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Tryptophan Supplements - what you should know!

Tryptophan is one of the most essential amino acids needed by human beings. However, the human body cannot produce tryptophan on its own and it must therefore be obtained through food or dietary supplements.

There are many health benefits connected with the intake of tryptophan, otherwise known as L-Tryptophan. One of the major tryptophan benefits is the mood-lifting effect induced by an increase of serotonin - a neurotransmitter- that promotes a feeling of happiness.

It also contributes to healthy sleep, and has been known to contribute to the improvement of sleep patterns for those suffering from insomnia. Tryptophan minimizes the feelings associated with depression and helps improve physical performance in athletes.

Tryptophan supplements are available over the counter, and can be taken to treat and improve all the above conditions as well as reduce a possible lack of tryptophan in the human body.

What is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan or L-Tryptophan supplement is one of the twenty two main amino acids required for many functions of organs within the human body. It can be found naturally in plants and in animal proteins.

After the body has absorbed tryptophan from either food or supplements, it is then converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan which is thereafter transformed to serotonin, a hormone responsible for transmitting signals between the nerve cells.

A tryptophan deficiency can cause major mood changes. Tryptophan can be naturally found in many high protein foods such as red meat, eggs, poultry, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, fish, sesame, bananas, peanuts, oats, chocolates, spirulina and sunflower seeds.

Although tryptophan can be found in all these foods, the effect of poor dietary choices is that many people find themselves facing major deficiency problems. Tryptophan supplements have been created to minimize the lack of tryptophan in the human body and compensate for the negative effects associated with a tryptophan deficiency.

Tryptophan levels should be kept normal because it is vital to the human body. By keeping serotonin levels high, tryptophan supports better sleep, improves athletic performance, treats depression, anxiety and in some cases, prevents teeth grinding at night.

Tryptophan health benefits

The health benefits of tryptophan are as follows
  • Increase of serotonin in the human brain
  • Support for better sleep and prevention of insomnia
  • Prevent depression
  • Prevent feelings of anxiety
  • Enhance performance in sports

Tryptophan for more serotonin

By taking tryptophan or an L-Tryptophan supplement, you can help your body increase levels of serotonin. Apart from transmitting signals between nerve cells, serotonin is also responsible for the narrowing of blood vessels in order to avoid blood clotting and to increase wound healing.

Tryptophan capsules will boost the levels of serotonin within the human body and this will eventually result in happier and mood-lifting feelings: the more serotonin your body absorbs, the more contented you will be.

Of course, as with any other supplement, there is a limit to the amount of tryptophan your body can absorb on a daily basis. It is best to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional regarding tryptophan dosage.

Tryptophan supports better sleep

If you are having trouble sleeping at night then you should have your tryptophan levels checked. A lack or deficiency of l-tryptophan can lead to endless, sleepless nights.

Studies have shown that the intake of tryptophan benefits anyone suffering from sleep disorders. There is nothing worse than being in need of a good night's sleep and instead suffering from insomnia.

By taking tryptophan, the time needed to fall asleep decreases drastically; in addition it has also been proven to improve the general attitude of people with sleep problems. You may find that tryptophan capsules are all you need to regulate your night sleeping habits and give you the restful sleep you have been missing.

Tryptophan and depression

Another good reason to consider a tryptophan supplement is if you suffer from depression. By taking a tryptophan supplement you can regulate what your body cannot produce on its own and help lessen the symptoms of depression by improving your mood.

Tryptophan capsules will help you achieve the level of tryptophan needed to fend off depression and mood-swings that are due to a lack of this amino acid.

Tryptophan and sports

The use of tryptophan can reduce the feeling of fatigue during athletic performance and workouts. Despite the fact that many athletes can endure the physical pain involved in sports, some athletes eventually give in due to the fact that the human brain tells the muscles to stop contracting.

Inadequate neural drive is often the main cause for the termination of physical exercise for most people. In some cases an increase of tryptophan through supplements has improved physical performance and stamina in athletes.

It can therefore be considered as a vital supplement for athletes who want to keep their state of mind happy and clear of all possible distractions in order to achieve the best results.

Who may benefit from taking a Tryptophan supplement?

  • People who suffer from insomnia or experience difficulty sleeping
  • People with low levels of serotonin in their body
  • People who are suffering from depression
  • Athletes looking to improve performance and mental endurance

Tryptophan interactions and combinations

When taking tryptophan with the following combinations, major interactions can occur. All medications for depression interact with L-Tryptophan. Anti-depressants, MAOIS, sedative medications such as clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal) and others.

All of the above should not be taken in combination with tryptophan. Caution should also be shown when taking the following medication: Dextromethorphan, Meperidine, Pentazocine, Phenothiazines and Tramadol.

If you use any of the above mentioned medications, it is advisable to contact your doctor or healthcare professional for advice before taking any tryptophan supplements.

Tryptophan dosage and recommendations

The recommended dosage of the supplement will mainly depend on the age, health and the problem that each individual is facing. However, it is important to keep the dosage at normal levels of approximately 500 mg to 1000mg per day.

Why take a Tryptophan supplement?

Tryptophan is recommended as a treatment for the following reasons:
  • If you have low levels of serotonin and need to increase it
  • If you have trouble sleeping
  • If you are suffering from depression or anxiety

Other names of Tryptophan

L-Trp, Tryptan, L-Triptofano, L-2-amino-3-(indole-3-yl) propionic acid, L-Trypt, L-Tryptophane.