L-Tryptophan, Mood, Sleep, and The Brain!
L-tryptophan is an organic compound classified as an essential amino acid. It has a significant presence in the human diet in that it occurs in both animal and plant products. Some of the popular sources are egg, soybean, salmon, chicken, turkey, and pork. Being a biological precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, it contributes to the brain processes that create feelings of well-being.
Most of the supplements that contain L-tryptophan are marketed as relaxants. They are even touted to remove sleep disturbances. This amino acid does help the body relax as serotonin plays a pivotal role in maintaining homeostasis. In recent years, L-tryptophan has been associated with the functions of the central nervous system as it appears to be of help to patients afflicted with mental disorders.
L-Tryptophan And The Brain
Affects Brain Chemicals
While tryptophan deficiency is very uncommon in developed countries, and cases in developing countries are also not well understood. Early studies suggest that malnutrition may be the primary reason. That being said, impairment in metabolism such as lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption has been reported to compromise the absorption of tryptophan in the intestines.
For decades, it has been postulated that a deficiency in tryptophan may result in dementia and dermatitis. Indeed low levels of L-tryptophan in the blood have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression. It is one of the amino acids under investigation for its medicinal potential in the treatment of these mental disorders.
Improves Sleep Quality
One of the well established facts about L-tryptophan is its relationship with the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is in fact directly derived from this amino acid. It is also widely accepted that serotonin transmission within the brain is involved in sleep patterns. L-tryptophan raises serotonin levels in the brain and the central nervous system as it is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.
More importantly, L-tryptophan is believed to influence physiological responses to outside stimuli as described by the phenomenon called circadian rhythm. It is indispensable in the biosynthesis of melatonin, the hormone that induces feelings of sleepiness and lowers body temperature, effectively regulating the sleep-wake cycle. By influencing releases of melatonin, tryptophan improves sleep.
Counters Stress Factors
Metabolites of L-tryptophan have been extensively utilized by the pharmaceutical industry in the past few years. Supplements that contain serotonin and melatonin a well as tryptophan have become more available today than in previous decades. Supplementation of tryptophan in particular has been observed to help combat stress, suppress appetite, and enhance mood.
L-tryptophan is converted by the human body to 5-hydroxytrytophan, or 5HTP, a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of serotonin and melatonin. It has been well documented that healthy levels of tryptophan and 5HTP benefit people suffering from chronic stress, which lead to physical fatigue characteristic of fibromyalgia. Also, tryptophan has produced positive effects on obesity.
Try L-Tryptophan Today!
If you suffer from lack of sleep give melatonin a try it may help with more then sleep!