5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytrytophan, is a chemical that the body makes from the dietary amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is linked to the brain chemical serotonin, which affects mood, sleep and pain. It can be used to help conditions affected by serotonin, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and obesity. Eating foods with tryptophan does not increase the amount of 5-HTP in the body, however, the body is able to absorb it when extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia plant.

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