L-Tryptophan

Also indexed as:Tryptophan
L-Tryptophan: Main Image

How to Use It

The typical Western daily diet contains 0.5-2.0 grams of L-tryptophan.150 Some authorities recommend taking L-tryptophan supplements with food or beverages high in carbohydrate and away from foods high in protein in order to improve absorption and uptake into the brain.151, 152

Where to Find It

L-Tryptophan is found in most protein-containing foods except for gelatin.

Possible Deficiencies

Disruptions in emotional well-being, including depression and anxiety, have been linked to serotonin imbalances in the brain.153 People with fibromyalgia often have low serotonin levels in their blood.154, 155, 156 Supplements of L-tryptophan may increase serotonin synthesis in these cases. The cause of migraine headaches is related to abnormal serotonin function in blood vessels,157 and L-tryptophan may help correct this abnormality.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.