ZocdocAnswersIs it safe to take 5 HTP and also drink matcha green tea?

Question

Is it safe to take 5 HTP and also drink matcha green tea?

I am concerned about the increase in serotonin.

Answer

5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin and is converted to serotonin (or 5-HT) in the body. Matcha green tea is a type of green tea that is processed in a way to increase the anti-oxidant content of the substance. In order to review specific questions and concerns regarding these two agents, it will be important for you to make an appointment to see your doctor and review your particular case. Having said that, it seems that you are most concerned about developing what is called serotonin syndrome. As the name suggests, this condition occurs from having an over-abundance of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your system. It can cause symptoms such as high blood pressure, flushing, diarrhea, hyperthermia, cognitive changes, and in severe cases, can lead to kidney failure, shock, seizures, and even death. On the other hand, matcha green tea has not been shown to significantly increase serotonin within the body. There have been some studies that have suggested that green tea enhanced dopamine (another neurotransmitter) and may mildly increase the production of serotonin, but not in any significant amount. Therefore, it is generally safe for you to take 5-HTP while you are drinking matcha green tea. However, again, it is important for you to speak with your doctor about the dose of each of these agents, their interactions with other medications and substances that you may be taking, and any particular concerns you have regarding their use.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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