- Supports mood
- Supports healthy aging
- Supports prosocial behaviors
- Supports healthy sleep
- Supports cell energy generation
Among other amino acids, tryptophan is essential. You must obtain it from your diet since the body cannot synthesize it.
The body can generate NAD+ molecules from L-tryptophan, which has been known for decades.
Because L-tryptophan is not derived from one of the older or newer vitamins B3, it is the only way to build NAD+.
L-tryptophan accomplishes this via de novo synthesis pathway, which creates niacin molecules via a group of biological reactions (many other important molecules are also created through this pathway).
It is this pathway that uses the majority of L-tryptophan in the morning-as much as 95%. Exercise performance can be improved by taking L-tryptophan before working out, likely because it helps to produce cellular energy.
L-tryptophan is still mostly metabolized through the de novo pathway during the night, but a larger portion is metabolized via another pathway: 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)* serotonin* melatonin. Sleep-wake cycles and body clock functions at night are regulated by this alternate pathway.
It may be because of this alternate pathway that low-to-moderate doses of L-tryptophan promote prosocial behaviors such as cooperation, empathy, and getting along with others.
Using this pathway, L-tryptophan supports healthier sleep cycles since it produces the neurohormone melatonin.
Extra L-tryptophan can be used by the body for the next 12-16 hours where it is most needed.
It is generally believed that giving extra L-tryptophan with breakfast supports both mood during the day (presumably via melatonin support) and nightly sleep (presumably via serotonin support).
A little extra L-tryptophan in the morning also helps support the body's body clock, allowing many of its daytime functions to get underway in the morning.
Prosocial behaviors may be supported by L-tryptophan supplementation. It may be possible to promote healthier sleep cycles with low-to-modest doses of L-tryptophan during the evening.
Exercise performance (ergogenic effect)
E. Hartmann, C.L. Spinweber, J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 167 (1979) 497–499.
A.A.-B. Badawy, Int. J. Tryptophan Res. 10 (2017) 1178646917691938.
G. Magni, A. Amici, M. Emanuelli, G. Orsomando, N. Raffaelli, S. Ruggieri, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 61 (2004) 19–34.
W. Ying, Antioxid. Redox Signal. 10 (2008) 179–206.
D.S. Riddick, X. Ding, C.R. Wolf, T.D. Porter, A.V. Pandey, Q.-Y. Zhang, J. Gu, R.D. Finn, S. Ronseaux, L.A. McLaughlin, C.J. Henderson, L. Zou, C.E. Flück, Drug Metab. Dispos. 41 (2013) 12–23.
L. Palego, L. Betti, A. Rossi, G. Giannaccini, J. Amino Acids 2016 (2016) 8952520.
J.D. Fernstrom, Physiol. Rev. 63 (1983) 484–546.
J.D. Fernstrom, J. Nutr. Biochem. 1 (1990) 508–517.
S. Esteban, C. Nicolaus, A. Garmundi, R.V. Rial, A.B. Rodríguez, E. Ortega, C.B. Ibars, Mol. Cell. Biochem. 267 (2004) 39–46.
R.J. Wyatt, K. Engelman, D.J. Kupfer, D.H. Fram, A. Sjoerdsma, F. Snyder, Lancet 2 (1970) 842–846.
C.F. George, T.W. Millar, P.J. Hanly, M.H. Kryger, Sleep 12 (1989) 345–353.
R. Bravo, S. Matito, J. Cubero, S.D. Paredes, L. Franco, M. Rivero, A.B. Rodríguez, C. Barriga, Age 35 (2013) 1277–1285.
A.N. Nicholson, B.M. Stone, Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiol. 47 (1979) 539–545.
H.S. Schmidt, Bull. Eur. Physiopathol. Respir. 19 (1983) 625–629.
C. Hudson, S.P. Hudson, T. Hecht, J. MacKenzie, Nutr. Neurosci. 8 (2005) 121–127.
J.G. Lindsley, E.L. Hartmann, W. Mitchell, Sleep 6 (1983) 247–256.
K. Demisch, J. Bauer, K. Georgi, Pharmacopsychiatry 20 (1987) 245–248.
L. Steenbergen, B.J. Jongkees, R. Sellaro, L.S. Colzato, Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 64 (2016) 346–358.
S.N. Young, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 368 (2013) 20110375.
D.S. Moskowitz, G. Pinard, D.C. Zuroff, L. Annable, S.N. Young, Neuropsychopharmacology 25 (2001) 277–289.
A. Nantel-Vivier, R.O. Pihl, S.N. Young, S. Parent, S.A. Bélanger, R. Sutton, M.-E. Dubois, R.E. Tremblay, J.R. Séguin, PLoS One 6 (2011) e20304.
K. Hogenelst, R.A. Schoevers, M. Aan Het Rot, Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacol. 18 (2015).
M. aan het Rot, D.S. Moskowitz, G. Pinard, S.N. Young, J. Psychiatry Neurosci. 31 (2006) 253–262.
H. Cerit, R.J. Schuur, E.R.A. de Bruijn, W. Van der Does, Front. Psychol. 6 (2015) 1012.
L. Steenbergen, R. Sellaro, L.S. Colzato, Front. Psychol. 5 (2014) 1451.
M.H. Mohajeri, J. Wittwer, K. Vargas, E. Hogan, A. Holmes, P.J. Rogers, R. Goralczyk, E.L. Gibson, Br. J. Nutr. 113 (2015) 350–365.
G. Lindseth, B. Helland, J. Caspers, Arch. Psychiatr. Nurs. 29 (2015) 102–107.
S.E. Murphy, C. Longhitano, R.E. Ayres, P.J. Cowen, C.J. Harmer, Psychopharmacology 187 (2006) 121–130.
R.N. Herrington, A. Bruce, E.C. Johnstone, M.H. Lader, Psychol. Med. 6 (1977) 673–678.
D.J. Bowen, B. Spring, E. Fox, J. Behav. Med. 14 (1991) 97–110.
Y.I. Deza‐Araujo, P.T. Neukam, M. Marxen, D.K. Müller, T. Henle, M.N. Smolka, Hum. Brain Mapp. 40 (2019) 1844–1855.
C. Javierre, R. Segura, J.L. Ventura, A. Suárez, J.M. Rosés, Int. J. Neurosci. 120 (2010) 319–327.
R. Segura, J.L. Ventura, Int. J. Sports Med. 9 (1988) 301–305.
GET THE LATEST, MOST EFFECTIVE TOOLS, STRATEGIES & PRACTICES