What is it that make HTPPY superior to outdated 5-HTP based mood support supplements?

HTPPY was developed by nutritional specialists, based upon the latest clinical research on mood, cognition and the impact of supplementation.

And we don’t hide behind proprietary blends. Feel free to study our full, transparent ingredient list, below. You’ll also discover the studies which supports each ingredient’s inclusion in HTPPY’s custom formulation.


5HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is a precursor to serotonin - the happy neurotransmitter (brain chemical). Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain and other health problems [1]. We cannot take serotonin supplements directly as they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Luckily, 5-HTP is excellent at crossing this barrier and efficiently converts into serotonin [2].

5-HTP is derived from the seeds of the plant Griffonia simplicifolia. Because of 5-HTP’s serotonin-boosting potential benefits, a number of studies have been conducted on it. Several small studies have found that 5-HTP reduced symptoms of depression [3]. 5-HTP can be also converted into the hormone melatonin. As melatonin regulates sleep, it is believed that 5-HTP can also aid restful sleep by boosting melatonin production [4]

[1] Sh V Vashadze. Insomnia, serotonin and depression. Georgian Med News. 2007 Sep;(150): 22-4.

[2] Hinz, Marty et al. 5-HTP efficacy and contraindications. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment vol. 8 (2012): 323-8.

[3] Birdsall TC., 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80.

[4] Shell, William et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep. Am J Ther. Mar-Apr 2010;17(2):133-9.


L-Tyrosine is another vital amino acid. Without tyrosine your body cannot make the neurotransmitters dopamine (for mood and motivation), nor adrenaline, for focus and drive [5]. Dopamine regulates your reward and pleasure centers. This important brain chemical is also important for memory and motor skills. During periods of stressful or mentally demanding situations, these neurotransmitters tend to decrease [6]

There is good evidence that supplementing with tyrosine replenishes these important neurotransmitters and can improve mood [7] and alertness during times when we’re suffering with a lack of sleep the previous night [8]. It is important to note that dopamine also influences serotonin, and together, the two play a central role in regulating your mood [9]. It’s why HTPPY balances 5-HTP with L-Tyrosine.

[5] Fernstrom, John D. Can nutrient supplements modify brain function? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 71, Issue 6, June 2000: 1669S–1673S

[6] Fernstrom, John D et al. Tyrosine, phenylalanine, and catecholamine synthesis and function in the brain. J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6 Suppl 1):1539S-1547S

[7] L E Banderet, H R Lieberman. Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans. Brain Res Bull. 1989 Apr;22(4):759-62

[8] Nerie, D F et al. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr;66(4):313-9.

[9] Dailly, Eric et al. Dopamine, depression and antidepressants. Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology. Volume18, Issue6, December 2004: 601-607


Magnesium contributes to more than 300 of your body’s biochemical reactions. However, for all its importance, the World Health Organization estimates that up to 75% of adults in the West aren’t consuming the recommended daily amount of magnesium [10] Amongst its many crucial roles, it is speculated that a deficiency in magnesium may contribute to anxiety [11]. Perhaps this is the reason that magnesium has long been considered nature’s “chill pill”.

And the evidence looks promising. A 2017 review looking at 18 different studies found that magnesium did reduce anxiety [12]. Magnesium is believed to ease anxiety and low mood as it plays a crucial role in converting the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. A recent 2020 study investigating the combination of tryptophan and magnesium on mood and anxiety concluded that a tryptophan and a magnesium-enriched diet could reduce mood disturbance [13].

[10] DiNicolantonio, James D et al. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart. 2018; 5(1): e000668.

[11] Sartori SB, et al. Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Jan; 62(1): 304–312.

[12] Boyle NB, et. al. The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress – A systematic review. Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 429

[13] Martínez-Rodríguez A, et al. Psychological and Sleep Effects of Tryptophan and Magnesium-Enriched Mediterranean Diet in Women with Fibromyalgia. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Apr; 17(7): 2227.


L-Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. L-Theanine promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by contributing to a number of changes in the brain [14]. By boosting the calming neurotransmitter GABA - which regulates anxiety - studies show it can promote a sense of calm and can aid sleep [15]. L-Theanine has the further advantage of reducing levels of chemicals in the brain that are linked to stress and anxiety [16].

Perhaps the most useful attribute of L-Theanine is that it works to relax without sedating. This is achieved by L-Theanine’s effect on enhancing Alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves are associated with the state of mind you experience when you’re meditating or daydreaming. This ‘wakeful relaxation’ gives L-Theanine an advantage over traditional anxiety-reducers such as valerian or hops, by removing the worry of becoming sleepy during the day [16]].

[14] White DJ, et al. Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an l- Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Jan; 8(1): 53.].

[15] Williams J, et al. L-Theanine as a Functional Food Additive: Its Role in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Beverages 2016, 2(2), 13].

[16] Vuong QV, Bowyer MC, Roach PD. L-Theanine: properties, synthesis and isolation from tea. J Sci Food Agric. 2011;91(11):1931-9


Zinc plays a part in over 100 of your body’s functions - including regulating the immune system. As the body cannot store zinc, we must get it from our diet or supplementation. One of the signs of zinc deficiency is mood swings (mental lethargy) and anxiety. Therefore, new research suggests supplementing with zinc might help promote better mood in people that aren't getting enough in the foods they eat [17].

A recent study supplemented young women with zinc. The women reported reductions in depression and anger [18]. Zinc deficiencies are also associated with reduced ability to produce testosterone - a hormone associated with mood in both men and women [19]. Scientists believe that the relationship between zinc and mood may be explained by zinc helping to boost the production of the calming neurotransmitter GABA to aid anxiety symptoms [20].

[17] Cope, Elise C. Role of zinc in the development and treatment of mood disorders. Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November (201); 13 (6); 685- 689

[18] Sawada, T., K. Yokoi. “ Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Mood States in Young Women: A Pilot Study.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010); 64(3); 331-33.

[19] Davis SR, Wahlin-Jacobsen S. Testosterone in women--the clinical significance. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. (2015)

[20] Russo AJ. Decreased Zinc and Increased Copper in Individuals with Anxiety. Nutr Metab Insights. 2011; 4: 1–5.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. Yet despite the ubiquity of the sun, 1 billion people are estimated to have a Vitamin D deficiency [21]. In autumn and winter, when sunlight becomes scarce, as many as 1 in 5 Brits are found to be lacking in Vitamin D - which is why Public Health England recommends Vitamin D supplementation. As well as building strong bones, there is evidence of lack of Vitamin D correlating with low mood [22].

It certainly seems to make sense. Don’t we all feel better outside in the sunshine? Some researchers now suggest that the decrease in vitamin D production caused by reduced sunlight during the winter months may be a factor in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) [23]. And according to one clinical research paper, even very short-term supplementation of D3 can enhance mood [24]. Which is why each daily serving of HTPPY contains 1000IU of Vitamin D.

[21] Nair R. Vitamin D: The "sunshine" vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr; 3(2):118-26

[22] Moran LJ et al. Vitamin D is independently associated with depression in overweight women with and without PCOS. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2015 Mar;31(3):179-82

[23] Penckofer et al. Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Jun; 31(6): 385–393.

[24] Lansdowne, AT et al. Vitamin D3 enhances mood in healthy subjects during winter. Psychopharmacology. 1998; 135(4): 319-23

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HTPPY is intended for the temporary relief of occasional low mood. Before commencing any new supplement, diet or exercise regime it is advisable to first speak to your GP or other health professional.

If you take prescription medication for depression or anxiety, you must not commence HTPPY until you have first spoken to your dispensing doctor, GP or community pharmacist.

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