Tryptophan is a type of essential amino acid which is a component in of most proteins. It is also used in biosynthesis of proteins since it is an alpha amino acid. Tryptophan cannot be synthesized in our body and must be obtained through diet, since it is very much essential for human body. Essential amino acids are defined as those that cannot be naturally produced in the body and must be obtained through food we consume.

Role of Tryptophan

For all living things including human’s tryptophan is required to fight diseases, though it is not produced in living organisms and can be provided through ingestion. Tryptophan is commonly found in foods like meats, eggs, dry fruits, seeds and dairy products like cheese. People who do not consume animal products should not worry. Many plants are excellent sources of amino acids. Foods with high amount of protein contain highest level of tryptophan whether it is a source obtained from plants or animals.

Role of Tryptophan Supplements

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid because our body cannot produce naturally. Hence, it must be acquired through diet. Knowingly or unknowingly we consume significant amounts of tryptophan. Many traditional foods used in meal such as turkey, chicken, kale and vegetables are converts to serotonin, providing satisfied emotional state. This is an amino acid, protein building blocks which are present in many plants and animal foods. It is very important for development and functioning of many organs in our body. Our body converts tryptophan in to serotonin after consuming food. Serotonin is a hormone which alters mood by entering brain and transfers signals between nerve cells. Changes in level of serotonin causes narrow blood vessels. Serotonin is a compound in brain that promotes relaxation and confidence. While taken in sufficient quantities tryptophan converts to melatonin which helps in regulation of healthy sleep cycles. Shortage of serotonin leads to sleeping depravation. Because of less sleep, anxiety and depression pop up. Few people also tend to over eat while dealing depression. Commonly tryptophan is used for mood control. Though we get tryptophan from many sources of food which we consume are not sufficient to deal serotonin imbalances. So we need to take supplements available with chemists with proper guidance from doctor.

Tryptophan Dosages

  • Dosage of tryptophan depends on factors like age, weight and personal abilities. Here are general dosages of tryptophan supplements which may vary with person to person. Always it is better to seek expert supervision before intake of such supplements. It is always advisable in following these recommended dosage for best results.
  • To treat mood swings, stress and anxiety 2 to 6 grams per day is sufficient.
  • To treat sleep deprivations 1 or 2 grams is enough.
  • Many foods prepared from turkey or buffalo contains 500mg of tryptophan per serving.
  • Always ensure to take subjected prescriptions in two to three dosages during day.

Since tryptophan is not available sufficiently only through food, supplements should be taken to avail benefits. But, taking beyond limit provides negative side effects.