L-Tryptophan is an amino acid; a protein building block found in many plant and animal proteins. It is classified as an “essential” amino acid because the human body cannot produce it. The protein must be acquired from foods we eat and has been used for years as an alternative approach to treat several medical conditions.
How does L- Tryptophan work?
L-Tryptophan is important for the development and functioning of many organs in the human body. Once the supplement is absorbed from the food we eat, the body converts it to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), then to serotonin; a hormone that transmits signals the nerve cells. Serotonin can also lead to the narrowing of the blood vessels and triggering certain moods. When the hormone is produced, the pineal gland converts it at night into melatonin, commonly known as the sleep-inducing hormone.
The supplement is not soluble in water including the fact that it possesses a marked resistance to heat. With the daily requirement differing from person to person, it is tricky to estimate the exact number of people who manage to regularly meet their individual needs through nutrition only. Mostly with the highly probable unhealthy eating culture, too little time including too much stress.
Lack of this essential amino acid can sometimes result in erratic mood swings as well as depression. Several studies have also shown that this vital substance can be taken in form of dietary supplements and foods to help combat mental illnesses.
Foods containing L-Tryptophan
A healthy person has the capacity to consume between 3.5mg and 6mg L-Tryptophan per kg of the body weight every day. The difference here is that each person has specific needs meaning it is advisable to include as many sources of the amino acid to your diet as you could to help prevent deficiency. This deficiency could lead to cases of inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, liver damage or other serious complications.
Some of the foods containing high amount of L-Tryptophan include:
- Soy beans
- Cashew nuts
- Cocoa powder (without sugar)
- Dried peas
- Raw chicken breast
- Raw salmon
- Chicken egg
- Corn flour
- Cow's milk.
Since the L-Tryptophan in these foods is chemically bonded, it is only a fraction that will be absorbed, which is why the supplements are best preferred.
Benefits of L-Tryptophan
Decreases appetite and reduces anxiety
If there is an L-Tryptophan deficiency in the body, serious anxiety as well as depression may develop. Serotonin has a restraining effect on appetite, which can be very helpful to obese people.
Elevate physical fitness
Apart from suppressing appetite L-Tryptophan help athletes to elevate their physical fitness to improve training results.
Promotes healthy sleeping habits
Recent studies have shown that L-Tryptophan also helps a person get the much-needed good night’s sleep. It does this by keeping serotonin level fairly constant throughout the day, which in turn allows enough production of the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin.
Halting other medical complications
The spread of steatohepatitis, a common liver condition, can be halted by regular intake of L-Tryptophan. After a month of the normal intake, you’ll notice that there will be an improved level of triglyceride including amount of inflammatory cytokines, which results in better overall health of the person in question.
L-Tryptophan can also be used to relieve the irritable bowel syndrome among other medical conditions. It would be better to talk to a qualified healthcare provider who has the expertise and experience to help you determine whether or not you are allergic as well as give you proper prescription to treat a particular condition.