Lucky Blog continues to explain the importance of amino acids. L-Tryptophan is the highlight of this week’s segment of Amino Acid of the Week.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which contributes to the production of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter found in several organs in the human body.
Serotonin can be converted to the neurohormone melatonin and is responsible for normal sleep because it reduces the electrical activity of the brain.
Several protein-based foods are good sources of tryptophan including eggs, red meat, poultry, fish, oats, milk, yogurt, cheese, mangoes, soybeans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, spirulina and peanuts.
Turkey also provides tryptophan, which some people believe causes drowsiness at Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, heavy consumption of turkey provides comparable amounts of tryptophan to most other meats. Drowsiness during holiday meals is most likely related to the consumption of foods along with turkey, in particular carbohydrates and alcohol.
Tryptophan supplements have been shown to stabilize moods and promote stable sleeping patterns. Tryptophan is also being studied for its effects on stress reduction, depression and alcoholism. An emotional stabilizer, it can help combat depression.
Furthermore, tryptophan helps our body use the B-Complex vitamin group more efficiently and promotes smoother digestive activity. Taking this amino acid will give you rich, red blood, healthy hair and wonderful skin.
On the other hand, an inadequate level of tryptophan may show itself in an inability to sleep, poor skin coloring, brittle fingernails, prematurely aging skin and indigestion.
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