If you read the post about why I created the 5-HTP+ Patch, you may know that I had tried 5-HTP tablets (and 5-HTP capsules) for a number of years before investigating the option of a patch. Traditional (oral) methods of consumption for supplements and medicines are the most widely used, but there is a growing trend to explore other options. There are a number of key benefits to using transdermal patches instead of tablets.*
Constant level of 5-HTP (and serotonin)
First and foremost, it is widely accepted that taking many types of supplements or medicines orally creates a peak and trough affect. Anybody who is familiar with 5-HTP tablets will attest to the peak that you feel shortly after taking the tablet, followed by the effect of the 5-HTP wearing off in a matter of hours. Personally I disliked this as I would often get a foggy head during the peak then feel tired when the 5-HTP was wearing off later. Transdermal patches have grown in popularity over the past few years as a result of the need to keep certain supplements or medicines at a more constant level in the blood than can be achieved through oral consumption. It is especially beneficial in the case of 5-HTP to be able to keep your level of serotonin relatively constant, rather than put yourself through a roller coaster of effects every day.
Taking 5-HTP through a transdermal patch bypasses the stomach, intestines and liver; instead, it goes directly through the skin and into the bloodstream. Firstly, it is popularly thought that allowing any substance to enter the bloodstream directly means its effects are felt more quickly than if it has to go through the stomach and intestines. Secondly, being able to bypass the digestive system reduces any problems that may be caused in those parts of the body. This is particularly beneficial in the case of 5-HTP, which is commonly known to have a number of possible gastrointestinal side effects (following oral consumption) such as stomach ache and irritable bowels.
Some studies have suggested that one of the main issues with taking certain food supplements orally is that a portion of the supplement may be destroyed by acids in the stomach, then only a part of what remains eventually becomes absorbed in the intestines before entering the bloodstream. This is quite a wasteful process whereby only a small amount of the original ingredients find their way in to the bloodstream. Taking 5-HTP in a transdermal patch enables the 5-HTP to bypass any inefficiencies in the digestive system and enter the bloodstream directly. This means that a much smaller initial dose is required.
Some people simply don’t like swallowing tablets, especially every day. So taking 5-HTP in a patch means no more tablet swallowing. Win!
Forgetting to take tablets
If you are anything like me, you probably miss every second or third day when taking tablets…perhaps it’s just me that tends to be slightly absent-minded in the morning! But for those who are too busy or too forgetful to keep to a regular and consistent vitamin and supplement schedule, the patch is a great alternative. To match my daily rhythm, I take the previous day’s patch off before I jump in my morning shower, and put a new one on as I get dressed for the day.
I hope that you will also enjoy all these added benefits of taking 5-HTP in a patch, especially if you are fed up with tablets!