L-tryptophan the building block for a good mood: effect, application and dosage

L-­Tryptophan der Baustein für gute Laune: Wirkung, Anwendung und Dosierung

L-tryptophan is an important building block for your well-being. As soon as our tryptophan level drops, our mood also suffers in the long run.

Stress, sleep disorders and an unhealthy lifestyle can negatively affect your tryptophan levels and thus affect your mood.

What is L-Tryptophan?

L-tryptophan is a proteinogenic amino acid and is one of the most important protein building blocks in the human body. This amino acids  cannot be formed by the body itself, which is why it is best to get them through your diet or through dietary supplements.

In the diet (protein building blocks) is L-Tryptophan available only in small quantities. It is one of the twenty protein building blocks.

But how does our body get enough L-tryptophan? Make sure you eat a varied diet, so you can ensure your L-tryptophan supply. Also dietary supplements like ours Beyond Recovery have proven themselves here to provide additional L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan and its effects on our body

Tryptophan with the chemical molecular formula C11H12N2O2 - is a neutral L-shaped amino acid with a genetic code. L-tryptophan belongs to the group of aromatic amino acids and is lipophilic, i. H. it is poorly soluble in water.

Although this amino acid is only found in small amounts in our food, it seems to be of great importance for our metabolism and health. L-tryptophan helps the body produce important intermediate products through metabolic processes.

3-10% of the available amount of L-tryptophan becomes the neurotransmitter and feel-good hormone serotonin, the sleep hormone Melatonin and converted to N-acetylserotonin. L-tryptophan thus influences our sleep-wake cycle.

The L-tryptophan ingested daily through food first enters the body's blood system via the intestines. In order for L-tryptophan to be converted into serotonin in the brain, the amino acid has to cross your so-called blood-brain barrier. This is a selective barrier between the bloodstream and the brain. It serves to protect the central nervous system from the transfer of undesirable substances.

Of the estimated 10 mg of serotonin in the human body, only a fraction is made in the brain, while the majority is made in the intestinal mucosa.

L-tryptophan is converted to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT/serotonin) via the intermediate products 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). As previously discussed, serotonin controls our well-being and has a positive effect on our mood.

The effects of the precursor L-tryptophan and 5-HTP are the same. Only the conversion of the precursor 5-HTP into serotonin is more effective, so you need less of it.

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Natural L-Tryptophan Sources and Foods

L-tryptophan is an amino acid that you can find in many foods. L-tryptophan is mainly found in plant foods. Great news for all vegetarians and vegans who shouldn't have any problems consuming enough of it.

Tryptophan-rich foods at a glance:

  • bananas
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Dried Dates
  • Rice, wheat germ and oatmeal
  • Pumpkin seeds and sesame
  • Military
  • Tofu
  • Tree nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter

Good news for all chocolate lovers, 100 grams of cocoa powder contains around 250 mg of L-tryptophan! If you're in a bad mood, chocolate is probably not a bad choice (but of course everything in Maassen).

100 grams of soybeans contain a high proportion of 590 milligrams of L-tryptophan, cashew nuts are around 293 mg per 100 grams, while peas contain 266 mg. Rolled oats are just under 200 mg per 100 grams. Walnuts only 170 mg.

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L-tryptophan deficiency? What can be the causes

A tryptophan deficiency is usually rather rare, you should definitely be clarified by a doctor. With the help of an amino acid profile, as part of a blood test, your tryptophan deficiency can be clearly detected.

Causes can be very different, because L-trypophan has an important role in our complex metabolic system. Therefore, pay attention to a healthy and balanced diet, so you can ensure your L-tryptophan requirement. Alternatively, you can also get L-tryptophan from dietary supplements like ours Beyond Recovery respectively.

The body therefore needs enough L-tryptophan to optimally carry out all biochemical metabolic processes.

L-tryptophan: side effects

There are no side effects for L-tryptophan which is ingested through the diet. There are no known toxic effects on the human body. 

If you take L-tryptophan as a dietary supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality and pure supplement.

According to that German Federal Office for Food safety and consumer protection the following warnings must be added to the label for products containing tryptophan:

  • If you are taking antidepressants, you should consult your doctor or therapist before consuming them.
  • After taking the product, the ability to drive may be impaired.

Possible side effects are:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness and fatigue
  • Sweat

Especially when taking medication, you should limit the intake of dietary supplements discuss this with your doctor beforehand.

L-tryptophan: dosage

The commonly used dosage of L-tryptophan as a dietary supplement or drug is between 100mg to 500mg per daily serving. However, there is no general recommendation.

However, one should advise against an increased dosage of more than 1 gram per day.

You should discuss your individual dosage in advance with your trusted doctor.

L-Tryptophan, a Natural Nootropic ?

Wondering what is behind the weird term “nootropic”? Nootropics or nootropics is the collective term for plant substances and dietary supplements that are discussed in the context of your mental performance.

She change the transmission of messenger substances and ensure positive changes in our brain.

Whether L-tryptophan can now be called a nootropic is certainly open to debate. The influences of this amino acid on our metabolic processes and its role in the formation of important neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin and Melatonin are of great importance for our mental performance and well-being.