Essay on A solution to the weight-loss puzzle

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A solution to the weight-loss puzzle


The purpose of taking 5-HTP is to reduce carbohydrate cravings, and thus, diminish food intake, resulting in weight loss. In addition to promoting weight loss, it has also been linked with beneficial effects on behaviors such as sleep disturbances, narcolepsy, depression, migraines, anxiety, bulimia, PMS, compulsive behaviors, substance abuse, childhood hyperactivity, and hypersexuality.


5-HTP is obtained by extracting it from the seeds of a legume called Griffonia simplicifolia, which is found in West Africa. It is recommended to take anywhere from 50mg to 900mg 5-HTP daily, depending on the needs of the individual. It is available in both a capsule or a drink mix. It should be taken between meals (at least 30 minutes before each meal) to prevent its interaction with other amino acids and to ensure its effectiveness.


A deficiency in the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) has been linked with a number of behaviors mentioned above. It has especially been associated with carbohydrate craving because eating carbohydrates is one way to briefly increase the brain’s level of 5-HT. This occurs because carbohydrates induce insulin production, and this insulin promotes 5-HT production. A temporary sense of well-being and satiety occurs. From this, it has been concluded that by increasing the brain’s 5-HT levels by methods other than overeating carbs, these cravings would be avoided, satiety would be reached earlier, overeating would be avoided, and weight would be lost.

So why does 5-HTP have this ...

... middle of paper ...


Fernstrom JD, Fernstrom MH, Gendall KA, Kaye WH, McConahan CW, Weltzin TE (2000): Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on mood in bulimia nervosa. Biological Psychiatry 47(2):151-7.











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