Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. This means that the human body cannot produce it and, therefore, must be obtained from food sources.
This amino acid is key to the production and maintenance of muscles, enzymes, proteins and neurotransmitters in the body.
Tryptophan is best-known for its contribution in the production of melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps regulate sleep patterns while serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in stabilising mood and regulating appetite.
In supplement form, with dose specified by the manufacturer, tryptophan can contribute to stabilise mood in times of temporary stress or lack of energy, as well as mild insomnia not treated with medication. Supplement intake should not exceed 3 months. Consult with a healthcare professional if you are already taking medication for insomnia or mood disorders. Always remember it is important to maintain a balanced diet, as it is also a source of this amino acid and other micronutrients necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters.