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Navigating Christmas anxiety: 4 ways 5-HTP helps you enjoy Christmas

Published Dec 14, 2022 | Updated Feb 8, 2024

Christmas is a time for festivities, social gatherings, and the spirit of giving. The fun and frolic around holidays are accompanied by their share of Christmas stress. Despite being surrounded by family and friends, some people experience loneliness at Christmas. The good news is one nutrient can improve your holiday experience and help you have a merry Christmas. 

Serotonin helps in happy socialising

Your brain chemical, serotonin that regulates your mood and sleep is deeply involved in defining your social behaviour. Serotonin has been linked with improving friendliness, reducing social anxiety, increasing generosity, and helping you make good moral decisions- everything you need to navigate social situations this holiday. 

Your body makes serotonin from tryptophan (protein building block) found in your food. Tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP and then to serotonin. Your Christmas roast can provide you with tryptophan, but your brain uses only 1-3% of that tryptophan to make serotonin [1]. 

With increasing need for serotonin during the holiday season, the most effective way would be to use its direct building block called 5-HTP. Read more here about the world’s smallest nutrient dense 100mg 5-HTP tablet, as a shortcut to naturally and safely increasing serotonin levels. 

Available from £13.99 with 15% off for new customers using code NEW15.

Can 5-HTP be your social anxiety cure?

Supplementing with 5-HTP in anxiety disorders reduced anxiousness almost as effectively as antidepressants [2]. In animal studies, low serotonin levels in the emotion area of the brain led to increase in anxious behaviour and fear of socialising. When serotonin was directly injected in this area, the anxious behaviour decreased, and the ease of socialising improved [3]. 60% of people taking 5-HTP for anxiety reported benefits [4].

This suggests that increasing serotonin using 5-HTP may help you breeze through endless dinner parties while actually enjoying yourself. 

Can 5-HTP help you make more friends?

Holidays can involve spending time with people you are normally unaccustomed to. It can also be an opportunity to make new friends. Serotonin is involved in impulse control. Despite mixed evidence, some brain scan studies show that low serotonin levels are found in brain areas involved in impulsive aggression [5]. In animal studies, when serotonin was genetically removed, fighting and aggressive behaviour increased. This means, increasing serotonin will help you become friendlier in difficult situations and better deal with arguments. Increasing serotonin levels by supplementing with a high dose of tryptophan for 3 days lead to decrease in argumentative behaviour and improved positive social interactions [6]. Increasing serotonin levels increased the levels of interpersonal trust between people [7]. A possible reason for this is the brain area that makes trust-based decisions is activated by increasing serotonin levels. Ensuring you stay on top of your serotonin levels can improve your friendliness for a pleasant social experience. Since 5-HTP is a quick way of increasing serotonin levels, such positive changes are expected with supplementation.

Can 5-HTP increase your generosity?

Changes in serotonin levels influence charitable donations. Increasing serotonin levels led to double the money donated to charity compared to those whose serotonin levels were decreased [8]. Serotonin was active for a longer time in those who exhibited selfless behaviour and decreasing serotonin increased selfish actions [9].

Brain area responsible for charitable activities is connected and activated by the serotonin producing area [8]. This is a possible reason why

more serotonin=more generosity.

Increasing serotonin using 5-HTP may help promote your spirit of giving, making it more pleasurable to be generous.

Can 5-HTP help you become a better person?

Serotonin plays a role in regulating moral behaviour. This Christmas, if you are making a conscious effort to do better, 5-HTP can help. One reason why people make the right moral choice is avoidance of punishment/negative consequences. Low serotonin levels can decrease sensitivity to such consequences [9]. Those with damaged serotonin areas had impaired moral judgement towards harming others. When serotonin was medically increased, people were more likely to prevent harm and promote good will [9]. Even among empathetic people, increasing serotonin further boosted good moral behaviour. 

Increasing serotonin levels can help you improve moral judgement, be more selfless, make friends and make you happy. Use 5-HTP to help you have a merry Christmas.


  1. Richard, D.M., et al. (2009). L-Tryptophan: Basic Metabolic Functions, Behavioral Research and Therapeutic Indications. International Journal of Tryptophan Research, [online] 2, p.IJTR.S2129. doi:10.4137/ijtr.s2129.
  2. Kahn, R. S., et al. (1987). Effect of a serotonin precursor and uptake inhibitor in anxiety disorders; a double-blind comparison of 5-hydroxytryptophan, clomipramine and placebo. International clinical psychopharmacology, 2(1), 33–45.
  3. Quah, S. et al. (2020). Trait Anxiety Mediated by Amygdala Serotonin Transporter in the Common Marmoset.. J Neurosci, 40 (24), 4739-4749.
  4. (2022). 5-HTP User Reviews for Anxiety
  5. da Cunha-Bang, S. et al. (2021). The Modulatory Role of Serotonin on Human Impulsive Aggression. Biological psychiatry90(7), 447–457.
  6. Young, S.N. (2013). The effect of raising and lowering tryptophan levels on human mood and social behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1615), p.20110375.
  7. Colzato, L. S. et al. (2013). Tryptophan Promotes Interpersonal Trust. Psychological Science24(12), 2575–2577.
  8. Steenbergen, L. et al. (2014). Tryptophan promotes charitable donating. Frontiers in psychology5, 1451.
  9. Siegel, J. Z., & Crockett, M. J. (2013). How serotonin shapes moral judgment and behavior. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1299(1), 42–51.

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