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What benefits does tryptophan have in the body?

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet, it is used as a building block in the synthesis of proteins and has a large number of specialized functions , which provide great benefits to the body.

The sources of foods rich in tryptophan are milk and milk products, eggs, pumpkin, peanuts, sunflower seeds, red meat, poultry and chocolate among others.



Supplements of tryptophan at doses of 1 gram are often taken as an aid to sleep , because it produces effects of increased subjective sleepiness and a decrease in sleep time ; This supplement generally favors patients with mild insomnia or normal individuals who take a while to fall asleep.


Winter depressive disorder is a mood disorder where people experience symptoms of depression in the winter; According to researchers at the University of British Columbia, patients treated with L-tryptophan every day for two weeks significantly reduce depression.


Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a hormone that contributes to the sense of well-being, and people with low serotonin levels are prone to depression; according to a study published in “Psychological Medicine”, tryptophan can act as an antidepressant, because it significantly improves depression and is not associated with side effects.

It should be noted that not only L-tryptophan is effective as an independent antidepressant, but it also improves the effect of other antidepressant drugs; Therefore, it was possible to see a greater improvement after a week, of the patients who combined tryptophan with the antidepressant drugs – always under medical supervision – than those who only took the antidepressant.

When tryptophan is consumed, through food or through supplements, it is converted to serotonin, and an increase in the level of serotonin, can reduce the symptoms of depression.


Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a much more severe form of premenstrual syndrome, which can be debilitating either by physical, mental or emotional symptoms; therefore, in a study conducted at the Hospital de Montreal, it was found that by supplementing L-tryptophan to patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, after about two and a half weeks of treatment, it was found that L-tryptophan significantly improved mood .

, porque un exceso de serotonina en el cuerpo, puede producir efectos indeseados commo confusión, taquicardias, dificulatad para caminar, espasmos musculares, fiebre, diarrea y sudoración entre otros. It is important to note that tryptophan supplements should always be taken under medical recommendation for possible side effects , because an excess of serotonin in the body, can produce unwanted effects such as confusion, tachycardia, difficulty walking, muscle spasms, fever, diarrhea and sweating among others.

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What benefits does tryptophan have in the body?