Are you feeling down? You’re not alone. Join the others benefiting from the best serotonin supplements. They may be just what you need to lift your mood.
We understand if you’re shy of Big Pharma and want to try a non-prescription solution. But we feel obligated to warn you that depression is a serious matter that deserves proper treatment. A serotonin supplement may not be enough for your needs.
Stars, performers, and athletes alike suffer from postpartum and clinical depression. Many of them like Gwyneth Paltrow and Paige Hemmis have spoken out about their struggles. Don’t put off getting help just like you wouldn’t delay getting a broken arm set or stitches for a serious cut.
But if everyday life has you blue once in a while, a serotonin boost might be helpful. You can increase serotonin by taking a variety of supplements like 5-HTP, L-tryptophan, St. John’s wort, and SAM-e. Even changing your diet to include more salmon, nuts, eggs, spinach, soy, and seeds can alter serotonin levels in your body (1). They are natural sources of L-tryptophan.
Which brings us to our second warning. A while back, the FDA banned tryptophan supplements due to contamination concerns. At that time, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) appeared as an alternative (2). It’s been studied as a treatment for depression, migraines, obesity, PMS, fibromyalgia, and insomnia.
Here’s where the warning comes in: any time you raise serotonin levels too high, you run the risk of serotonin syndrome. The early symptoms include enlarged pupils, confusion, muscle spasms, diarrhea, and headache. But if it progresses, you’ll have a perilously fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and high body temperature. Then seizures and death are likely to follow (3).
How can you avoid serotonin syndrome? For one, research any potential conflicts between the supplements, medications, and your diet. To illustrate, don’t take a serotonin supplement if you are already on an antidepressant like fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), bupropion (Wellbutrin), or venlafaxine (Effexor). Also, migraine and pain medications like triptans and codeine raise the risk. Even supplements like St. John’s wort and ginseng could cause a problem. So please, double-check before you turn to a serotonin supplement as a solution.
Top Serotonin Supplements
Now let’s look at our reviews of the top serotonin supplements to help you find what you need.
Thorne Research – 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
How does 5-HTP lift your mood? It works in the nervous system and brain to produce more serotonin. Then, serotonin affects your appetite, sleep, pain levels, body temperature, and even sexual behavior (4). Taking anywhere from 150 to 3000mg of 5-HTP orally each day for up to four weeks improved symptoms of depression for some people in clinical studies.
As Thorne Research points out, the supplement helps you resist stress, crave less sugar, and sleep better. Each cellulose capsule features 100mg of 5-HTP along with Vitamin B6. They manufacture their products to be free of gluten, soy, shellfish, nuts, and other major allergens. You can take up to six capsules per day.
NatureWise 5-HTP Max Potency 200mg
NatureWise also includes Vitamin B6 in their 5-HTP capsules. They derive the primary ingredient from the seeds of the Griffonia plant and use non-GMO sources. Their facilities are GMP-certified, and their products are third-party tested by ISO-certified laboratories. There is no gluten, soy, nuts, or eggs in the production process.
The company says that they are a partner with Vitamin Angels that provide nutrients to mothers and children in the developing world.
NatureWise 5-HTP 100mg 4-Month Supply
If you’re feeling hesitant to try 5-HTP, start with a smaller dose. These capsules have only 100 mg each so you can build up gradually or taper off slowly.
5-HTP Supplement by Morning Pep
Morning Pep offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee with the promise of a refund if you aren’t happy with results. They manufacture and package in the USA in a GMP-certified facility. Moreover, their process avoids gluten, GMOs, and preservatives. Each capsule features 200 mg plus Vitamin B6.
NOW is a well-known brand in the supplement world. As a family-owned business that’s been around since 1968, they aren’t publicly traded. Their facilities are located in the United States and Canada and have modern laboratories where they test both ingredients and end products. Each capsule contains 100 mg, and each bottle provides 120 capsules.
Natrol 5-HTP Tablets, 45-Count
Natrol’s 5-HTP supplement is packaged in time-release tablets of 100 mg each. In this manner, you can achieve relaxation soon after taking one with extended benefits for hours afterward. They suggest taking one, or a maximum of two, tablets per day.
2X Potent 5-HTP 200 mg Supplement with Calcium by Herbtonics
Herbtonics contracts third-party laboratories to test for potency and purity. They blend 200 mg 5-HTP with 328 mg calcium carbonate in each serving of two capsules. The idea is to elevate your mood and energy immediately. They offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
5-HTP 200mg Supplement – 120 Capsules by NutraChamps
NutraChamps also offers a 100% money-back guarantee on their 5-HTP supplement. The capsules include Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. They are made in the USA.
Quality Of Life Labs, Purebalance Serotonin, 90 Capsules
Quality of Life goes the extra mile beyond 5-HTP by including other beneficial ingredients. They call it a “stress complex” designed to help you relax and suppress appetite while you lose weight. The company manufactures these vegetarian capsules in the USA in an FDA-registered facility. They are free of preservatives, gluten, and soy.
The additional components are Vitamin D3, L-theanine, Relora, and Rhodiola Rosea. L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves and some mushrooms. It boosts calming chemicals in the brain (5). Meanwhile, Relora is a trademarked blend of Chinese herbs that may reduce food cravings. Finally, Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that could help your body deal better with stress.
5-HTP 100 mg | 120 Vegan Capsules by Nested Naturals
The benefits of Nested Naturals’ 5-HTP supplement include ethically-sourced non-GMO plant ingredients. That’s important as Griffonia simplicifolia is native to Central and West Africa where worker protections don’t always exist. Even the capsules are vegan, not gelatin.
Designs for Health NeuroCalm
Neurocalm combines 5-HTP with PharmaGABA, L-theanine, German chamomile, inositol, taurine, vitamins B6 and B12, and magnesium. The result is a supplement designed to create calm feelings and a sense of satisfaction. Designs for Health explains that they intend it to support a healthyy emotional response.
LES Labs Mood Boost
The Mood Boost supplement from LES Labs features GABA and L-theanine along with L-tyrosine plus 5-HTP. But there are also soothing herbs like Rhodiola rosea, chamomile, ashwagandha, and passion flower. Together these components can quash anxiety quickly and bring stress relief. The manufacturer avoids GMOs and offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Superior Labs – Pure L-Tryptophan – 500mg, 120 Vegetable Capsules
L-tryptophan is back on the market. Superior Labs sources this supplement from non-GMO sources and packages the amino acid in GMP-compliant facilities. They steer clear of fillers and additives in the formula, using only rice flour in a veggie capsule.
NOW L-Tryptophan 500 mg, 120 Veg Capsules
NOW needs no introduction. Their bare-bones L-tryptophan supplement is free of allergens like shellfish, soy, eggs, and gluten. They recommend taking one to two capsules per day in conjunction with magnesium and inositol supplements.
Best Mood Nootropic Mood Booster & Stress Relief Supplement, 60 Veggie Pills by Primal One
Curious about nootropics? This one from Primal One blends a variety of ingredients to boost serotonin and dopamine and uplift your mood. It may also help you clear your mind and focus better.
One of the components is a patented version of Ashwagandha called KSM-66. This herb used in Ayurvedic medicine treats inflammation and helps the body adapt to stress, among other things.
Another ingredient is L-theanine, which we introduced to you above. Next, there is AstraGin, a trademarked blend of ginseng and astragalus. This increases your ability to absorb and process the other ingredients.
Lastly, Bacopa monnieri may help with anxiety, attention, and memory.
Nature Made SAM-e Complete 400 mg
We mentioned SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) as another way to increase serotonin and balance your emotions. SAM-e is a molecule that naturally occurs in cells. But increasing it may improve your mood and reduce joint pain.
Supplements are the only way to raise levels of SAM-e as it can’t be obtained from food directly. Your body creates it from the amino acid Methionine found in protein-rich foods like nuts, eggs, and beef.
Nature’s Way St. John’s Wort Herb 350mg
St. John’s wort is another option for reducing anxiety and stress. It’s a natural way to treat depression. It comes from the Hypericum perforatum plant that’s native to Europe.
Nature’s Way recommends taking two capsules for a total of 700 mg each day for at least two months. Their product is free of sugar, yeast, soy, dairy, artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives.
Before we move on to the next product, we need to insert a warning here. St. John’s Wort may conflict with certain medications like Prilosec or anti-depressants. It’s also a good idea to avoid smoked meats and cheeses while you’re taking it. Moreover, it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight so be sure to wear sunscreen and cover up outdoors.
Solaray St. John’s Wort Aerial Extract One Daily 900mg
Our last pick is the 900 mg one-a-day supplement from Solaray. This is the maximum recommended dose for improving mood or treating depression.
We hope you discovered the perfect serotonin supplement for your needs today. May it bring you the relief you desire. Check back with us again soon to see reviews of the top supplements for a variety of situations.