Tryptophan, or L-tryptophan, is an essential amino acid that acts like a natural mood enhancer as it helps the body produce certain hormones naturally. Tryptophan-rich foods or Tryptophan supplements naturally soothe, promote restful healthy sleep and reduce anxiety and depression.
- 1 What is Tryptophan?
- 2 Effect of tryptophan
- 3 Tryptophan and mood
- 4 Tryptophan and healthy sleep
- 5 How much tryptophan do you need for better sleep?
- 6 L-Tryptophan and Memory
- 7 Tryptophan for stress relief
- 8 Tryptophan Sports and Performance
- 9 Tryptophan-Anxiety and Depression
- 10 Tryptophan and weight losing weight
- 11 Tryptophan in food
- 12 How much L-tryptophan is contained in bananas?
- 13 Tryptophan combinations
- 14 Tryptophan dosage
- 15 Tryptophan Side Effects
- 16 Tryptophan interactions
- 17 Tryptophan for pregnant and breastfeeding women
- 18 Tryptophan or 5-HTP – what’s better?
- 19 What is L-Tryptophan?
- 20 Does the combination of Tryptophan and 5-HTP make sense?
- 21 Are Tryptophan and 5-HTP safe?
What is Tryptophan?
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the body. Unfortunately, many people have not yet sufficiently informed themselves about the benefits of Tryptophan. Learn more about the effect of this vital amino acid.
When you take Tryptophan, it is converted into serotonin – a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling mood. There are actually a variety of drugs for depression and anxiety that aim to make the brain secrete serotonin, which directly affects mood. This simply means that an extra dose of serotonin makes for a better mood.
Effect of tryptophan
The main effects of tryptophan have been studied in detail. The three main health benefits of tryptophan currently on everyone’s lips include:
- Better mood: Studies have shown that tryptophan supplements have the potential to improve mood and provide a positive mood.
- Improved brain power: Researchers have found that tryptophan positively affects memory.
- Sleep quality: Numerous studies have shown that tryptophan positively affects sleep by reducing sleep time and prolonging the REM phase.
Tryptophan and mood
In 2016, scientists published an in-depth report on how tryptophan and serotonin can affect mood and cognition. The report was published in “Nutrients,” a prestigious scientific journal for nutrition research.
According to the studies cited by the researchers, a tryptophan deficiency affects mood differently. Much like it affects cognition, tryptophan also appears to affect people’s mood. The effect differs depending on whether there is a personal or family history of depression or anxiety disorders.
However, it is clear that improved tryptophan levels are uniformly linked to an improvement in mood. People diagnosed with depression are also more susceptible to mood swings associated with tryptophan levels.
In another study published in 2015 on 59 healthy middle-aged women, it was found that taking a tryptophan dietary supplement daily (0.5 grams twice a day) showed an improvement in emotional processing ability And which can lead to a basic mood. The experiment was conducted over a nine-day period and found that mental alertness was increased, mood improved and happiness was increased when the preparation was taken before bedtime.
Tryptophan dietary supplements improve sleep behavior. Researchers now believe this is another reason to encourage the use of tryptophan for mood enhancement. The effects of sleep quality on mood have been studied and understood in detail, with both the length and quality of sleep important for maintaining a positive mood.
Tryptophan also contributes to a healthy sleep. Once the body has converted the tryptophan into serotonin, it can form a new neurotransmitter called melatonin. This process takes place in the light-sensitive pineal gland, which lies deep inside the brain. There are various uses of melatonin, however, it is best known for its ability to promote healthy sleep and improve sleep behavior.
Tryptophan and healthy sleep
Fixing sleep disorders is one of the main health benefits of Tryptophan, which has been studied very extensively in the past. Scientists have shown that tryptophan improves both sleep time and sleep quality.
In 1986, a study of the previously available literature on the use of tryptophan as a therapeutic supplement for supplementation in insomnia was published. The authors concluded that at a dose between 1 and 15 grams in the first night, tryptophan can be used effectively to initiate sleep.
In the case of chronic sleep disturbances, a low dose could be used repeatedly to improve sleep quality. Other benefits include the fact that tryptophan is free of side effects and does not cause tolerance development, even if the drug is taken for an extended period of time.
One of the most important aspects associated with taking Tryptophan for sleep promotion is the increase in melatonin levels. Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone” and contributes to sleep promotion. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin in the human body. Excess serotonin is then converted into melatonin in response to the day and night cycles as well as other factors in the pineal gland.
Even low dosages of tryptophan, as we normally consume as part of our daily diet, can already improve sleep quality. In a 1979 study, sleep time was significantly improved with just one gram of tryptophan. Even the low dose of 250 mg already had a positive effect on the deep sleep phase.
Scientists have even suggested using tryptophan to improve symptoms of sleep apnea. Taking only 2.5 grams of tryptophan before bedtime, breathing during sleep could already be significantly improved in subjects with obstructive sleep apnea (but not in subjects with central sleep apnea). The tryptophan supplement also led to an extension of the REM phase and a reduction in REM latency in all subjects.
How much tryptophan do you need for better sleep?
The body must first convert tryptophan into serotonin before it can form melatonin and improve sleep.  This means that the body uses most tryptophan supplies to improve mood. At higher doses, however, the excess serotonin begins to be converted into melatonin. Therefore, a slightly higher dose of Tryptophan may be better for improving sleep.
Tryptophan can help maintain healthy sleep, but it should be noted that tryptophan can be converted into serotonin in the liver. Tryptophan must cross the blood-brain barrier to unfold its mood enhancing effect.
If you consume too much tryptophan at once, it may not be the whole lot can cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore is converted in the liver to serotonin. This can cause undesirable side effects such as upset stomach.
It is therefore recommended to take about 500 mg to 1000 mg of tryptophan daily in 3 separate portions distributed throughout the day. The maximum recommended daily dose for tryptophan supplements is 3000 to 5000 mg. Taking 3 grams is more than enough to improve mood. However, if you want to improve sleep with Tryptophan, you can also take it just before you sleep.
L-Tryptophan and Memory
Tryptophan plays a complex role in terms of cognitive performance. Primarily, tryptophan is the chemical precursor of serotonin (5-HT). The body converts tryptophan into serotonin through a multi-step process using enzymes called “tryptophan hydroxylase” and “aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase.”
The role of serotonin in cognition has been extensively studied and has now been almost completely deciphered as part of ongoing studies. Low serotonin levels are therefore strongly associated with impaired cognitive performance – especially memory. In addition, researchers have suggested targeting serotonin receptors to improve cognitive decline in depression and Alzheimer’s.
However, the relationship between serotonin, tryptophan and cognition has not yet been fully deciphered. Studies have shown that tryptophan can have a different effect on cognition in anyone.
For example, a 2003 study found that while tryptophan deficiency impairs memory, it has slightly improved attention. In addition, the study authors found that tryptophan deficiency impaired the problem-solving ability of individuals found to have bipolar disorder and depression in family history, but did affect the problem-solving ability of People with an inconspicuous family history. 
In a 2006 clinical study, researchers also found that tryptophan supplements had a positive impact on the processing of emotional experiences. To be precise, Tryptophan improved sentiment and a positive attitude. However, these results applied only to the female subjects who participated in the study, but not to the male ones.
However, it can certainly be said that tryptophan plays a complex role in human cognitive performance and further studies are needed to fully understand its effects. So far, however, it has been confirmed that tryptophan supplements positively affect human memory functions.
Tryptophan for stress relief
Except for mood enhancement, many people use tryptophan to reduce stress. This is because this is often accompanied by improved mood and sleep quality by taking tryptophan supplements.
Studies have looked at the effects of tryptophan on stress sensation in both humans and animals. The results are encouraging. In 1985, for example, the first available human study was published. Researchers have studied the effects of tryptophan supplements on ten outpatient treated patients with different types of anxiety. The dietary supplements led to a significant reduction in anxiety levels in all patients.
However, the 1985 study used tryptophan in conjunction with a chemical agent that reduces the activity of dopamine decarboxylase (which theoretically amplifies the tryptophan effect).
Another study, published in 1986, looked at the effects of childbirth on natural tryptophan levels. Women who suffered from postpartum depression after childbirth typically had lower tryptophan levels and higher cortisol levels than those who did not have depression.
More recently, a study published in 2014 looked at the effects of a tryptophan-rich diet on stress-induced cravings for alcohol in chronic excessive alcoholics. The so-called “binge drinkers,” who were given a tryptophan-rich diet, had a decreased craving for alcohol compared to those given the control diet. The scientists concluded that this could be an indication that tryptophan lessens the stress response.
Interestingly, however, in individuals who were not binge drinkers, in a tryptophan-rich diet, the exact opposite happened – they felt an increased desire for an alcoholic beverage. Although no increase in stress levels was detected, the result showed that tryptophan can have different effects depending on the type of behaviour.
Scientists have now come to believe that people’s individual responses to tryptophan may be genetically predetermined. For example, a 2015 study found that variations in the 5-HTTLPR genotype led to different stress responses to tryptophan supplements.
Tryptophan Sports and Performance
A less well-known advantage of Tryptophan is the increase in athletic performance. Although this has been thoroughly studied by scientists in recent decades, only the few have learned of these benefits.
In 1988, scientists published a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine on the effects of tryptophan on athletic performance. Twelve healthy subjects took part in a study where they had to walk on a treadmill until exhaustion. Various factors were measured.
Remarkably, in the group receiving tryptophan, unlike the placebo group, it took about 49.4% longer for participants to be completely exhausted. In addition, participants who took tryptophan were more burdened. None of the physiological values, such as the maximum heart rate, the maximum oxygen consumption or the rate of pulse recovery, were influenced by the intake of the tryptophan preparation.
A second study, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2015, showed similar results. Twelve healthy athletes performed a 20-minute cycle at 50% of their physical performance on a bicycle ergometer. Each volunteer completed two rounds – in double-blind, randomized fashion, and another without. Results showed that the average distance traveled under placebo over the last 20 minutes was 12,000 meters and nearly 12,600 meters under Tryptophan – a statistically significant improvement.
The theory has been put forward that Tryptophan’s ability to improve exercise performance is due to people having their physical activity not due to muscle fatigue, but because of perceived exertion and a Cancel missing neural drive. It seems that influencing the serotonin system with tryptophan positively enhances neural drive and boosts exercise performance.
Tryptophan-Anxiety and Depression
Numerous studies have been conducted with Tryptophan on people suffering from various neurological disorders such as anxiety, depression or panic disorders. This is due to the important role that the serotonin system plays for the human psyche and brain function.
A study published in 2008 in the International Journal of Tryptophan Research examined all previously published data on the awarding of tryptophan in panic disorders. The authors concluded that numerous studies have helped significantly improve knowledge of the role of the serotonin system. However, the functioning of Tryptophan is complex.
It seems as if tryptophan works in a different way in each person depending on the expression of different genes. In addition, tryptophan has a different effect in men than in women. Interestingly, this difference is reflected in the likelihood of panic disorder – women are twice as likely as men to suffer from this disorder.
An evaluation of all previously published studies on the effects of tryptophan in depression, carried out in 2002, examined more than 108 individual studies. These studies have shown that both Tryptophan and 5-HTP have achieved significantly better relief from symptoms than placebos.
Most recently, a study published in 2016 looked at a new line of research on the effect of tryptophan against depression. The authors found evidence that depression could be linked to a biochemical change in tryptophan metabolism. Instead of being converted into serotonin, tryptophan is converted into neurotoxins such as chinolic acid, for example.
The reasons for this are probably increased stress hormones or inflammation, with the simultaneous lack of vital substances such as vitamins, minerals or trace elements. Due to the vital deficiency, tryptophan cannot be properly converted into serotonin and melatonin.
In order to ensure that Tryptophan can have its full effect, it is therefore crucial for Tryptophan to always take together with a good multivitamin or a specially tuned vital substance formula.
Tryptophan and weight losing weight
The role of tryptophan in losing weight has not yet been sufficiently researched, and there are also a large number of studies with conflicting results. Apparently, however, Tryptophan is unable to directly reduce weight. A 1985 study published in the Journal of Obesity Studies was titled: “Tryptophan does not contribute to weight loss in obese subjects with cravings for carbohydrates.”
The study found that supplementing with Tryptophan did not significantly increase weight loss in obese subjects. Although the results were not statistically significant, the eight people who completed the study taking Tryptophan, as opposed to the study participants taking a placebo, experienced a slight decrease in overall body weight Found. The median weight loss over the course of six weeks was 1.1kg for placebo treated participants, compared to 2.3kg for participants treated with Tryptophan.
One of the main ways researchers say chemicals targeting serotonin receptors could lead to weight loss is blocking cravings for carbohydrates. It is certainly known so far that serotonin plays a complex role in appetite control.
For example, eating a meal rich in carbohydrates that has a relatively low protein content, i.e. a meal rich in vegetables, starch and fruit, allows the body to produce those proteins used to transport Tryptophan are required in the brain. This in turn can be converted into serotonin, which controls appetite.
However, a high protein and low-carbohydrate meal provides the body with a variety of amino acids that compete with tryptophan. As a result, less tryptophan can be transported into the brain, which then produces less serotonin.
This illustrates the important role that Tryptophan has in appetite control due to its connection to serotonin.
In summary, Tryptophan is a great midpoint dietary supplement with a variety of scientifically proven health benefits. The most important thing is that tryptophan has a positive effect on mood and perception. These effects are most noticeable in women and in people with a family preload to mood disorders.
Studies have also shown that tryptophan positively affects stress levels and helps to improve sleep quality. The effect of tryptophan on sleep is still grossly underestimated despite the numerous studies that confirmed its positive effect on sleep.
Even less well known is Tryptophan’s ability to improve training performance via the serotonin system. It improves neural drive and helps increase endurance. Although the direct positive effect of tryptophan supplements on weight has not been sufficiently demonstrated, its effect on stress sensation, mood, cognitive performance, sleep behaviour and athletic Performance can be interpreted as an indication of the potential of an indirect positive effect on weight.
L-Tryptophan supplements in the form of Tryptophan tablets or Tryptophan supplementation capsules are a great way to improve mood and promote healthy sleep.
Tryptophan in food
Nutrition Data has become one of the most important nutritional websites since its launch in 2003. The aim of the website is to provide unbiased and comprehensive nutrition information to the general public. The website publishes information that comes from both the National Nutrition Database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the information sheets of the manufacturer of the tested products.
The nutrient database specifies the main food sources for tryptophan. The nutrition experts there gave the following foods as the main suppliers of tryptophan (in milligrams of tryptophan per serving with 200 calories):
- Wild meat (746 mg)
- Raw Spirulina algae (739 mg)
- Soy protein isolate (695 mg)
- Chicken egg protein (673 mg)
- Low fat sesame flour (659 mg)
- Dried Spirulina algae (641 mg)
- Raw Cancer Meat (607 mg)
- Soy sauce (603 mg)
- Chopped spinach (594 mg)
- Boiled halibut with skin (593 mg) 
While these food sources are all very rich in tryptophan, many of them also contain other amino acids that could compete with tryptophan for uptake. As we will explain later, studies have shown that high-carbohydrate, low-protein meals improve tryptophan intake the most.
The best way to increase your tryptophan level is to take a high quality tryptophan dietary supplement.
How much L-tryptophan is contained in bananas?
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in many protein-rich food sources. Bananas also contain tryptophan. In dosages higher than they normally occur in foods, tryptophan is very well suited to improve mood and promote healthy sleep.
Many people wonder how best to take L-Tryptophan to improve sleep quality, i.e. what dosage should be taken at what times. We will also examine the myth that bananas encourage falling asleep.
Bananas are great in many ways! And they’re not just useful for the world’s strongest animal, the silverback gorilla. The only problem is that bananas contain relatively small amounts of tryptophan and you would have to eat a lot of bananas to feel the effect. According to the National Nutrition Database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a banana contains about 0.011 grams of tryptophan.
Given this, you’d have to eat at least 10 bananas a day to exceed the amount of 1 gram of tryptophan. Nevertheless, bananas are a great food, because they are rich in magnesium and potassium – two very important minerals for optimal health. So don’t let the low content of tryptophan stop you from eating bananas!
In summary, tryptophan is an important amino acid that is used to build proteins and converted into different substances in the body. Tryptophan, for example, is found in protein-rich foods and bananas – However, you would need to eat a lot of bananas to feel the great effects!
It is recommended to take about 500 mg to 1000 mg of tryptophan in separate portions throughout the day. That prevents negative effects from a single high dose, but can help increase melatonin levels and allow for more fulfilling sleep.
Tryptophan, an amino acid and mood enhancing dietary supplement, is also suitable for being taken together with other active ingredients. Taking L-Tryptophan along with other supplements can improve the health benefits of both substances. These tryptophan combinations can improve mood and promote healthy sleep.
If your diet is high in protein or dark green vegetables, you would already need to consume significant amounts of dietary tryptophan. However, if you want to experience the mood-enhancing and sleep-enhancing benefits of this great substance, you probably need to take it additionally as a dietary supplement.
Tryptophan with vitamin B6
Tryptophan can be combined very well with vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is also known as a “cofactor,” which means it helps the enzymes function better. Vitamin B6 contributes to increasing the speed of conversion of tryptophan into serotonin.
Studies have actually shown that low vitamin B6 levels are associated with poorer underlying mood.  Taking Tryptophan together with vitamin B6 is therefore a great way to increase serotonin levels and ensure an optimal mood.
Tryptophan with melatonin
Once tryptophan has been converted into serotonin, it can be used to make melatonin (the body’s sleep hormone). This is why so many people talk about the wonderful benefits of Tryptophan to promote and maintain healthy sleep behavior.
Taking Tryptophan along with vitamin B6 is a great way to promote healthy sleep. Tryptophan can be combined with melatonin to improve sleep quality even further. This combination combines the mood-enhancing effects of tryptophan and the sleep-inducing effects of melatonin.
Melatonin alone is also very effective. It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which is the prerequisite for it to have its beneficial effects.
Tryptophan with 5-HTP
5-HTP is the compound into which the tryptophan needs to be converted so that the body can form serotonin from it.
More specifically, Tryptophan undergoes the following process in the body:
Tryptophan is used in5-HTP, which is converted into Serotonin (the “lucky messenger” of your brain) and finally in Melatonin (sleep hormone) is converted
Therefore, taking Tryptophan together with 5-HTP is a very effective combination. They take two different mood-enhancing active ingredients. In general, 5-HTP acts faster and stronger. L-tryptophan, on the other hand, has a milder, but longer effect. Both have a mood-enhancing and sleuthing.
If you want to take L-Tryptophan along with 5-HTP, use this combination responsibly. Because both dietary supplements lead to an increase in serotonin levels. Too much Serotonin can lead to side effects. Do not use 5-HTP if you are taking prescription medications for depression or anxiety without first talking to your doctor.
Tryptophan with L-theanine
L-theanine is an amino acid, as is tryptophan. Like L-Tryptophan, L-theanine has a relaxing effect and can promote healthy sleep. L-theanine is usually taken as a soothing, relaxing dietary supplement, while Tryptophan is more likely to be used to lighten mood.
Taking Tryptophan along with L-theanine is considered an excellent combination. She is both mood-enhancing and relaxing at the same time.
In summary, Tryptophan can be combined with a variety of other preparations to enhance the effect of these. L-Tryptophan is a natural and safe dietary supplement and fits many other substances, such as vitamin B6, L-theanine, 5-HTP and melatonin. All these combinations have different properties and effects.
When it comes to taking Tryptophan, there can be very large differences in the dosage needed. This is because factors such as age, weight, physique, exercise, diet, stress and health have a major impact on L-tryptophan needs.
In general, tryptophan from foods can hardly be overdosed instead of supplements. Pure L-Tryptophan in tablets or capsules, however, has a much better effect, as it bypasses the digestive process and can be absorbed directly.
Research shows that healthy adults consume around 4-6 milligrams of tryptophan per kilogram of body weight with food most days. Chronic stress, a diet, a lot of exercise and any form of inflammatory bowel disease or liver damage can cause less tryptophan to be absorbed, creating a tryptophan deficiency.
However, if you suffer from mood swings, irritability, fatigue and sleep disturbances, you are highly likely to benefit if you take Tryptophan in addition.
According to the University of Michigan Health Department, the following dosages are general guidelines for the dosage of L-Tryptophan:
- For sleep disturbances and insomnia: 1000 to 2000 mg (at low dosage just before bedtime and at higher doses spread throughout the day)
- For chronic pain or migraine: 2000 to 4000 mg spread throughout the day
- For the treatment of PMS or PMDD: 2000 to 4000 mg spread throughout the day
- To relieve depression or anxiety: 2000 to 6000 mg spread throughout the day
- To reduce appetite and cravings: 500 to 2000 mg spread throughout the day
If you take more than 1000mg (2 capsules) per day, you should take the entire daily dosage throughout the day. Here, the amount can be distributed either evenly throughout the day, or even better-little in the morning, a little more at noon and the highest dose in the evening. This is how you achieve the best effect, because during the day serotonin and during the evening more and more melatonin is produced by the body.
Clinical studies recommend taking no more than 6000 mg (6 grams) of tryptophan in a single dose to improve mood and cognition. Overall, tryptophan is considered a safe and useful dietary supplement.
Tryptophan Side Effects
Tryptophan is a natural, mood-enhancing dietary supplement that is taken by a great many people due to its beneficial effect on mood, memory performance and sleep.
Most people do not experience any side effects when they take Tryptophan at the recommended dosage. However, if you exceed the recommended dosage (more than 6000mg per day), side effects may occur. To avoid this, you should always stick to the recommended dosage.
As an adverse reactions, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, excessive sweating may occur.
An interaction can occur when large amounts of tryptophan are taken together with serotonin agents such as SSRIs or MAO inhibitors. This is known as “serotonin syndrome.” It is caused by a build-up of excess serotonin in the brain.
This is because Tryptophan is a precursor compound of serotonin. Taking Tryptophan supplements increases serotonin levels in the brain, which has a positive effect on mood and is associated with a host of other health benefits.
However, antidepressants and antipsychotics interact with the serotonin system, causing too high a increase in serotonin. Some of these substances also prevent the breakdown of serotonin. For this reason, the combination of tryptophan with antidepressants or other substances that affect the serotonin system is discouraged.
Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome include nausea, nervousness, drowsiness and dizziness, diarrhea, sleep disturbances, dry mouth, drowsiness and excessive sweating.
Tryptophan for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Taking Tryptophan may not be safe during pregnancy. Although tryptophan is an important nutrient for pregnant women, there is not yet enough evidence to confirm the safety of taking the drug at high dosages during pregnancy.
It is possible that such high amounts of tryptophan as are supplied by a tryptophan supplement can affect fetal breathing and cause fetal stress.
Although there is not yet enough evidence to support the safety of taking Tryptophan during pregnancy, studies have shown that tryptophan supplements can be safely taken when breastfeeding. A 2015 study published in the Journal of European Neuropsychopharmacology found that tryptophan supplements do not increase the concentration of tryptophan in breast milk beyond the levels contained in conventional baby food.
Tryptophan or 5-HTP – what’s better?
Many question what the difference between Tryptophan and 5-HTP is. Both of these great supplements are converted into the same neurotransmitters (serotonin and melatonin) that are responsible for promoting positive mood and good sleep quality. Tryptophan is present in many foods as amino acid. However, 5-HTP can only be taken in the form of a dietary supplement.
Here we will explain the difference between Tryptophan and 5-HTP. In doing so, we will show the mechanism of action of both compounds and explain which dietary supplement is more effective.
What is L-Tryptophan?
Tryptophan is an interesting amino acid with some great properties and health benefits. Tryptophan is found in many foods, particularly protein-rich foods.
In addition to food, tryptophan can also be supplied in the form of protein shakes or high-quality dietary supplements. Although tryptophan is also found in food, it is not easily possible to absorb sufficiently high amounts to benefit from its great health effects. Therefore, we recommend taking a highly pure tryptophan supplement for supplementation.
Key benefits of L-Tryptophan include:
- Mood improvement
- Maintaining healthy sleep behavior
- Energy and appetite suppression [B1936]
- What is 5-HTP?
- 5-HTP is the next molecule in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin and the direct precursor of serotonin. The body uses 5-HTP to produce serotonin. In the pineal gland, the serotonin is then converted into melatonin. The production of melatonin depends on the light conditions, with melatonin directly responsible for regulating sleep behavior.
Many people find that 5-HTP has an extremely fast and powerful effect. The interesting thing about 5-HTP is that it is simply a modified version of Tryptophan. The body converts tryptophan into 5-HTP using a special enzyme.
Key benefits of 5-HTP include:
- Noticeable improvement in mood
- Improving sleep patterns
- Providing additional energy and reducing hunger
- L-Tryptophan vs. 5-HTP
- The difference between tryptophan and 5-HTP has been discussed for some time. Some claim that the mood-enhancing effect of 5-HTP is stronger than that of Tryptophan. Others, however, claim that tryptophan improves sleep quality more effectively.
Both Tryptophan and 5-HTP must cross the blood-brain barrier to deliver serotonin to the brain. However, tryptophan has to compete with other amino acids when crossing the blood-brain barrier. 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily and effectively.
Tryptophan must cross the blood-brain barrier in order to develop its mood-enhancing effect. The conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP is the slowest part of the conversion process to serotonin (the speed-determining step). This means that when taking Tryptophan, not as much Serotonin can be produced as when taking 5-HTP.
The body uses L-Tryptophan in various ways to produce numerous compounds. These include proteins, NAD/NADP, tryptamine and niacin (metabolites). However, 5-HTP is only used to make serotonin and melatonin.
The body can convert L-tryptophan and 5-HTP into serotonin in both the liver and brain. If tryptophan has to compete with other amino acids to cross the blood-brain barrier, it is more likely that it will be converted to serotonin in the liver. However, the serotonin formed in the liver has no mood-enhancing effect.
One thing should be considered when deciding between Tryptophan and 5-HTP, however, that the body could develop a tolerance against it after a while due to the high efficacy of 5-HTP. Although this has not yet been confirmed by researchers, it could theoretically occur after prolonged use of 5-HTP.
L-tryptophan, on the other hand, is more subtle, but could be used more safely and healthily over a longer period of time. Tryptophan preparations are also more likely to have fewer drug interactions than 5-HTP supplements.
Does the combination of Tryptophan and 5-HTP make sense?
Tryptophan can be combined with 5-HTP, however, you need to use the combination responsibly. Because both compounds cause an increase in serotonin levels in the brain. Too much Serotonin can cause various side effects, such as nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, excessive sweating.
Therefore, it is important to reduce the dosage of both products and to choose so that no side effects occur. In any case, however, it is advisable to start with only one of the two active ingredients and only add the second active ingredient if in actual need.
Are Tryptophan and 5-HTP safe?
If you are taking prescription medications, you should consult your doctor first before taking 5-HTP or Tryptophan. It is especially important to talk to your doctor if you are taking antidepressants or SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs prevent too rapid a breakdown of serotonin in the brain, thereby preventing the development of depression. Please use 5-HTP and Tryptophan responsibly and stick to the recommended dosages.
In summary, 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan are two great mood enhancement supplements that also ensure healthier sleep. In the body, both are converted into serotonin and then melatonin. However, the body must first convert tryptophan into 5-HTP before it can be converted into serotonin and then melatonin.
Since the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin is slower, L-Tryptophan could be described as a milder, gentler form of 5-HTP. Some people appreciate the noticeable faster effect of 5-HTP, while others find the milder effect of Tryptophan to be more pleasant. Others combine the two products to simultaneously benefit from the long-term effects of L-Tryptophan and the rapid effect of 5-HTP.