Definition of Tryptophan:

Essential amino acid.  Natural relaxant and sleep aid due to its precursor role in serotonin (a neurotransmitter) synthesis.  Along with tyrosine, it is used in the treatment of addictions.

Topics Related to Tryptophan


...related topic
“...An intermediate metabolite between tryptophan and serotonin.”

Alcohol-related Problems

...relationship to Insomnia
“Depletion of tryptophan as a result of heavy drinking explains why alcoholics suffer from insomnia.”
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More topics Related to Tryptophan


...the condition
“...Nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, B-vitamins, niacinamide, B12 injections (especially if stomach acid production is insufficient), tryptophan with inositol and chromium, valerian root, and GABA can have a calming effect...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
Tryptophan (or 5-HTP), the precursor of the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin, also has relaxing and calming effects...”


...relationship to Vitamin B6 Requirement
“Children with asthma have been shown to have a metabolic defect in tryptophan metabolism...”

Banana a treatment
“...Bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that the body converts into serotonin which is known to improve relaxation, mood and overall happiness...”

Bulimic Tendency

...the condition
“...These include tryptophan, zinc (40% of 62 patients), vitamin B2, B3, folate, and potassium...”

Carcinoid Cancer

...our question about Your tryptophan levels
“Blood tryptophan will be decreased below normal values in cases of carcinoid tumor or syndrome when the hormone serotonin is being produced.”
...relationship to Vitamin B3 Requirement
“Niacin frequently becomes deficient when these tumors are present because of its increased metabolism to form tryptophan.”
...recommendation High/Increased Protein Diet
“...An adequate intake of the amino acid tryptophan, along with niacin, can prevent the tendency towards pellagra, which may otherwise occur from the excessive use of tryptophan by carcinoid tumors.”


...related topic
“...The best studied are superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome C oxidase, catalase, dopamine hydroxylase, uricase, tryptophan dioxygenase, lecithinase and other monoamine and diamine oxidases.”


...our question about Difficulty falling asleep
“...Dehydration reduces the amount of tryptophan available to the pineal gland, which produces melatonin...”


...relationship to Vitamin B6 Requirement
“B6 is a cofactor for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and for the synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is frequently imbalanced in cases of depression...”
...recommendation Amino Acid Profile
“...Tryptophan is the body's source material for producing the hormones serotonin and melatonin, which also influence sleep patterns and mood...”


...the condition
“...Tryptophan, melatonin, 5-HTP, Valerian, and St. John's Wort may help with sleep...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“Due to the fact that the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin within the brain is dependent on the availability of the amino acid tryptophan, supplementing the diet with tryptophan before going to bed may produce good results in relieving insomnia...”

Low Melatonin Level

...the condition
“...It is manufactured from tryptophan by the pineal gland in the brain and secreted in small amounts...”

Low Serotonin Level

...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
Tryptophan is the dietary amino acid precursor for production of serotonin in the body...”

Melatonin a treatment
“...When depression is also present, 5-HTP, St. John's Wort or tryptophan may help as well...”
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More topics Related to Tryptophan

Night Eating Syndrome

...the condition
“...Another key may involve the availability of tryptophan, an important amino acid, in the body...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“Taking Tryptophan or 5-HTP orally causes an increase of serotonin in the brain.”

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“...L- tryptophan and 5-HTP are serotonin precursors...”

Protein Deficiency

...the condition
“...such as dopamine and serotonin, and these help produce positive feelings like calm, excitement and positivity); Depression; Insomnia (consuming protein before bed can help with the production of tryptophan and serotonin, which promote sound sleep); Chronic headaches; Blackouts; Nausea; Constipation and gas (protein deficiency can negatively affect enzyme production, muscle contractions in the...”


...the condition
“...If additional antianxiety support is needed, GABA, tryptophan, chromium and inositol should be considered...”

Restless Leg Syndrome

...relationship to Low Serotonin Level
Tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, has been shown to help a small percentage of RLS sufferers...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
Tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, has been shown to help a small percentage of RLS sufferers...”

Tendency Toward Postpartum Depression

...the condition
“...Tryptophan at 1-3gm per day can be used to treat a variety of depression syndromes...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“Depression associated with menstrual cycles and postpartum depression sometimes respond very well to tryptophan supplementation...”

The Effects Of Overtraining

...relationship to Depression
“...reported that young athletes who train excessively and don't leave enough time to recover from stress and injury have a 20% higher risk of suffering from depression due to changes in serotonin and tryptophan levels.”

Tourette's Syndrome

...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“The low blood serotonin and tryptophan levels seen in Tourette's syndrome (TS) are consistent with the wide range of behavioral disorders expected in such cases...”

Tryptophan / 5HTP a treatment
“...An essential amino acid, tryptophan is the least abundant amino acid found in foods...”

Tryptophan Need

...the condition
“...Tryptophan is one of several essential amino acids needed in the diet; human beings cannot synthesize it from simpler metabolites...”
...our question about Blacking out from alcohol
Tryptophan (or 5-HTP), the precursor of the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin, also has relaxing and calming effects...”
...recommendation Chromium
“Chromium picolinate helps to promote conversion of tryptophan to serotonin...”

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) a treatment
“...In an absolute sense, niacin is not a vitamin; as the body can synthesize it starting with the amino acid tryptophan.  In fact some cases of pellagra actually were tryptophan deficiencies, or reduced amounts of factors that help to convert tryptophan to niacin...”

Vitamin B3 Requirement

...the condition
“...Niacin can be made in the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan.  The conversion of tryptophan to niacin requires the presence of other nutrients, such as thiamin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, vitamin C and iron...”

Vitamin B6 Requirement

...the condition
“...15-20% of women on oral contraceptives show deficient levels of pyridoxine on tryptophan load tests and many suffer deficiency symptoms...”
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