The Effects of 5-HTP on Body Composition: An 8-Week Preliminary RCT

J Diet Suppl. 2023;20(4):621-630. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2022.2076760. Epub 2022 May 18.


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of supplementing with 100 mg daily of 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) on indices of body composition in exercise-trained men and women. Sixty-one subjects volunteered for this investigation. Forty-eight subjects were randomized into a treatment (n = 31, 12 male/19 female; 100 mg 5-HTP daily; CLEANMOOD) or a placebo (n = 17, six male/11 female; maltodextrin). Body composition was assessed pre- and post-treatment after eight weeks via a multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance device (InBody® 270). Subjects were instructed to not change their training or eating habits; moreover, they were instructed to track their diet ∼2-3 days per week using a mobile app (MyFitnessPal). There were no changes in food intake (i.e. total energy intake or grams of macronutrients) between or within groups. Lean body mass, total body water, and % body fat did not change significantly in either group. Fat mass decreased significantly post versus pre in the 5-HTP group (p = 0.02) but did not change in the placebo group (p = 0.58). Moreover, changes in fat mass were significantly different between the 5-HTP and placebo group (p = 0.048). Based on the limited data from this investigation, daily supplementation with 100 mg of 5-HTP may affect body composition.

Keywords: Body composition; dietary supplement; exercise; performance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan* / pharmacology
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Body Composition*
  • Diet
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male


  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan