Griffonia simplicifolia is a woody climbing shrub native to West Africa and Central Africa. It grows to about 3 m, and bears greenish flowers followed by black pods. The seeds of the plant are used as an herbal supplement for their 5-Hydroxytryptophan content.
5-Hydroxytryptophan, also known as 5-HTP, is an important building block for the human body to form serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in the body specially as a neurotransmitter to transport signals between neurons in the nervous system.
5-HTP is an amino acid produced by the human body from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan (LT), which is found in dietary proteins. Its clinical value is in its ability to increase production of serotonin, and it has been used clinically for more than 30 years.
5-HTP occurs naturally in two places — the human body and the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia, a West African medicinal plant. Let’s see if I can simplify this a bit: Food that contains LT in the proteins -> 5-HTP -> serotonin.
Serotonin deficiency has been implicated in mood disorders, appetite control, premenstrual syndrome, autism, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, appetite control, the pain phase of migraine, and other conditions and disorders. Some serotonin is converted by our pineal gland into melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. Thus, serotonin deficiency is also linked to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Since eating foods that contain L-tryptophan won’t significantly increase 5-HTP levels, it is processed from the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia and marketed as a dietary supplement. The amounts of 5-HTP recommended vary significantly depending upon the condition being treated.
Posted in: Appetite Suppressants