Tryptophan Need

A deficiency of tryptophan may lead to pellagra, depression, insomnia, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and carbohydrate craving.


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Tryptophan Need

Symptoms - Food - Beverages  

Blacking out from alcohol

Tryptophan (or 5-HTP), the precursor of the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin, also has relaxing and calming effects. Serotonin levels are often low among people with anxiety disorders. A study found that 44% of alcoholics suffer from anxiety. You can be pretty sure that you are low on tryptophan if you have ever blacked out from drinking. It has been established that low tryptophan stores trigger blackouts.

Risk factors for Tryptophan Need

Lab Values - Nutrients  

(Very) low tryptophan levels

Counter Indicators
Lab Values - Nutrients  

Normal/elevated tryptophan levels

Symptoms - Food - Intake  

Frequent/daily oat use

Recommendations for Tryptophan Need

Amino Acid / Protein  



Chromium picolinate helps to promote conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. It accomplishes this by facilitating absorption into muscle tissue of the amino acids that compete with tryptophan for access to the brain.


Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Highly recommended



Essential amino acid. Natural relaxant and sleep aid due to its precursor role in serotonin (a neurotransmitter) synthesis. Along with tyrosine, it is used in the treatment of addictions.


A disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine (B1), usually occurring in alcoholics or in persons with malabsorption disorders.


Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances. Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and is caused by genetic, other biological, and psychosocial factors.


The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.


Chemicals in the brain that aid in the transmission of nerve impulses. Various Neurotransmitters are responsible for different functions including controlling mood and muscle movement and inhibiting or causing the sensation of pain.


A phenolic amine neurotransmitter (C10H12N2O) that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum and gastric membranes of mammals. Considered essential for relaxation, sleep, and concentration.


Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

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