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The role of 5-HTP, tryptophan and serotonin in fibromyalgia

Mar 29, 2023

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain , fatigue , sleep disturbances , and cognitive problems. Researchers have been studying the link between fibromyalgia and biochemical imbalances for several years, including the role of neurotransmitters like serotonin . In this article, we explore the importance of 5-HTP, tryptophan, and serotonin in fibromyalgia and how they can help manage this condition.

Serotonin and Fibromyalgia

Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter that plays a role in the regulation of mood, sleep , appetite, and pain management . Studies have shown that serotonin levels are often abnormally low in patients with fibromyalgia , which could contribute to the onset of certain symptoms (1). Reference 1: Wolfe F., et al. The Journal of Rheumatology, 24(4), 733-735.
Discover the article, Causes, risk factors and complications of fibromyalgia.

Tryptophan, precursor of serotonin

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in various foods, such as meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds. It is converted in the body into 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is then transformed into serotonin. Tryptophan levels can influence serotonin production , which has a direct impact on fibromyalgia symptoms (2). Reference 2: Moldofsky H., et al. Science, 187(4175), 441-443.

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5-HTP and its therapeutic potential

5-HTP is an intermediate in the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan. 5-HTP supplements are used to increase serotonin levels and improve symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Several studies have shown that 5-HTP supplementation can reduce pain, improve sleep quality and improve mood in patients with fibromyalgia (3, 4). Reference 3: Caruso I., et al. Journal of International Medical Research, 18(3), 201-209. Reference 4: Sarzi-Puttini P., et al. (2002) Rheumatology International, 22(6), 228-233.
Discover the article: Treatments for fibromyalgia

Other Approaches to Increase Serotonin Levels

Besides 5-HTP supplementation , other strategies may help increase serotonin levels in fibromyalgia patients. A balanced diet rich in foods containing tryptophan can help increase the natural production of serotonin. Regular exercise, stress management, and exposure to natural light are also effective methods for boosting serotonin production and improving mood, sleep, and pain management (6). Reference 6: Mannerkorpi K., et al. (2000) Arthritis Care and Research, 13(6), 366-372.


Fibromyalgia is a complex condition and researchers continue to study the links between serotonin, tryptophan, 5-HTP and this disease. 5-HTP supplements may offer potential benefits for pain management , sleep and mood improvement in fibromyalgia patients. Additionally, adopting a healthy lifestyle , including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and effective stress management , can also help improve fibromyalgia symptoms .

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