Tryptophan - What are the Benefits?
What are the
beneficial effects of tryptophan?
are extensive animal
studies and many clinical studies done to strongly suggest that low
levels of serotonin in our body results in many health problems.
Clinical studies exist to
show that tryptophan may help with depression, insomnia,
fibromyalgia, headaches and anxiety.
Some Facts and
is an essential
amino acid that is found in meat and plants. Tryptophan is
absorbed by our body and converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
which is then converted to serotonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter
that plays significant roles in brain function. Low levels of serotonin
can cause a wide variety of mental health problems such as
depression, insomnia and anxiety.
In Canada (and
some other parts of the world), tryptophan is a prescription
medication. It is approved by Health Canada for treating depression
when used in addition to conventional antidepressant medications.
What are some
foods high in tryptophan?
Wantt to get more tryptophan from your diet? Click here to
get a list of foods high in tryptophan content.
Tryptophan can be tried to see if it will help with your mild
or insomnia. It may also be tried to help with mood swings related to
premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Some supplements marketed to help with improving mood
also combine natural remedies such as St.
Typical dosages used in clinical studies are 500 mg to 2,000
mg (0.5 to 2 grams) up to three times daily.
effects of tryptophan when combined with conventional antidepressant
medications show that it works better than just taking the
In Canada and a number of other
countries, tryptophan is a prescription medication approved for
The effects of tryptophan supplement in helping with inducing sleep is
backed up by some clinical studies.
You may also consider melatonin or valerian to help with
Syndrome (PMS) - Mood related
study with 37 patients with PMS showed that taking 6 grams daily of
tryptophan improved mood swings, tension and irritability.
One study involving 38 healthy females shows that tryptophan may be
useful in the prevention of depression.
patients suffering from fibromyalgia, brain tryptophan levels seems to
be lower. In one clinical study, it was shown that 5-HTP
(5-hydroxytryptophan) supplement improved all the symptoms of
Headaches / Headaches
Low levels of serotonin is shown to worsen migraine headaches symptoms
such as nausea, headache and sensitivity to light.
/ Social Anxiety Disorder
One small clinical study involving 7 subjects showed that tryptophan
supplements helped with reducing anxiety.
A much larger study will need to be done to confirm this effect of
tryptophan on anxiety.
topics that may be of interest to you
Foods high in tryptophan
Treat insomnia using melatonin
Reduce stress and get rid of
insomnia using valerian root
Use St. John's wort to reduce
stress, anxiety and help with depression
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Effects of Tryptophan
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