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5 HTP May Help Ease Depression

Depression kills. This taken in a literal an non-literal way meaning it can end a life, the severe depression that may lead to suicide or in a more humane way of putting things, it may make life dull and meaningless. Depression affects everyone regardless of race, nationality, age, status or gender. Depression makes one gloomy and live life in the dark side instead of living I the light. Biologically, depression happens because of lacking activity of the neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.

Neurotransmitters are small chemical molecules which function as a messenger service in the brain by sending messages over the gap between neurons called a synapse. 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytrytophan is one among many neurotransmitters produced in the body. This neurotransmitter is a precursor to serotonin and has been clinically used for more than 30 years. 5-HTP is an amino acid produced by the human body from L-tryptophan which is found in dietary proteins. So to simplify things, serotonin is produced from 5-HTP which is produced from food that contains L-tryptophan in the proteins, so ultimately increasing the intake of these types of food will increase serotonin levels in the body.

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Serotonin is found in the cells of the brain and intestine and in the platelets of our blood. According to researches, lack of serotonin levels in the body has been linked to mood disorders, appetite control, premenstrual syndrome, autism, eating disorders and migraine. Low levels of serotonin in the body have been linked to the causes of depression and also low levels of serotonin have been seen in suicidal patients.

Prozac is one of the most known medications for the treatment of depression but knowing the same effects of increasing serotonin levels in the body, man has now found a natural alternative. 5-HTP is found in cheese and poultry, thus increasing the intake of these foods may help and also, 5-HTP supplements are now available for use with medical advice. 

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