L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that has been used as a supplement to improve mood, cognitive function, anxiety and sleep disorders. Found in mostly protein dense foods such as eggs, fish, and red meat, various dairy products, raw spirulina seaweed, squashes and bananas, it is “essential” to our bodies’ natural processes. Furthermore, it is not synthesized naturally within the human body, so to get L-tryptophan, it must be consumed.

The primary way that L-Tryptophan aids in most of the above ailments and disorders is through its conversion into serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found throughout the body, but most densely in the digestive system, and is responsible for a plethora of positive effects including “good feelings” that one encounters after an achievement. Serotonin is imperative to the healthy balance and function of the human body and mind.

Through further reactions within the body, excess serotonin is converted into an important hormone called melatonin, which is a significant factor in reference to someone’s sleep cycle. Being that sleep is essential to a healthy and happy life, the process of consuming L-Tryptophan through whole foods so that it may be eventually converted into serotonin and then, melatonin, is imperative to many biological processes of human ecology.

Resources and Further Reading

Here is an article from the SAGE journals and National Journal of Tryptophan Research that looks at “Effects of Kynurenine Pathway (the principal route of L-tryptophan in metabolism) Inhibition on NAD+ Metabolism and Cell Viability in Human Primary Astrocytes and Neurons”: http://bit.ly/2Epcs6b

“Better Brain Chemistry with Tryptophan” from Life Extension Magazine: http://bit.ly/2DPWmpr

“L-Tryptophan Manipulation” from the Neurobehavioral Research Lab and Clinic: http://bit.ly/2EpeLWT


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