5-HTP modulates the formation of the key neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which is used as a precursor to form melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. In the body, 5-HTP is synthesized from the amino acid L-tryptophan. The formation of serotonin is completely dependent on the amount of L-tryptophan and 5-HTP available in the central nervous system. Once inside the brain, L-tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP, which is then used to synthesize serotonin.
L-tryptophan is dependent on an enzyme, tryptophan hydroxylase, to cross the blood brain barrier, however this enzyme can be inhibited by a number of different factors. 5-HTP, the metabolite of L-tryptophan, is well absorbed from the diet and is able to freely cross the blood brain barrier without requiring a transport molecule. Supplementation with 5-HTP has been shown to increase sleep quality, particularly by increasing Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and regulating sleep patterns.
St. John’s Wort has been used in Herbal Medicine for hundreds of years and is known to have a variety of traditional-type uses. As co-enzymes, the B vitamins thiamine, niacinamide, folic acid, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid are essential components in most major metabolic reactions. They play an important role in energy production, including the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins. Vitamin B12 and folate are also important for the formation of red blood cells.
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