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Tryptophan

Posted on November 11, 2012 in Natural Mood Enhancers

For those who suffer from a chronic condition like depression, anxiety, or insomnia, it can feel like nothing will ever make life feel right again. Mood-related disorders can be overwhelming, and are usually very difficult to treat with behavioral therapy. Because these conditions are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, the most effective courses of treatment involve some type of ingested compound that can alter chemical levels in the brain until they are balanced again. The pharmaceutical industry has created several synthetic compounds that can alleviate the symptoms of many chronic conditions. The most commonly prescribed medications to treat mood disorders are selective serotonin reuptake-inhibitors, or SSRIs, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs; these substances relieve symptoms of mood disorders by altering the way the human brain processes and absorbs necessary compounds. Sometimes, one of these prescription medications is the answer; it can relieve the symptoms and make the condition more manageable. Often though, that’s not all these prescription drugs do. Many pharmaceutical options for treating chronic disorders come with huge lists of possible side effects. From uncomfortable complications like weight gain, skin rashes, and nausea, to more serious concerns like heart attack and stroke, the side effects of a prescription medication can often seem more detrimental than the condition the drug is intended to treat.

Tryptophan to Naturally Relieve Anxiety

Many of the unpleasant side effects originate from the chemicals used in producing these prescription medications. As more Americans join the trend of avoiding synthetic and manufactured items in favor of a more natural, holistic lifestyle, the demand for more options in natural remedies has increased significantly. Those searching for a safer, more natural choice to treat mild depression, insomnia, anxiety, and other conditions could find relief from an unexpected source: tryptophan.

Prescription Drugs have Side Effects

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that it is necessary in maintaining healthy function in the human body. Its positive effects on the human body stem largely from how the body processes tryptophan. Once tryptophan is ingested, it is metabolized into other important compounds. While all of these compounds, like niacin, are important for a healthy body, perhaps the most important result of metabolized tryptophan is serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating appetite, promoting healthy sleep patterns, and stabilizing mood. Consumption of tryptophan leads to increased serotonin levels, and has thus it has been recognized as a viable natural option for treatment of insomnia, unexplained weight gain or loss, and mood-related conditions like anxiety, depression, irritability, inability to focus, obsessive/compulsive disorder, etc.

Because tryptophan is an essential amino acid, the human body cannot synthesize tryptophan from other substances. Instead, it must be consumed in the foods we eat. While tryptophan is present in nearly all foods that contain protein (meat, seafood, dairy products, legumes, etc.), it occurs in very small quantities. For the average adult, the recommended daily intake of tryptophan is between 300 and 400 milligrams, depending on gender, height, and weight. That amounts to about a four-ounce serving of shrimp, five cups of spinach, or two cups of black beans. Clearly, it may be difficult to consume a sufficient amount of tryptophan, even with a carefully planned and healthy diet.

Tryptophan Naturally Improves Sleep

If you’re interested in the benefits of tryptophan, but increasing your intake through food isn’t feasible, a tryptophan supplement may be the perfect solution for you. SSRIs, the most common prescription option for treating mood disorders, relieve symptoms by chemically altering the way serotonin is absorbed in the brain. MAOIs prevent the brain from being able to break down neurotransmitters like serotonin, thus forcing increased levels of these neurotransmitters. Because it increases serotonin levels without altering the way your brain processes chemicals, tryptophan is a safer and more natural way to treat mood-related conditions. A tryptophan supplement is ideal for those who are intolerant to synthetic antidepressants (or too seriously affected by their side effects), as well as those who favor natural remedies and holistic medicine over pharmaceutical treatments. While there are some possible side effects of tryptophan supplements (including loss of appetite, drowsiness, including nausea), most studies have shown that tryptophan causes fewer incidents of side effects, and that these side effects were less severe than those of prescription medications. Tryptophan supplements came under fire in 1989, when a supplement produced by the Japanese manufacturing company Showa Denka KK resulted in 37 deaths and approximately 1500 cases of permanent disabilities from eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). Later study indicated that it may have been impurities in the manufacturing process, rather than the tryptophan itself, that caused the outbreak of EMS. When it was discovered that excessive doses of tryptophan could potentially cause EMS, several countries (including the United States), banned the sale of tryptophan supplements.

After a decade with no definitive link between tryptophan and EMS, the ban on tryptophan was lifted. Tryptophan supplements have been legally available in the U.S. since 2002; the positive effects of tryptophan have overcome the shadow cast by EMS. Consumers can find high-quality tryptophan supplements from a number of reliable distributors, and medical professionals rely on a prescription formulation, Tryptan, for patients with a variety of mood disorders. This essential amino acid has proven, over decades of successful use, that it is absolutely possible to effectively manage chronic conditions with safe, natural treatment options.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. Do not take MoodBoost if you are taking SSRI's or MAOI's. Not intended for clinical depression or anxiety disorders. MoodBoost contains natural ingredients and other excipients.