I have been asked about Tryptophan recently and it reminded me about the whole issues of when Tryptophan was banned back in the early 1990’s.
L-Tryptophan is a natural amino acid that can be sued as a safe and effective sleep aid. It increases the brains levels of serotonin, so it also has milk antidepressant properties. But back in the 90’s there were issues with one batch of contaminated Tryptophan (which I think had been a Chinese product but I may be wrong – all UK sources were fine anyway)
Tryptophan and 5HTP
Tryptophan earned an undeserved and unfounded reputation as a dangerous supplement. Manufacturers of tryptophan supplements were urged to recall their products, and now only the 5HTP form is available. Sighhhhh
However the Serotone 5HTP is a valid product in itself as serotone and 5HTP are both natural chemicals produced by our bodies to help regulate appetite, mood, sexual desire, sleep patterns and stress levels. These functions are badly affected if seratonin levels in the body are reduced.
Serotonin levels can become too low because of emotional or physical pressures, imbalanced diet, nutritional deficiencies, insufficient exercise (aerobic and muscular), alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. This can result in sleep problems, depression, anxiety, eating disorders such as cravings, weight problems, restless leg syndrome, migraines, fibromyalgia, and low pain threshold. Supplementing your diet with 5-HTP helps to increase and maintain the levels of serotonin in the body and gives relief in many ways – as an antidepressant to raise the spirits; a calming, natural relaxant to reduce anxiety and induce normal sleep; for weight control by reducing cravings or the desire to overeat. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also thought to relieve arthritis.