Could the tryptophan in turkey that converts to 5-HTP and serotonin be the missing link to fat loss? Just take a look at your family after a nice turkey meal. They kicked back and are relaxed and full.
Low calories and restrictive dieting, as well as stress, nagging hunger and general cravings can derail any diet. If you feel like you have lost complete focus and control of your diet and nutrition, you might want to consider supplementing with 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-Hydroxy-l-tryptophan). Experts are now telling us it’s the missing link to fat loss.
What Is It and Where Does It Come From?
5-HTP is a chemical produced by the body derived from the amino acid tryptophan. It is transported into the brain where it manufactures serotonin.
Now, serotonin is a hormone that regulates your mood, sleep, and appetite. This mood chemical is present in your blood cells, GI tract, and brain. Having a good serotonin flow makes you feel full and happy. When you are content you will typically eat less. So yes, serotonin is the all-natural feel-good drug!
5-HTP is not found in our food supply, but tryptophan is. In fact, tryptophan is primarily found in animal products and some high-protein legumes, nuts and seeds.
The supplement form of 5-HTP is extracted from the seed pods of a West African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia, and it can serve as a secret weapon for weight loss and for stabilizing your mood and managing your appetite.
Why You May Need a Serotonin Boost
You just may be a candidate for a serotonin boost. In today’s stress-filled world many people have low levels of serotonin in their brain. The result is cravings for carbs and sugar, depression, insomnia, headaches, and weight issues. Are you plagued by any of these conditions? Simply by elevating your serotonin levels those problems can be normalized.
How Does It Impact Your Appetite?
So basically your body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan and then coverts that into serotonin. You want a good flow of serotonin because it is a neurotransmitter with a powerful kick to perk-up your mood, kick cravings in the butt, curb your appetite and in the end stop weight gain and encourage weight loss. As your serotonin elevates your hunger subsides. You feel good about yourself and you are nutritionally satisfied. It’s a safe means to control your mood and appetite.
The Dr. Oz Blog discusses a case, “One study compared overweight women who took 200 mg of 5-HTP before each meal to those who took a placebo. The women who took the supplement ate 1,084 fewer calories per day and felt less hungry during the day. In another study, women who took 5-HTP lost 10.3 pounds over 12 weeks, compared to 2.2 pounds in the placebo group.”
Another study showed people ate less carbs without realizing it. The average carb intake dropped about 100 grams a day from supplementing with 5-HTP. The studies show that it works well for those who have constant cravings or continual thoughts about food.
Isn’t Tryptophan Banned? (Important Stuff… Read)
First, don’t confuse 5-HTP with tryptophan. They are different.
Tryptophan was a popular supplement in the 1980s to lose weight, lower anxiety, and improve sleep naturally. In 1989 a bad batch was sent to the USA from Japan and many people became ill from a blood disease and therefore the FDA pulled tryptophan off the market and banned it in 1990. Some say this tryptophan ban occurred at the same time Prozac was making its debut.
5-HTP became available over-the-counter (OTC) in 1994. Although it was new as an OTC supplement, it had been available in pharmacies for several years. 5-HTP is safe and it is effective if you maintain a low dosage for a short amount of time.
How 5-HTP Works To Control Appetite
People want to know about this missing link to fat loss. While your appetite is generally a complex process, it’s primarily controlled by your brain. When your hunger is always high it typically means that your serotonin is always low. The supplement 5-HTP drives down your hunger and increases your serotonin. As the serotonin floods your brain the hunger subsides. As this serotonin take over happens you will begin to feel fuller faster and be in a better mood.
If you have a constant thought pattern of food such as “I’m hungry” and “when am I going to eat?” then this supplement can help stabilize your hunger, thoughts, and mood.
Also, 5-HTP is a good product for the emotional eater, those who eat or eat more when they are stressed or depressed. Emotional eaters are typically unconscious eaters. They eat due to triggers and not true hunger. With a serotonin boost the mood will stabilize as well as the appetite.
When you feel better overall you tend to sleep better. In turn, this allows you to make better food choices when you get up and throughout the day.
Typically, most people tend to lose about 10 pounds of weight over a 12 week span. Now, this is slow weight loss, ½ – 1 pound a week. However, slow weight loss is lasting weight loss. If you stop taking 5-HTP a few months down the road, the weight won’t rebound, it will stay off.
This missing link to fat loss supplement really does work. Many people can lose up to 25 pounds in just months. Most users report they notice their hunger whet down in about three weeks. They also report not waking up hungry and not craving food all day.
During the first two weeks don’t expect any dramatic changes in hunger or weight. Do pay attention to your mood. You will notice your mood and sleep improving. Then you may begin to notice that you are craving healthier foods. You may eat more smaller healthier meals.
Buying Guidelines (What to Be Cautious of)
Just like with any supplement you need to purchase a high-quality product. When choosing your 5-HTP, read the labels and avoid any with fillers and extra ingredients. Steer clear of supplements with fillers, binders, and additives. Buy pure 5-HTP or Griffonia Simplicifolia
How Much to Take (Critical… Don’t Skip)
Healthy adults should start with 50 mg three times a day, 20-30 minutes before meals. You can increase if the amount if you feel it’s not working. Stay on 5-HTP for three months and see how you feel and how much you lost. To improve the tryptophan to serotonin conversion, be sure to take a vitamin B supplement. It will help boost the effectiveness.
Since this is a compound that is naturally occurring in the body it is best used for a short amount of time; no more than 12 weeks. The after effects are improved mood, better sleep, and controlled appetite.
Those with gastrointestinal issues should approach with caution and even talk a physician first. Some people can experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you do experience these symptoms either lower dosage, try another brand or perhaps this isn’t the supplement for you.
5-HTP is NOT recommended if you are taking prescribed antidepressants (SSRI or MAOI) or if you are under the care of a mental health specialist for severe depression or bipolar disorder.
Also, avoid this supplement if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
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Missing Link to Fat Loss
So, is 5-HTP and serotonin missing link to fat loss? Some would say yes. I believe it is a great supplement when taken properly by healthy adults. If you need an all-around kick in the pants, this might be the supplement for you. Remember, 50 mg, tid for 12 weeks. That’s it.
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