L-tryptophan supplements are often promoted to improve sleep and mood, and 5-HTP supplements to help with depression. But there have been reports in the past of serious illness (eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome or EMS) associated with the use of certain L-tryptophan supplements, and even 5-HTP.
So, do L-tryptophan and 5-HTP supplements really work, and are they safe to use? And which products are best?
To find out, ConsumerLab.com recently tested popular L-tryptophan and 5-HTP supplements, carefully checking them to see if they contained their listed amounts of L-tryptophan or 5-HTP and whether they were contaminated with heavy metals or chemical impurities. We also reviewed the clinical evidence for and against L-tryptophan and 5-HTP.
We identified a number of high-quality products. Among these we identified two that provide the best value (because L-tryptophan and 5-HTP especially can be expensive) — making them our Top Picks.
You must be a ConsumerLab.com member to get the full test results along with ConsumerLab.com's Top Picks. You'll get results for six supplements: five selected by ConsumerLab.com and one other product that passed the same testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program. In the review, you'll learn:
- ConsumerLab's Top Picks for L-tryptophan and 5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP) supplements based on quality, dose and value
- Which products passed or failed our tests and why
- How L-tryptophan and 5-HTP supplements compare on ingredients, dosage, and cost
- Information about branded L-tryptophan ingredients (such as TryptoPure) and what to look for on the label when choosing an L-tryptophan or 5-HTP supplement
- Dosage of L-tryptophan and 5-HTP for specific uses and the evidence for or against those uses (including sleep, depression, migraine, weight loss, and fibromyalgia)
- Safety concerns, including information about eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) associated with use of L-tryptophan and 5-HTP supplements, as well as potential side effects and drug interactions