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L-tryptophan supplements - NVR (sorta)

Has any had an experience taking this as a supplement? I've reading some stuff online but I'm interested in testimonials. Thanks!

see, I dunno...Id like to know though, becasue this girl at school said to heat up soy milk...I told he that this will not work becasue of the tryptophan in the cow milk is not in teh soy milk....then everyone called me stupid and this girl dreank warm soy milk...

so its more of  pride thing....Ill look into it.


There should be tryptophan in soy milk, since soy is a "complete" source of protein (and tryptophan is an amino acid that your body doesn't synthesize on its own). I never understood the warmed thing. Does that somehow make it more effective? Hm.

I'm interested because my naturopathic therapist (like, the mental health kind) suggested that I take something natural for the ol' depression before I try the hard (read: pharmaceutical) stuff.


My mom used to have them around when I was a kid. I think she gave them to me a few times for sleeping. I was under the impression that they were taken off the shelf at some point though... probably some silly FDA thing. Anyway, it's very mild. Not a drugging effect at all.
I haven't heard of it being used for depression but that's probably just because we had it around for a sleeping aid...?
I'd try it if I were you... if your depression isn't severe and your therapist suggested it it seems like a good idea.


I used to take L-Tryptophan supplements. L-Tryptophan is completely natural essential amino acid, and is used to help relax the central nervous system. It promotes rest, relaxation, and sleep. L-Tryptophan is needed for the production of serotonin and melatonin, and is one of the building blocks of DNA. In foods, tryptophan (as a component in protein) is found in high levels in oats, bananas, dates, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina.

In late 1989 or early 1990, L-Tryptophan supplements were pulled from the market by the FDA because a bad batch from Japan caused a bacterial autoimmune disorder that killed a few people and sickened others.

They ultimately figured out why and how the batch got poisoned, but the FDA has discouraged the import of L-Tryptophan (it's mostly made in Japan). This is typical of our drug-oriented FDA, which still allows Vioxx on the market (after tens or hundreds of thousands of confirmed deaths), but does everything it can to suppress useful nutritional supplements, if it can find a passable excuse.

Basically, pharmaceutical companies make no money on low-cost nutritional supplements (like L-Tryptophan), which can effectively and inexpensively improve human health. So the drug-industry dominated FDA alternates between attempting to suppress supplements (claiming they do nothing) and trying to regulate them as prescription drugs (that will in turn be supplied at astronomical prices by the very pharmaceutical companies that influence FDA policymaking). However, you can get L-Tryptophan online and in animal supply stores because the FDA never regulated it for pet consumption.

Anyway, here's some 'good' news. Turns out that Trytophan converts to MELATONIN in the human body. Melatonin supplies many of the positive therapeutic effects that L-Trytophan offers. Melatonin is a natural hormone that plays an essential role in regulating sleep, and works by helping maintain circadian rhythms, the body's natural time clock. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body.

You can find melatonin at any health food store or purchase it online. This is fortunate because you can derive many benefits that tryptophan offers from melatonin. It works especially well for travel in order to avoid jet lag and re-set the body's clock, as well as for rejuvenating and relaxing the body. I get melatonin from HPDI:

If you use a 3 mg tablet or capsule, try taking just 1/2 mg or 1 mg at first, and allow your body to adjust to the dosage. If you take 3 mg right away, you will likely become drowsy or feel tired upon waking. However, unlike sleeping pills, melatonin is very safe even in relatively large amounts.


So the amino acid L-Tryptophan converts in the body to melatonin. This is good to know because you can take melatonin supplements for balancing your circadian rhythms, avoiding jetlag, etc.

But the pathways involving L-Tryptophan are more complex. L-Tryptophan fans, take heart!

L-Tryptophan converts to L-5-Hydroxytryptophan (L-5-HTP). L-5-Hydroxytryptophan converts to Serotonin. Serotonin converts to Melatonin.

Those are the basic pathways. Biochemically, the pathway looks like this:

L-Tryptophan  ->  L-5-HTP  ->  Serotonin  ->  Melatonin

For anyone who want to use L-Tryptophan, but cannot easily obtain it, L-5-Hydroxytryptophan (L-5-HTP) is a legitimate alternative. Or you may just want L-5-HTP for its own benefits.

L-5-HTP is safe and is more effective than L-Tryptophan for many purposes.

L-5-HTP has been proven effective for pain (e.g., fibromyalgia), sleep disorders, depression, and mood improvement.

L-5-HTP works because it is the precursor for serotonin (see above), which controls pain, mood, and has been shown to be helpful for obesity.

And for example, Prozac and other antidepressants work by preventing the breakdown of existing serotonin levels. However, these drugs have dangerous side effects. In contrast, L-5-HTP helps your body boost serotonin levels safely and naturally.

I recommend L-5-Hydroxytryptophan (L-5-HTP) from HPDI:

Notably, the herb St. John's Wort also preserves existing levels of serotonin by preventing its breakdown. In this regard, St. John's Wort acts like Prozac and other antidepressants, but lacks the negative side effects associated with powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

Taking St. John's Wort with L-5-HTP can possibly boost its mood enhancing effects, in a safer, natural manner. Or you might consider taking St. John's Wort all by itself, as it offers proven benefits:

There are good alternatives to L-Tryptophan. L-5-HTP is one of them. St. John's Wort is another. Both are safe and proven. I use them. Try them for yourself and see if they work for you.


Cool, thanks for the responses everyone! I used to take St. John's Wort and it seemed to work pretty well, but I can't now since I'm on the Pill. I'll give some of those things a shot and we'll see what happens.

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