You probably know it's in your Thanksgiving turkey, but what do you really know about tryptophan? Many people associate tryptophan with feeling a little tired, but it has a variety of uses within the body which can help to alleviate a number of complaints. To understand how tryptophan works and how it can work for you, we first need to understand exactly what it is.
L-Tryptophan is found throughout nature in animal and plant proteins. It's an amino acid, one of those building blocks that help to build the proteins themselves. L-Tryptophan belongs to the family of "essential" amino acids because the body cannot produce tryptophan on its own. But we eat and drink tryptophan regularly in dietary items like meat, potatoes, pumpkins, green vegetables, milk, and of course, our holiday turkeys.
Although we can't produce tryptophan naturally, our bodies use it for a great number of helpful processes. Organs in the body require tryptophan for proper development and function. But some of the most interesting effects tryptophan has on our bodies occur inside our brains.
After we absorb L-Tryptophan, our bodies convert the amino acid into a substance called 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan. This is then used to make serotonin - another chemical with which you may be moderately familiar. Serotonin transmits signals between your nerve cells and also causes blood vessels to narrow. Serotonin serves a variety of uses throughout the body - far too many to discuss here - but you may have learned that serotonin can improve your mood and that's why many people choose to take tryptophan supplements.
Those taking tryptophan experience less mood swings, tension, and irritability. It's also used to promote sleep, relaxation, a good mood, and a balanced emotional state. Whether you're dealing from stress, insomnia, PMS, or chemical imbalances, taking L-Tryptophan may be a supplement that helps you to manage your mood. Its calming effect helps in relaxation and overall feelings of well-being.
This relaxation promotes sleep, but contrary to popular belief, the tryptophan in your holiday meal does not directly lead to overwhelming drowsiness. While tryptophan plays a role, it is the excessive carbohydrates that accompany the tryptophan that really produces a feeling of exhaustion. However, the tryptophan may be responsible for the feelings of comfort that accompany this after-dinner relaxation.
Here at OVitaminPro.com, we have a large selection of Tryptophan supplements from a variety of manufacturers including Protocol for Life Balance, Thorne Research, Lidtke Technologies, and more. Find L-Tryptophan from your favorite supplement manufacturer or simply find a bottle that fits your budget.
Be sure to check with your healthcare professional before beginning any tryptophan regimen - remember that if you're experiencing depression-like symptoms that you should not self-medicate. See a physician to determine the best course of treatment for you.