L-Tryptophan as a Natural Sleep Promoter

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
L-Tryptophan as a Natural Sleep Promoter

Modern nutritional mythology holds that eating turkey meat will make you sleepy because it is a rich source of the amino acid, L-tryptophan. The validity of this legend is under debate by nutritionists. However, because melatonin is made from L-tryptophan in the pineal gland, it makes sense that L-tryptophan could contribute to increasing melatonin secretion and thus help relieve occasional sleeplessness.

This possibility was tested in a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.6 These researchers discovered that dietary supplementation with a single “dose” of 2 g (2000 mg) of L-tryptophan in the evening reduced sleepiness the next morning and improved the ability to concentrate in healthy adults.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Valerian – A Relaxing Herb

6. Markus CR, Jonkman LM, Lammers JH, Deutz NE, Messer MH, Rigtering N. Evening intake of a-lactalbumin increases plasma tryptophan availability and improves morning alertness and brain measures of attention. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:1026-1033

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