP - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

NutraBio 5-HTP Label

The full NutraBio 5-HTP Label

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is a biohacker with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several "n=1" experiments done on himself.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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References

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  2. Hibbeln, JR, et al; “Vegetarian diets and depressive symptoms among men”; Journal of Affective Disorders; 225:13-17; Jan 1, 2018; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28777971
  3. Baines, S, et al; “How does the health and well-being of young Australian vegetarian and semi-vegetarian women compare with non-vegetarians?”; Public Health Nutrition; 10(5):436-42; May 2007; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17411462
  4. Jacka, F, et al; “Red Meat Consumption and Mood and Anxiety Disorders”; Pyschotherapy and Psychosomatics; 81:196–198; 2012; https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/334910
  5. Perry, C, et al; “Characteristics of vegetarian adolescents in a multiethnic urban population”; Journal of Adolescent Health; 29(6):406-16; December 2001; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11728890
  6. Bas, M, et al; “Vegetarianism and eating disorders: association between eating attitudes and other psychological factors among Turkish adolescents”; Appetite; 44(3):309-15; June 2005; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15927731
  7. MOHAMMAD‐ZADEH, L. F., et al; “Serotonin: a Review.”; The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering; Wiley-Blackwell; 14 Apr. 2008; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2885.2008.00944.x
  8. “5-HTP 200 Mg Sleep Quality Study.”; NOW; 2018; http://archive.is/omTCq
  9. Hong, Ki-Bae et al. “Two combined amino acids promote sleep activity in caffeine-induced sleepless model systems”; Nutrition research and practice; vol. 12,3; 2018; 208-214; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5974066/
  10. Cowen, Philip J and Michael Browning; “What has serotonin to do with depression?”; World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA); vol. 14,2; 2015; 158-60; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4471964/
  11. Jangid, P, et al; “Comparative Study of Efficacy of l-5-Hydroxytryptophan and Fluoxetine in Patients Presenting with First Depressive Episode.”; Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.; U.S. National Library of Medicine; Feb. 2013; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23380314
  12. Lowe, S L, et al. “L-5-Hydroxytryptophan Augments the Neuroendocrine Response to a SSRI.”; Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports; U.S. National Library of Medicine; May 2006; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16378695
  13. Ventura, T, et al; “Neurobiologic Basis of Craving for Carbohydrates.”; Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports; U.S. National Library of Medicine; Mar. 2014; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24139726
  14. Green, A R et al; “Metabolism of an oral tryptophan load. I: Effects of dose and pretreatment with tryptophan”; British journal of clinical pharmacology; vol. 10,6: 603-10; 1980; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1430228/
  15. Shell, W; “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep”; American Journal of Therapeutics; 17(2):133-9; 2010; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19417589

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