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There are many individuals who still do not have a good grasp with regards to the difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan. Because of this fact, there is a great need to reiterate and explain further the set of differences between the two. We could not fully understand how they work and the good things they could contribute to our body if we are not fully aware with their general distinction.

Let us first discuss what is tryptophan so that we could draw a good comparison with 5-HTP. To start with, L-Tryptophan is the amino acid from which the body produces 5-HTP, Melatonin, Serotonin and other essential proteins and enzymes that the body greatly needs. L-Tryptophan is an irreplaceable amino acid. This means that there are no other herbs, vitamins, and other synthetic chemicals that could replace L-Tryptophan with the jobs and functions that it is capable of performing for the body.

There are supplements and other drugs that have a tranquilizing effect may mask the existence of L-Tryptophan deficiency.  The body definitely needs a lot of minerals, vitamins and other vital and potent nutrients for it to be able to metabolize L-Tryptophan properly. If your consumption of these vitamins and minerals is inadequate, then you can never grasp great benefits from proteins and supplemental amino acids. Because of this great importance of L-tryptophan, it is now incorporated in various milk formulas, and intravenous solutions.

In the United States, L-Tryptophan has been long utilized by many doctors and experts to cure various symptoms of physical and emotional disorders such as those found in Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome (nervousness, anxiety, mood and sleep disorders). When experts recommend L-Tryptophan as a dietary supplement, they usually give the lowest dosage possible because it is much safer than starting it in a high dose instantly.

On the other hand, 5-HTP is simply a stepping stone in the manufacturing of Serotonin and Melatonin. Without 5-HTP, it would be more difficult and long to manufacture Serotonin even if there is abundance of L-Tryptophan. However, it is also a known fact that 5-HTP have fewer functions when compared to that of L-Tryptophan therefore, it could never replace L-Tryptophan in whatever angle we look at the situation.

5-HTP is not vital except in few cases when a person is no longer capable to produce the rate limiting enzyme that makes it possible for L-Tryptophan to 5-HTP. On the other note, because of the fact that supplements of 5-HTP sidestep this rate-limiting step, the body will have lesser capacity to control Serotonin levels. Hence, it is very essential to monitor the level of 5-HTP in the body.

Even though 5-HTP is widely prescribed in Europe to address Serotonin deficiency symptoms that L-Tryptophan usually corrects so as to keep mood, anxiety and appetite normal, 5-HTP is still not capable of correcting L-Tryptophan deficiency because as what has been said earlier, 5-HTP is not L-Tryptophan therefore will never perform the whole function of the amino acid.

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