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  • Tryptophan Description
  • Tryptophan Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Tryptophan Dosage Information
  • Tryptophan Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Tryptophan Supplement Products



    Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is required for the production of Niacin (Vitamin B-3). Tryptophan is a precursor to Serotonin and is necessary for the production of Serotonin, a necessary neurotransmitter that is responsible for the transferring or transmitting of nerve impulses from one cell to another and in the brain. Serotonin is responsible for normal sleep.

    A sufficient amount of Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) is necessary for the formation of Tryptophan, which, in turn, is required for the formation of Serotonin. A lack of Tryptophan and Magnesium may contribute to coronary artery spasms. If needed, Tryptophan coverts Niacin (Vitamin B-3) in the body, which supports circulation, a healthy nervous system, the metabolism of food, and the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system. Tryptophan also supports immune functions because it is the body's precursor to the kynurenines that regulate immunity.


    For decades Europeans have used 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, to treat insomnia and depression. The body produces its own supply of 5-HTP from tryptophan, an amino acid found in high-protein foods such as chicken, fish, beef, and dairy products. The supplement form is a compound extracted from the seeds of the African plant, Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP is a mood enhancing chemical that raises serotonin levels which can increase pain tolerance, induce sleep, and affect how hunger is perceived. Serotonin is found in the brain and central nervous system which has many implications on mood, behavior, and sleep patterns. 5-HTP is obtained from Griffonia Simplicifolia seed.


    The best dietary sources of Tryptophan include brown rice, cottage cheese, meat, poultry, peanuts, and soy protein.

    This amino acid is not available in supplemental form in the United States. In November of 1989, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported evidence linking L-Tryptophan supplements to a blood disorder called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). Several hundred cases of this illness - which is characterized by an elevated white cell count and can also cause such symptoms as fatigue, muscular pain, respiratory ailments, edema, and rash - were reported, and at least one death was attributed to the outbreak. After the CDC established an association between the blood disorder and products containing L-Tryptophan in New Mexico, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first warned consumers to stop taking L-Tryptophan supplements, then recalled all products in which L-Tryptophan was the sole or a major component. Subsequent research showed that it was contaminants in the supplements, not the Tryptophan, that was probably responsible for the problem, but Tryptophan supplements were still banned from the market in the United States.

    microscopic tryptophan


    Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet. The unusual indole side chain of Tryptophan is also the nucleus of the important neurotransmitter Serotonin, which is biosynthesized from Tryptophan. The aromatic portion of Tryptophan also serves as an ultraviolet marker for detection of this amino acid either separately, or incorporated into proteins and enzymes, via ultraviolet spectrophotometry. Tryptophan is incorporated into proteins and enzymes at the molar rate of 1.1 percent compared to other amino acids making it the rarest amino acid found in proteins.


    Deficiencies of Serotonin, which are related to Tryptophan deficiencies, are well documented in cases of depression and insomnia. Consequently, Tryptophan helps to combat depression and insomnia and to stabilize emotional moods, pain control, inflammation, and intestinal peristalsis.

    It helps to control hyperactivity in children, alleviates stress, is good for the heart, aids in weight control by reducing appetite, and enhances the release of growth hormone.

    It is good for migraine headaches since it has been found that people suffering from migraines have abnormal levels of Tryptophan.

    It may reduce some of the effects of nicotine.



    Tryptophan is very important for biochemical balance of the brain, and is very helpful for those with sleep deprivation, anxiety and mood enhancement due to low Serotonin levels. It also helps to biochemical balance the brain in those whose Serotonin levels are low because of chemical addictions. It has also been effective in appetite control, increasing pain tolerance and assisting those with jet lag. Because Tryptophan is the least abundant amino acid in our diet, it should be no surprise that Tryptophan supplements have been widely used to correct deficiencies for more than a quarter of a century by health care providers in the United States and Europe. Psychiatrists, medical doctors, and nutritionists, alike, have long recognized the importance of pure Tryptophan for maintaining good health, relieving poor mood and irritability, reducing the craving for carbohydrates, and normalizing sleep.

    The dosage listed for Tryptophan is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

    In certain studies supplementation of 300 mg to 600 mg per day was experimented with to help with sleep disturbances, migraines, weight loss, appetite control, anxiety and depression, but a supplementation of 100 mg at night-time proved beneficial to promote better sleep.

    • Infant 3 to 6 months: 19 mg per kg of body weight

    • Child 10 to 12 years: 4 mg per kg of body weight

    • Adults: 3 mg per kg of body weight


    When L-Tryptophan is indicated, a common dosage is one 500 mg capsule for every 50 lbs of body weight, one hour before bedtime, or as directed by a healthcare professional. Dosage may be reduced as sleep improves. When indicated, allow sixty days for optimal results. With any new supplement, it is best to start with a low dose and work up to the desired dose gradually. Also, because several other amino acids may compete with L-Tryptophan for absorption, it is best given with a beverage or a snack containing minimal protein. Carbohydrates help to facilitate the passage through the blood-brain barrier. It is best to read product label directions for guidelines on the dosage recommended for your specific condition. Although some symptoms of an L-Tryptophan deficiency may disappear quickly, others may take time to show improvement. Essential amino acids are involved in a myriad of structural proteins and enzymes, as well as neurotransmitters, and so replacement may take time.

    Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) is required by the body for the formation of Tryptophan, but people taking anti-depressants or serotonin-modifying medication should be careful in taking a supplementation.


    L-Tryptophan is considered safe as a dietary supplement.

    L-Tryptophan was a very popular sleeping aid in the U.S. until recently, and was also used for premenstrual syndrome and depression. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) placed an Import Alert on this products in 1990 when one Japanese manufacturer sent several contaminated batches to the US. Our suppliers have been thoroughly and independently tested and provides one of the purest L-Tryptophan products in the world today.

    Other drugs may interact with L-tryptophan. Tell your health care practitioner about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. Consult your health care practitioner if you are taking any other medications. Not recommended for use with MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).

    Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known. Before taking L-Tryptophan, tell your health care practitioner if you have liver disease, kidney disease, eosinophilia, or a muscle disorder (such as fibromyalgia). If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may not be able to use L-tryptophan, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

    Supplementation with high dosage of Tryptophan could lead to gastrointestinal upsets, headaches, sleepiness and anxiety.


  • Amino Acid Complex Supplement Products
  • 5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-L-Tryptophan) Products

  • Tryptophan Supplement Products
  • Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products


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    L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid important in human nutrition for the synthesis of melatonin and serotonin, hormones regulating mood and stress response. L-Tryptophan helps support relaxation, sleep, positive mood and immune function. As an essential amino acid, it is not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from the diet.


    HerbsPro: Tryptophan Powerful Serotonin Booster, Woodland Publishing, 32 Page Booklet (90229)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan Powder, For Mood, Relaxation & Sleep, Source Naturals, 50 Grams (67633)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan Powder, For Mood, Relaxation & Sleep, Source Naturals, 100 Grams (67634)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan Powder, Pharmaceutical Grade, Microbial Contamination Free, Now Foods, 2 oz. (82038)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Pharmaceutical Grade, California Natural, 500 mg, 30 Caps (71914)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 30 Tabs (67527)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 30 Caps (67530)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan With Vitamin B-6, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 30 Tabs (69818)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, BlueBonnet Nutrition, Pharmaceutical Grade, 500 mg, 30 VCaps (100432)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Jarrow Formulas, 60 Caps (76322)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Natural Balance, 500 mg, 60 VCaps (89928)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Pharmaceutical Grade, California Natural, 500 mg, 60 Caps (71915)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (67528)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 60 Caps (67531)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan With Vitamin B-6, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (69819)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Pharmaceutical Grade, Now Foods, 500 mg, 60 VCaps (82936)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, BlueBonnet Nutrition, Pharmaceutical Grade, 500 mg, 60 VCaps (100433)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 90 Caps (69830)
    HerbsPro: Best L-Tryptophan, Protein Building Block, Doctors Best, 500 mg, 90 VCaps (69125)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Pharmaceutical Grade, Now Foods, 500 mg, 120 Caps (82037)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 120 Tabs (67529)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 120 Caps (67532)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan With Vitamin B-6, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 120 Tabs (69820)
    HerbsPro: L-Tryptophan, Pharmaceutical Grade, Now Foods, 1000 mg, 60 Tabs (79312)
    HerbsPro: 5-HTP Tryptophan (5-Hydroxytryptophan), Country Life, 50 mg, 50 Caps (36979)
    HerbsPro: 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), Life Time Nutritional Specialties, 100 mg, 30 Caps (89798)


    Amazon: Tryptophan Amino Acid Supplement Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Tryptophan Amino Acid Supplement Information
  • Nutrition Basics: 5-HTP Amino Acid Supplement Information



    HerbsPro: Amino-9 Essentials Powder, Now Foods, 330 Grams
    Complete Free Form blend of all 9 essential amino acids. Dietary supplements helpful in sports. GMP quality assured.
    HerbsPro: Amino Balance Powder, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals
    HerbsPro: Amino Balance Powder, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 grams
    HerbsPro: Amino Balance, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 120 Caps
    HerbsPro: Amino Balance, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 240 Caps
    HerbsPro: Amino Balance, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 500 Caps
    For tissue repair, reduced soreness and accelerated recovery, as well as a wealth of non-training benefits, this blend of 23 pure crystalline 100% pharmaceutical grade free-form amino acids is unmatched.
    HerbsPro: Amino Max 21, FoodScience of Vermont, 90 Caps
    A high quality, hypoallergenic amino acid formulation. Amino Max 21 is a scientifically formulated combination of 21 crystalline, free-form amino acids in the natural L-configuration. Because free-form amino acids are readily bioavailable and require no digestion by the body, they can be absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream and accompanying tissues where they are used for cellular regeneration.
    HerbsPro: Essential Amino Acid Complex, Solgar, Free Form, 600 mg, 90 VCaps (36384)
    HerbsPro: Amino Complete, Balanced Blend Complex, Now Foods, 120 Caps
    HerbsPro: Max-Amino With Vitamin B-6, Blend of 18 Amino Acids, Country Life, 180 Caps
    An easily absorbed blend of 18 amino acids yielding high biological activity. An ideal formula for athletes, and when protein demands may not be fully satisfied. B-6 aids in the utilization of amino acids. An easily absorbed Amino Acid Supplement.
    HerbsPro: Amino Acid Complete, Balanced Blend Complex, Now Foods, 360 Caps
    HerbsPro: Cher-Amino Liquid Protein, TwinLab, 16 fl. oz. (19499)
    Cher Amino Protein is a concentrated and peptide bonded free amino acid supplement contains all essential amino acid derived from natural enzyme hydrolysis of collagen protein and whey protein that help relieve muscle breakdown.
    HerbsPro: Cher-Amino Liquid Protein, TwinLab, 32 fl. oz. (19498)
    Cher Amino Protein is a concentrated and peptide bonded free amino acid supplement contains all essential amino acid derived from natural enzyme hydrolysis of collagen protein and whey protein that helps to relieve muscle breakdown. The protein in this product is a predigested collagen and whey (lactalbumin) protein and is therefore utilized 100%. Contains all the essential amino acids derived by enzymatically hydrolyzing the animal protein collagen and whey protein (lactalbumin). The amino acids in this product are naturally present in the protein. They are not added or manufactured. 15 grams per ounce. New improved formula. Predigested collagen. Enriched with predigested whey protein, a superior source of high quality amino acids.


    Amazon: Amino Acid Complex Complete Supplement Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Amino Acid Complex Supplement Information

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