Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tryptophan...It's a miracle

It's so amazing the power that food has in your daily life. Recently a friend told me about an amino acid thats essential in the human diet called tryptophan. What tryptophan does is it increases the nuerotransmitter, serotonin, which in basic terms, increases your mood. Many people who suffer from depression and anxiety look towards prescription medications such as Prozac and Zoloft. These mediactions are what is called SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and have been proven to be very effective in treating disorders like depression and so on. But basically the medications are doing the same thing as tryptophan, however, tryptophan is found in foods, not in a pharmacutical. The amino acid is found in high amounts in foods such as chicken breast, parmesan cheese, turkey, salmon, milk and shrimp. Placing these foods as a high priority in your diet is a much safer and healthier way to increase mood and concentration than prescription drugs, considering the sideeffects in them.

Now, if you take these medications and they work for you, then by all means I am not against that. I know several people who have awaken from depression and their life has had a complete 180 degree turn around thanks to SSRI's and I am totally for that.

But personally, I can say that by eating high amounts of tryptophan daily, along with excercise and supplements, my mood and life in general seems a lot better. It might sound ridiculous but I don't know where I'd be without this knoweledge. If I come home from school feeling irritable or discontent, I eat a can of tunafish and drink a glass of milk and I feel better. When my friend first introduced me to this new diet I wasn't completely convinced; but after trying the diet out, I am now, obviously, or I wouldn't be writing about this. Plus, the food tastes delicious. I'm sure most of you already eat these foods, but maybe not as frequently.

I wanted to share this because of the impact it had on my life. I hope this sounds interesting and I recommend you give it a shot.

My daily diet usually includes one food that has a high amount of tryptophan in every meal. I still eat potatoe chips and drink soda, but not as frequently. I also take two focus factor (I'm sure you've seen the ad.) a day and try and excercise as much as I can.


Sayeema (kulness) said...

Wow, got to share this!! :) Thanks for informing me. :-D

Ashley said...

Wow, that's really interesting. It's really something to keep in mind!

Tyler said...

Hmm. From my understanding, Tryptophan increases brain levels of serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter when present in moderate levels)[16] and/or melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness or low light levels)

So basically it makes you calm.

Setraline is in medications such as Zoloft and other members of the SSRI class. These are what's used in antidepressants.

I just learned this stuff through recent studies, so I am not a pro at it. I'm just regurgitating what I read.

Ham said...

Yeah. I wasn't saying that SSRI's have Tryptophan or serotonin, just that a SSRI is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. So it used to increase serotonin levels.