L-Tryptophan 500mg #60 Caps
L-Tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid that has been shown to aid in achieving restful sleep without the use of drugs.
Even though L-Tryptophan and 5HTP are metabolized to serotonin along the same biochemical pathway, individual differences in metabolism can cause significant differences in effectiveness. Some people are helped by 5-HTP, others are not. There are several reasons for these differences that can help in deciding which is right for you.
- The body remains in control with L-Tryptophan, but does not with 5HTP. The creation of neurotransmitter serotonin begins with L-Tryptophan which converts to 5HTP, which converts to serotonin. The rate-limiting step (the step the body uses to regulate serotonin production) is between L-Tryptophan and 5HTP. If you take 5HTP your body looses control of the serotonin pathway.
- 5HTP converts to serotonin outside the brain. Since the conversion of 5HTP to serotonin is not regulated some of the 5HTP converts to serotonin in the gut, causing upset and nausea. Since serotonin does not cross the blood-brain barrier, serotonin produced outside the brain is not available to the brain. In Europe, 5HTP is combined with carbidopa, a pharmaceutical drug that reduces conversion of 5HTP to serotonin outside the brain. This is rarely done in the U.S.
- Disease impairs 5HTP transport across the blood-brain barrier. In people with certain diseases, including severe depression, there is blockage of the transmission of 5HTP across the blood-brain barrier. In these patients supplementation with L-Tryptophan, which does cross the blood-brain barrier, can provide increased brain serotonin levels.
- Unlike 5HTP L-Tryptophan has many other uses in the body. It can be converted to niacin. It is a required precursor to the kynurenines, a family of biochemicals that help regulate the immune system. As an essential amino acid, L-Tryptophan is required for your body to work properly.
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