5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), also known as oxitriptan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as the intermediate metabolite of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan in the biosynthesis of serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter involved in the modulation of mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, sleep and numerous other physiological processes. 5-HTP is further transformed to melatonin, the hormone primarily released by the pineal gland that regulates the sleep–wake cycle1.

Plants are a rich source of 5-HTP and Griffonia simplicifolia Baill. (Caesalpinaceae) seeds are the most used for the extraction and the commercial production of 5-HTP.

Health benefits

5-HT was found to mediate anxiety and has been used for depression1. It can help to fall asleep faster2.


If you are currently being treated with any medications, you should not use 5-HTP without first talking to your health care provider.

  1. Maffei, M.E. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Natural Occurrence, Analysis, Biosynthesis, Biotechnology, Physiology and Toxicology. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 181.
  2. Sutanto, C., et al., The Impact of 5-Hydroxytryptophan Supplementation on Sleep Quality of Older Adults in Singapore: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Curr Dev Nutr. , 2021. 5(Suppl 2): p. 372