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So you can imagine, I was more than delighted in 1996 when 5-hydroxytryptophan became available as a nutritional supplement. 5-HTP is the metabolite of tryptophan and the precursor to serotonin. So 5-HTP is one step closer to serotonin. I was even more thrilled when I discovered that it improved my sleep and reduced my anxiety even better than tryptophan, especially with a small amount of St. John’s wort (hypericin). Since I’ve had positive experiences with 5-HTP, I have become very familiar with the considerable amount of scientific literature reporting 5-HTP’s impressive results treating not only sleep disorders and anxiety, but also depression, PMS, seasonal affective disorder, and migraine headaches. 5-HTP has also been found to be helpful with reducing weight and improving cognitive performance.

Although many health practitioners are not familiar with the studies done on 5-HTP, a growing number have been using it in their practice, often with great success. For this article, I interviewed several health practitioners with various backgrounds and specialties from around the country to find out why they are giving 

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