Benefits of 5-HTP for Fibromyalgia
The herbal supplement
has a number of health benefits, and is proving to be hugely beneficial for
those suffering from fibromyalgia.
There is a growing body of research that indicates a very strong
possibility that the supplement
(L-5-Hydroxytryptophan) may be hugely beneficial for a number of problems,
but most especially fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a chronic pain and fatigue
Fibromyalgia is characterized by several major and minor criteria. The
major criteria, of which all three must be met, are:
· widespread pain, a general aching or stiffness of at least three sites on
the body for at least three months;
· prolonged pressure sensitivity in six or more of the numerous typical
· and of course the exclusion of other similar disorders.
The minor criteria, of which at least four must be met, are:
· general fatigue and sleep disturbances or insomnia;
· irritable bowel syndrome;
· chronic headaches and facial pain, often related to soreness and
stiffness in the neck and shoulders;
· heightened sensitivity, such as to odors, noises, bright lights, and
· numbing or tingling in the hands and feet;
swelling in the joints;
· dryness of the eyes and skin;
· unexplained dizzy spells;
· and depression, anxiety, and similar mood disorders.
There have been several studies published by the Journal of International
Medical Research on the effects of 5-HTP on fibromyalgia sufferers.
According to one study, "all the clinical parameters studied were
significantly improved by treatment with 5-HTP..." Another states that the
"overall evaluation of the patient condition assessed by the patient and
the investigator indicated a 'good' or 'fair' clinical improvement in
nearly 50% of the patients during the treatment period." (Both studies can
be accessed through NCBI.)
Many people have found for themselves how effective this herbal supplement
can be. It often has been found to be helpful with insomnia, pain and all
major fibromyalgia symptoms, including depression. It may also be helpful
with obesity, a common 'side problem' related to fibromyalgia due to a
general lowering of physical activity.
5-HTP is most commonly extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia plant. It
is a substance which, in the body, is easily transformed into serotonin, a
chemical that helps to regulate mood and appetite, as well as being
necessary in producing melatonin. Tryptophan is a similar chemical, but it
is harder for the body to absorb, and is a step further away from
serotonin, requiring the body to do more to reach the desired chemical.
There is a strong link between serotonin deficiency and fibromyalgia; some
have even claimed that fibromyalgia is in essence nothing more than an
overall serotonin deficiency, though that has not been backed up by
clinical studies. However, the evidence is nearly overwhelming that raising
serotonin levels is at least beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers.
The usual recommended dose of
to try to help with fibromyalgia is 300 mg per day, usually in 3 100 mg
doses, but as with any such substance, you should consult with a medical
professional before you begin to include it in your treatment regimen.
May 7, 2008
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