L-tryptophan is an amino acid and Amino acids are protein building blocks. L-tryptophan is called an "essential" amino acid because the body can't make it on its own. It must be acquired from food. L-Tryptophan may be used to treat severe PMS symptoms and also has been used for people quitting smoking. Other uses have been for athletic performance, insomnia, and depression but you should talk to your practitioner about the right things to use to treat your specific condition. Pure Encapsulations makes an excellent hypoallergenic L-Tryptophan supplement.
How does it work?
After absorbing L-tryptophan from food, our bodies convert it to 5-HTP (5-hyrdoxytryptophan), and then to serotonin, melatonin, and vitamin B6 (nicotinamide). Serotonin is a hormone that transmits signals between nerve cells. It also causes blood vessels to narrow. Changes in the level of serotonin in the brain can alter mood. Melatonin is important for sleep and vitamin B6 is essential for energy metabolism.
You should not use any Tryptophan products if you are allergic to tryptophan. Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare providers if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- eosinophilia (high levels of a certain type of white blood cells); or
- a muscle disorder (such as fibromyalgia).
L-tryptophan is considered likely unsafe to use during pregnancy. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.It is not known whether L-tryptophan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breastfeeding a baby.