5-hydroxy-tryptophan or 5-HTP is an amino acid intermediate that is the reduced form of L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid. It is one enzymatic step away from the neurotransmitter Serotonin, and is often the preferred form since it is easier for the body to convert it to serotonin than using the parent amino acid L-tryptophan. Serotonin is involved in many functions in the body such as mood balance, sleep cycle, pain signaling, appetite, and sensory signaling.
Calm contains b-phenyl-gamma-amino-butyric acid, an analog of the amino acid and neurotrasnmitter GABA. This form acts as a GABA mimetic primarily on the GABAB receptors and has some activity on GABAA receptors, providing a calming effect on the body.