L-5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the immediate precursor of serotonin. It is readily synthesized into serotonin without biochemical feedback. This nutrient has a large and strong following who advocate exaggerated and inaccurate claims relating to its effectiveness in the treatment of depression and a number of other serotonin-related diseases. These assertions are not supported by the science. Under close examination, 5-HTP may be contraindicated for depression in some of the very patients for whom promoters of 5-HTP advocate its use.
Keywords: 5-HTP; 5-hydroxytryptophan; L-5-HTP; L-5-hydroxytryptophan.