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If you are wondering, yes, intake of too much 5-HTP can indeed lead to harmful side effects. So, how do you know what 5 HTP dosage to take?
5-HTP is one of the most important intermediate metabolites in the body, and proves to be as important as the neurotransmitter serotonin. The body does not produce 5-HTP. It produces 5-HTP from the amino acid tryptophan which is present in most meat and protein sources. 5-HTP is then converted to serotonin for proper brain and neural function.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating behavior, mood and appetite. Though indirectly, the same can be said for 5-HTP. Having too little will often lead to uneasiness or irritability. Adequate amounts should be needed to feel at ease and relaxed.
You should take 5 HTP only if you are deficient in this compound. So, the next question will be: how do you know if you are deficient? Disruptions and abnormal emotional well-being such as anxiety or depression an be attributed to serotonin imbalance in your brain. For example, people suffering from fibromyglia usually have depleted levels of serotonin in the blood.
Low serotonin levels can also lead to an unusually "healthy appetite," stress and abnormal sleeping habits. Furthermore, migraine headaches and other chronic headaches can also be traced to abnormal serotonin function. For all these conditions, 5-HTP may prove to be a remedy.
Note that while too little 5-HTP can lead to emotional upset, insomnia and large appetite, having too much of it may be harmful as well. Thus, it is important that you take 5-HTP supplements only at their recommended dosage.
So, how much 5 HTP can you take in a day? A good 5 HTP dose should range from about 50 to 400 mg. Supplements are available in 5-HTP 50 mg and 5-HTP 100 mg capsules. For depression, the normal dosage will involve intake of a capsule or two once to four times daily for 50 mg 5 HTP pills, while taking three tablets in divided doses are recommended for 100 mg capsule. Lesser doses are usually needed for treating sleeping disorders and for weight loss.
It is best that you consult with a health care professional to know which dose is best for your needs. Remember though that individual sensitivity to the supplement may vary. Generally, it is advised that you start with small dosages and gradually increasing when no effect is felt.
Though having too little 5-HTP is not good for you, taking too much 5-HTP can lead to harmful consequences as well. Overdose symptoms can include confusion, agitation, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, flushing, and tremors. Note that if a dangerous overdoes of 5-HTP is left untreated, the condition may worsen to seizures, coma to even death.
You can probably see now the importance of following the right recommended dose for 5-HTP. It is always best to consult with your doctor before taking any health supplement.