(225) 784 - 2168 cathy@cathysmithndlmt.com

L-Tryptophan is an essential(1) amino acid. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, the hormone melatonin, and vitamin B3. Serotonin transmits signals between your nerve cells and also narrows (constricts) blood vessels. Serotonin is sometimes called the “Happy Chemical” because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness.


  • Emotional Stability
  • Self Confidence
  • Mood
  • Sleep

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Arthritis
  • Joint Dysfunction
  • Dermatitis on top side of hand (not palm)
  • Dermatitis on back of neck
  • Depression
  • Negativity
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Obsessive Thoughts
  • Obsessive Behaviors
  • Winter Blues
  • PMS
  • Anger, Rage, Irritability
  • Heat Intolerance
  • Panic / Phobias
  • Afternoon or Evening Cravings
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Issues
  • Night Owl
  • Difficulty Falling Asleep
  • Insomnia
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Suicidal Thoughts

Addictive Substances Used

  • Sweets
  • Starches
  • Chocolate
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Tobacco

Body Systems, Glands & Organs Affected

  • Parathyroid
  • Lymph
  • Thymus
  • Lung
  • Spleen

Complimentary Vitamins

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C

Complimentary Minerals

  • Calcium
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur

Food Sources

  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, seasame)
  • Almonds
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Wild Game
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tempe
  • Kelp
  • Tofu (Organic)
  • Bananas
  • Milk (if you have no dairy intolerance)


  • There are rare side effects of L-Tryptophan which may include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Exceeding the daily limit of L-Tryptophan may cause an aggravation of mental problems such as agitation, anger, restlessness and confusion.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition like depression or chronic anxiety you should consult a doctor prior to taking L-Tryptophan.
  • Do not take L-Tryptophan if you are currently taking any mood-altering drugs or medications.
  • Anyone who has a diagnosis of kidney or liver disease should not take amino acid supplements of any kind before consulting with a doctor.
  • Do not give L-Tryptophan, or any other supplement (including amino acids), to a child without qualified supervision.


(1) Essential amino acids are those that can not be synthesized by the body on its own and thus need to be acquired through your diet. 


Supporting Research

Ross, J. (2000). The diet cure: the breakthrough programme to rebalance your body chemistry, end food cravings and achieve your natural ideal weight – now! London: Michael Joseph.

Cheung SG, Goldenthal AR, Uhlemann AC, Mann JJ, Miller JM, Sublette ME. Systematic review of gut microbiota and major depression. Front Psychiatry. 2019;10:34. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00034

Lepore, D., ND. (1985). The Ultimate Healing System: The Illustrated Guide to Muscle Testing & Nutrition. Woodland Pub.

Ng QX, Koh SSH, Chan HW, Ho CYX. Clinical use of curcumin in depression: a meta-analysis. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017;18(6):503-508. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.12.071

Briguglio M, Dell’Osso B, Panzica G, et al. Dietary neurotransmitters: a narrative review on current knowledge. Nutrients. 2018;10(5):591. doi:10.3390/nu10050591

Glenn JM, Madero EN, Bott NT. Dietary protein and amino acid intake: links to the maintenance of cognitive health. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1315. doi:10.3390/nu11061315