5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a compound produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is manufactured from the seeds of an African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia seed extract. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin, which helps produce "feel-good" chemicals in the brain and body. The supplements have become popular because it is thought that providing the body with 5-HTP in pill form can boost the body's serotonin levels, similar to the antidepressants that are thought to increase the amount of serotonin available to the brain.
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