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Tryptophan is an essential Amino Acid. Tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in many foods, most significantly in milk and bananas. This amino acid is essential to the human body for the production of serotonin, a brain chemical necessary for sleep and for mood regulation.
Tryptophan is also the nutrient that the body uses to make melatonin. It is a precursor for serotonin (which aids sleep and anxiety),and helps in niacin (B vitamins) production. Foods that are considered sources of tryptophan are dairy products, beef, poultry, barley, brown rice, fish, soybeans, and peanuts. Tryptophan is a component of many plant and animal proteins, and a normal part of the diet that humans must get from outside sources. It also happens to be the precursor (starting material) from which our brains make serotonin, which calms you down and makes you sleepy.
There really are no deficiencies for Tryptophan as that it is very readily available to the athlete through his or her daily diet. Even so many Americans and foreign health food stores stock L-Tryptophan as a dietary supplement because most who use it find it a very good to prescription pills as a sleeping aide.
As with all dietary supplements always adhere to the manufactures recommendation unless told different by your physician or health provider.
Information Gathered from Wikipedia
Although is now available for purchase, there was a large tryptophan-related outbreak of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) in 1989. This outbreak caused 1,500 cases of permanent disability and at least thirty-seven deaths. Some studies traced the outbreak to L-tryptophan supplied by a Japanese manufacturer, Showa Denko KK. It was further hypothesized that one or more trace impurities produced during the manufacture of tryptophan may have been responsible for the EMS outbreak. The fact that the Showa Denko facility used genetically engineered bacteria to produce the L-tryptophan gave rise to speculation that the genetic engineering was responsible for such impurities. However, the methodology used in the initial epidemiological studies has been criticized. An alternative explanation for the 1989 EMS outbreak is that large doses of tryptophan produce metabolites which inhibit the normal degradation of histamine and excess histamine in turn has been proposed to cause EMS.
Most tryptophan was banned from sale in the US in 1991, and other countries followed suit. Tryptophan from one manufacturer, of six, continued to be sold for manufacture of baby formulas. At the time of the ban, the FDA did not know, or did not indicate, that EMS was caused by a contaminated batch, and yet, even when the contamination was discovered and the purification process fixed, the FDA maintained that L-tryptophan was unsafe. In February 2001, the FDA loosened the restrictions on marketing (though not on importation), but still expressed the following concern:
“Based on the scientific evidence that is available at the present time, we cannot determine with certainty that the occurrence of EMS in susceptible persons consuming L-tryptophan supplements derives from the content of L-tryptophan, an impurity contained in the L-tryptophan, or a combination of the two in association with other, as yet unknown, external factors.”Realted Pages: