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L-Tryptophan Summary

All L-Tryptophan Benefits/Effects/Facts & Information

L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is obtained from protein sources in the diet. It leads to the production of serotonin as it is used to make 5-HTP, a direct precursor to serotonin (5-HT).

Since serotonin is important for balancing mood, L-Tryptophan is used as a supplement mainly to help symptoms involving mood disruptions. Studies have shown that L-Tryptophan is effective in reducing the symptoms of mild insomnia by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. Additionally, L-Tryptophan is used to improve symptoms of mood disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder, as these are characterized by low levels of serotonin in the brain.

Research also suggests that L-Tryptophan can help reduce pain and migraines as well as weaken withdrawal symptoms in those stopping use of cigarettes or alcohol. As serotonin is also produced largely in the intestines, L-Tryptophan may be useful in improving digestion and regulating bowel function. Future studies must be conducted to verify these claims.

L-Tryptophan Benefits:

  • Improves mood
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces symptoms of migraines
  • Improves symptoms of depression and seasonal affective disorder
  • May decrease withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and cigarettes
  • May reduce pain
  • May improve digestion
  • May decrease symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Things To Know About L-Tryptophan

L-Tryptophan Is Also Known As


Things To Note About L-Tryptophan

  • The combination of L-Tryptophan with other antidepressant drugs can lead to excessive serotonin activity (serotonin syndrome) which can cause agitation, high temperature, shivering, among other symptoms. This can condition can become very severe if high levels of serotonin accumulate in the body over time.

How To Take L-Tryptophan

Recommended L-Tryptophan, Active Amounts, Other Details

Typical doses range from 2-6g of L-Tryptophan for various treatments.

Doses for insomnia are usually 1-2g before bed. Effectiveness of a higher dose has not yet been confirmed.

Protein food sources generally provide 100-500mg of L-Tryptophan per serving.