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Tryptophan

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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Tryptophan is an amino acid needed for normal growth in infants and for nitrogen balance in adults. It is an essential amino acid, which means your body cannot produce it — you must get it from your diet.The body uses tryptophan to help make niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is thought to produce healthy sleep and a stable mood.

In order for tryptophan in the diet to be changed into niacin, the body needs to have enough:

* Iron
* Tryptophan
* Vitamin B6

What is L-tryptophan?

L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is made from plant or animal sources.

L-tryptophan has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to treat sleep problems (insomnia), anxiety, depression, premenstrual syndrome, attention deficit disorder, and for smoking cessation and other conditions.
Not all uses for l-tryptophan have been approved by the FDA. L-tryptophan should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

L-tryptophan is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

It is dangerous to try and purchase l-tryptophan on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. The sale and distribution of l-tryptophan outside of the U.S. does not comply with the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the safe use of this medication.

L-tryptophan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about L-tryptophan?
Not all uses for l-tryptophan have been approved by the FDA. L-tryptophan should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

L-tryptophan is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Use l-tryptophan as directed on the label, or as your healthcare provider has prescribed. Do not use this product in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

It is dangerous to try and purchase l-tryptophan on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. The sale and distribution of l-tryptophan outside of the U.S. does not comply with the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the safe use of this medication.

In 1989, a life-threatening condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) occurred in many people using L-tryptophan and some died from the condition. All of these people had taken L-tryptophan distributed by a company in Japan. This L-tryptophan was found to contain trace levels of impure ingredients. Since that time, the FDA has limited the availability of L-tryptophan in the U.S. However, the increased use of the Internet has made many dietary supplements available from non-U.S. sources.
There have been no published cases of EMS within the last several years, but you should be aware of the symptoms. Stop using L-tryptophan and call your doctor or care practitioner at once if you have any of these signs of EMS: severe muscle pain (most often in the shoulders, back, or legs); weakness, numbness, tingling, or burning pain (especially at night); tremors or twitching muscle movements; swelling in any part of your body; skin changes (dryness, yellowing, hardening); breathing difficulty; uneven heartbeat.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking L-tryptophan?
Do not use this product if you are allergic to l-tryptophan.

Before using l-tryptophan, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider. You may not be able to use l-tryptophan if you have certain medical conditions.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this product. Before using l-tryptophan, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider 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).

It is not known whether l-tryptophan is harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use this product without talking to a healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. L-tryptophan may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Ask your healthcare provider before using l-tryptophan if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take L-tryptophan?

When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to take l-tryptophan, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of l-tryptophan than is recommended on the label.
Store L-tryptophan at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Tryptophan Supplements Treat Depression

(NaturalNews) Anti-depressant medications are widely used to treat depression and anxiety, but the side effects which often arise from the use of such medications cause many people to search for more natural methods of treating their depression. One of the most promising natural treatments for depression is tryptophan supplements.

Abnormalities in serotonin function can result in depression, as noted in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 1992. The study also states tryptophan can stimulate the proper function of serotonin in the brain. Since tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid, it is unlikely to produce toxicity or negative side effects. It can be a successful agent in treating disorders such as depression.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which must be obtained through a person’s diet (as opposed to non-essential amino acids which the body can manufacture on its own). Once in the body, tryptophan is converted into niacin, serotonin and melatonin. Most anti-depressant drugs work to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, usually by preventing the serotonin from being depleted. Tryptophan actually increases serotonin levels, and has the advantage of doing it naturally without the extreme side effects associated with traditional anti-depressant drugs.

Tryptophan occurs naturally in many foods such as turkey, beef, cottage cheese, almonds and peanuts. However, since it occurs in much lower levels than other amino acids, tryptophan often has trouble absorbing properly. So, even the foods that contain the highest levels of tryptophan may not provide any benefit for someone seeking to increase their tryptophan intake.

The tryptophan in supplements is at a high enough dose to be efficiently absorbed by the brain. A tryptophan supplement can be very effective for boosting serotonin levels, and is especially effective in individuals who have a serotonin deficiency.

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, but it if taken improperly a tryptophan supplement can be ineffective. Tryptophan should be taken on an empty stomach so it doesn’t have to compete with other amino acids for absorption. Vitamin C and a B-complex supplement should be taken along with tryptophan to support its process of becoming serotonin. The niacin in the B-complex will prevent the tryptophan from being used up as niacin.

Tryptophan received negative press in 1989 when people became seriously ill after taking tryptophan supplements. The FDA banned tryptophan from the market, although further investigation showed the cause of the illness was linked to a contaminant in the supplement, not the tryptophan itself. First, the ban was lifted only on prescription tryptophan, but today you can find tryptophan at a number of supplement retailers.

Since the ban was only recently lifted, limited human studies have been done about using tryptophan supplements to treat depression, but so far the results are very promising. There is sure to be a bright future for tryptophan as a natural treatment for depression.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/025146_tryptophan_depression_serotonin.html#ixzz19I3L6C10

What happens if I miss a dose?

Consult your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider for instructions if you miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this product.

What should I avoid while taking L-tryptophan?

L-tryptophan can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid using other dietary or herbal supplements to treat the same condition for which you are using L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In 1989, a life-threatening condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) occurred in many people using L-tryptophan and some died from the condition. All of these people had taken L-tryptophan distributed by a company in Japan. This L-tryptophan was found to contain trace levels of impure ingredients. Since that time, the FDA has limited the availability of L-tryptophan in the U.S. However, the increased use of the Internet has made many dietary supplements available from non-U.S. sources.
There have been no published cases of EMS within the last several years, but you should be aware of the symptoms. Call your doctor at once if you have any of the following:

*severe muscle pain (most often in the shoulders, back, or legs);
*weakness, numbness, tingling, or burning pain (especially at night);
*tremors or twitching muscle movements;
*swelling in any part of your body;
*skin changes (dryness, yellowing, hardening);
*breathing difficulty; or
*uneven heartbeat.

Less serious side effects may include:

*dry mouth, heartburn, burping, gas;
*nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
*feeling drowsy or light-headed;
*blurred vision;
*weakness, lack of coordination;
*headache; or
*lost appetite.

What other drugs will affect L-tryptophan?

L-tryptophan may interact with other medicines. Before taking L-tryptophan, tell your doctor or care practitioner if you are also using:

*medicine for depression such as St. John’s wort, citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), venlafaxine (Effexor), and others;
*a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as tranylcypromine (Nardil), phenelzine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl), or isocarboxazid (Marplan);
*a sedative or tranquilizer such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin) and others;
*a phenothiazine drug such as chlorpromazine, (Thorazine), prochlorperazine (Compazine) and others; or
*drugs that make you sleepy (such as alcohol, cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxants, and medicine for depression or anxiety).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with L-tryptophan. Tell your doctor or care practitioner about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor or care practitioner.

Tryptophan can be found in:

* Cheese
* Chicken
* Eggs
* Fish
* Milk
* Nuts
* Peanut butter
* Peanuts
* Pumpkin seeds
* Sesame seeds
* Soy
* Tofu
* Turkey

thank you and references

http://www.answers.com/topic/tryptophan
http://www.drugs.com/mtm/l-tryptophan.html
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002332.htm
http://www.wisegeek.com
http://www.naturalnews.com/025146_tryptophan_depression_serotonin.html
http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/FoodSafety/foodtryptophan.php
http://www.medicinenet.com/tryptophan-oral_capsule_tablet/page4.htm

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