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Healthy Origins 5-HTP Review – Is it Effective?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Overview | Formula | Health Benefits | Warnings | Cost | Directions | Final Thoughts

5-HTP is a standardized extract of Griffonia simplicifolia containing more than 99% pure 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). The supplement is manufactured by Healthy Origins which does not mention any specific ailment or benefit claims for the product However, it does mention that 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin which supports healthy mood, appetite and sleep.

Healthy origins was founded in 1996 in Pittsburgh. Its mission is to provide consumers with top quality products, developed and manufactured with strict compliance to the FDA mandated cGMP guidelines. The company offers a wide range of condition specific formulations, from those aiming to assist with joint health to immune support formulas and antioxidants.

The supplement is designed for adult use only. Special precautions include people taking MAO inhibitors, sedatives or anti-depressants SSRI’s and pregnant and nursing, who are advised to consult a healthcare practitioner before taking 5-HTP.


1) Quick Overview

5-HTP contains the naturally occurring substance 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant.5-HTP is a derivative of the amino acid Tryptophan, a chemical precursor in the synthesis of two key brain neurotransmitters, respectively Serotonin and Melatonin. Serotonin is involved in mood, emotion and behavior, sleep and appetite regulation processes, as well as in the mechanism of depression. Many people who suffer from depression were found having low levels of serotonin hence a large number of anti-depressants work to correct Serotonin imbalances .

The most important function of Melatonin is in regulating sleep cycles and is known to possess anti-oxidant properties. Its role in aging processes is currently the topic of many tests.

5-HTP has been researched as far as its anti-depressant, mod and sleep promoting properties go. Still, results for many of these tests are inconclusive or insufficient.

One of the biggest risks associated with 5-HTP supplements is eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome or EMS, a condition which can cause severe muscle pain and may also affect the blood, skin and other organs in the body. This may be due to a contaminant known as Peak X found in tryptophan and 5-HTP supplements.


2) What Are 5-HTP Ingredients?

5-HTP includes the following ingredients: 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) 100 mg (Griffonia simplicifolia Seed Extract), Gelatin Capsule (Gelatin and Water), Rice Flour, and Magnesium Stearate.

You can also find 5-HTP in similar supplements such as NeuroScience Serene.

3) Does 5-HTP Work?

The supplement is based on a standardized herbal extract of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant advertised to contain more than 99% pure 5-HTP. This is an amino-acid important due to its ability to convert into serotonin, one of the fundamental neurotransmitters for the human health. While the natural form is the byproduct of the L-tryptophan protein, the supplemental 5-HTP comes in the form of an herbal extract. The benefits of this formulation come from the fact that supplemental 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier while oral administered Serotonin doesn’t (mainly because of the large dimensions of the molecules). 5-HTP is decarboxylated into Serotonin (5-HT) with the help of proper amounts of vitamin B6. While some amounts of the resulted Serotonin remain in the peripheral parts of the body, research has demonstrated that 5-HTP is also able to provide significant amounts of serotonin to the brain. Serotonin is further used by the body to produce Melatonin, an essential hormone responsible for regulating sleeping and waking cycles.

The most important benefits of 5-HTP include powerful anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects and weight loss support (influencing appetite and reducing cravings). Side effects associated with the oral use of 5-HTP are nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Pregnant or nursing women, people who are known to suffer from any condition are forbidden to use such a product. Individuals who are under particular medication (SSRI’s, MAO Inhibitors, or sedatives) should consult a physician before using the formula. Most of the supplements include doses of 50 and 100 mg of this chemical. Gradual supplementation may sometimes be recommended, without exceeding 300 mg daily.

The suggested dose for 5-HTP is one capsule once or twice per day, preferably on an empty stomach. While the majority of the testimonials are positive, some consumers accuse certain side effects (headaches, nausea, and sleepiness) or in Effectiveness.

Health Benefits

4) 5-HTP Health Benefits

  • Free of Peak X, a contaminant believed to cause eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome or EMS;
  • The formula is free of sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, barley, soy, fish, shellfish, nuts, tree nuts, milk products, preservatives, artificial flavors or synthetic colors;
  • Affordable price (roughly $17 for a 2 months’ supply).

5) 5-HTP Product Warnings

  • Small number of consumer reviews available online;
  • Research is still conducted to prove some of the formula’s benefits;
  • Special precautions and side effect are associated to 5-HTP.

6) 5-HTP Cost

5-HTP is offered in 2 different versions (classified by the amount of active substance) and two different quantities (60 or 120 capsules). The price for a monthly supply is affordable (for both versions). The producer offers some discounts for bigger orders (that increase with the number of items ordered). Shipping for US orders exceeding $100 is free. The US shipping taxes are relatively low. For international orders shipping, charges may vary depending on the preferences of the customer. These additional taxes are disclosed only after completing the ordering form.
The manufacturer does not offer a money-back guarantee or free trial samples. Online transactions are secured with specialized software.


7) Directions For Taking 5-HTP

The manufacturer recommends taking 1 or 2 capsules daily. The manufacturer warns that 5-HTP may cause drowsiness. Few consumer reviews are available online.

Final Thoughts

8) Final Thoughts on 5-HTP

5-HTP although not explicitly advertised as such, supports healthy mood, appetite and promotes a good sleep. Research on 5-HTP has revealed the chemical directly affects Serotonin and Melatonin levels, which in turn regulate mood, sleep, appetite and a number of other functions. The manufacturer claims the supplement is free of the contaminant known as Peak X which may lead to serious health complications.

However, the product received very few consumer reviews, from which we cannot draw a conclusion towards its effectiveness or ineffectiveness.

Still, it should be mentioned that 5-HTP may interact with medication for specific conditions or may affect certain categories of patients. It is the manufacturers recommendation and our own that you consult a specialist before using 5-HTP supplements such as 5-HTP.

4/5 - (2 votes)
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Johnny T.

Healthy Origins 5-HTP is a fast-working product. When I take it before bed time, I manage to instantly fall into a deep restful sleep. If I take a capsule during the day, my cravings disappear and my mood is considerably improved. And besides a mild stomach discomfort which I got rid of by taking the supplement with food, I have experienced no other side-effect. This product is great and I will definitely buy it again!

Liam A.

I have used this formula for 2 months now and I have seen excellent results. I am now able to rest properly, and I wake up in a good mood that seems to last all day. I love it! And so fat I did not experience any side effect.