5-HTP is often used as a mood-boosting Nootropic. Why? It is a precursor to Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is widely believed to cause happiness. Breaking it down further, 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid derived from the seed pods of a West African plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia. When ingested and converted in the brain, 5-HTP acts as an immediate chemical precursor to Serotonin .
Taken as an oral supplement, 5-HTP is reported to bridge the blood-brain barrier without much difficulty while effectively increasing the synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system . Its direct effect on serotonin in the central nervous system has implicated 5-HTP in a number behavioral and physiological functions including circadian rhythm, mood, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation..