5-HTP is a break-down product of the amino acid tryptophan. Proteins in their food provide us with amino acids, one of which is tryptophan. Tryptophan is broken down into 5-HTP and then 5-HTP is turned into serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that makes you happy and tells your brain that you are satisfied so that you do not need to eat anymore. Serotonin deficiency contributes to weight gain, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and panic attacks. Low serotonin levels also lead to carbohydrate, sugar cravings and overeating. 5-HTP reduces appetite while also enhancing mood and increasing energy levels. 5-HTP has been extensively researched for the treatment of mood enhancement. It also relieves insomnia. 5-HTP allows for natural sleep without the drugged feeling in the morning that can occur in those taking prescription sedatives. Weight management is another benefit achieved from taking 5-HTP.