products contain Ajinomoto TryptoPure™. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid
readily converted by the body to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Able to cross the blood-brain barrier, L-tryptophan is altered by enzymes
to first form the intermediate amino acid 5-HTP and then serotonin. It is also
the metabolic precursor to melatonin and to the B vitamin niacin. Supplementing
the diet with pure L-tryptophan like TryptoPure™, found in Doctor’s
Best L-Tryptophan products, can improve sleep and enhance mood, and may also
be beneficial in reducing carbohydrate cravings. *
Doctor’s Best L-Tryptophan Enhanced additionally includes the
active form of vitamin B6 and the B-vitamin niacin (as niacinamide) as cofactors
for the enhanced utilization of L-tryptophan. Vitamin B6 is an essential
cofactor in the conversion of tryptophan, while niacinamide plays an important
role in allowing our body to properly utilize this essential amino acid.
Clinical observation suggests that supplementing with Vitamin B6 and niacinamide
in conjunction with L-tryptophan enhances the ability of tryptophan to support
What is Ajinomoto TryptoPure™?
TryptoPure™ is pure,
pharmaceutical-grade L-tryptophan produced by the world's leading maker of amino
acids—Ajinomoto. The global leader in the research, production, and sales of
amino acids, Ajinomoto was one of the first to make pharmaceutical-grade amino
acids; they literally invented the process.
Ajinomoto TryptoPure™ is
considered the purest, most trusted L-tryptophan available.
It is manufactured via fermentation strictly from vegetable sources, not
animal, and it is between 99% and 100% pure. The level of impurities in
tryptophan from other makers can be much higher.
In fact, from 1989 to 2006 the
FDA was so concerned about the quality of tryptophan coming into the
U.S., that it instituted an import ban with one
exception: Ajinomoto's TryptoPure™. In 1989, the importation of L-tryptophan was
banned in the
after cases of an autoimmune illness called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome were
traced to an improperly prepared batch of tryptophan. The FDA limited
L-tryptophan availability to prescription drugs, infant formulas, and enteral
feeding products. Because the FDA recognized the unsurpassed quality Ajinomoto’s
TryptoPure™, it was excepted from the ban, but its use was limited to those few
products. Today, it is available over-the-counter in Doctor’s Best L-Tryptophan
Promotes Normal, Healthy Restful Sleep*
is a necessity for maintaining proper health. Sleeping well enhances our ability
to function during the day. The body requires sleep as downtime to regenerate
and repair essential bodily functions and allow us to feel refreshed.
L-Tryptophan is a potent nutrient that has been found to enhance restful,
peaceful sleep via a number of mechanisms. L-tryptophan is best known for its
ability to decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep (George et al.
1989; Hartmann 1982). It has also been shown in studies to enhance total sleep
time, decrease intermittent wakening, and decrease early morning wakefulness
(Schneider-Helmert 1981; Wyatt et al. 1970), allowing the body to feel
efficacy of L-tryptophan is due to its ability to support normal production of
serotonin in the brain (Demisch et al. 1987b; Hartmann 1982) (Demisch et al.
1987a). Serotonin has been implicated in the regulation of sleep, mood,
appetite, and temperature, among other roles that it plays in the body (Birdsall
1998). In a review article summarizing findings from over fifty studies
conducted between 1970 and 1985, researchers concluded that L-tryptophan
enhances overall sleep quality and also effectively provides a remedy for
occasional sleeplessness. * It does this without dangerous side effects and
without any feelings of next-day drowsiness. (Leiberman 1985)(Schneider-helmert
Enhances Mood and Sensations of Well-being*
studies show that L-tryptophan supplementation can positively affect mood and
emotional well-being. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of
115 individuals found that the administration of L-tryptophan was significantly
more effective than placebo for enhancing mood and affect (Thomson J et al.
1982). The subjects took 1 gram of L-tryptophan or an identical placebo capsule
three times per day for 12 weeks. Mood and affect were assessed using a
standardized, clinically recognized rating scale. Scores in the group
supplementing with L-tryptophan were significantly better than placebo at the
end of the trial period, indicating L-tryptophan’s success at supporting healthy
studies suggest that in healthy individuals, L-tryptophan has positive effects
on mood, behavior, and emotional processing. For example, in a recent study of
healthy females with normal moods and no history of depression, L-tryptophan
supplementation alters the processing and perception of emotional stimuli
towards a more positive bias. Supplementation with one gram three times per day
caused an increase in happy facial expressions, a decrease in negative and
disgusted facial expressions, and a decrease in the attention paid to negative
words (Murphy, S 2006). A second study conducted in 2006 with a double blind
crossover design indicated that the same dose of L-tryptophan (1 gram three
times per day) significantly decreased quarrelsome and aggressive behaviors
while enhancing agreeable behaviors in everyday social interactions. In this
study, participants reported more positive and less negative emotions and rated
their interactions as more pleasant (aan het Rot et al. 2006).
A number of
other studies point to the ability of L-tryptophan supplementation to balance
mood. A study published in 1990 suggested that individuals with seasonal
variations in mood responded well to supplementation with L-tryptophan (McGrath,
1990). Furthermore, compared to standard light therapy, the mood enhancement
associated with L-tryptophan supplementation lasts longer after discontinuation
than the effects seen after stopping light therapy (Ghadirian et al. 1998).
double blind placebo-controlled study found that two grams of L-tryptophan
administered three times a day, from the day of ovulation to the third day of
menstruation (the luteal phase) in healthy women, significantly relieved the
most prominent mood symptoms associated with PMS. After three months of use,
women taking L-tryptophan experienced statistically significant control of
extreme mood swings, sadness, irritability, and tension. It also improved their
perceived quality of life (Steinberg et al. 1999).
Decreased Carbohydrate Cravings to Support Weight
may play a supportive role in helping individuals who are currently involved in
weight management programs and diets by helping to reduce carbohydrate cravings.
During dieting, serotonin levels drop dramatically. Serotonin plays a role in
controlling appetite, and eating carbohydrate-rich foods increases serotonin
levels in the brain. This may explain carbohydrate cravings and resultant binge
eating in some dieters. While no human trials have examined L-tryptophan
supplementation directly, a number of clinical trials have used supplemental
5-HTP, the amino acid produced in the body from L-tryptophan. Results of these
trials have shown decreases in overall food intake and a subsequent reduction in
weight in individuals taking 5-HTP. (Birdsall, 1998). The majority (75%) of the
decreased food intake was from carbohydrates, suggesting decreased cravings for
carbohydrates in individuals on 5-HTP (Cangiano et al. 1991). It is likely that
L-tryptophan supplementation would have similar effects.
Uncontaminated L-tryptophan has a thirty-year history of
safety and absence of adverse effects at levels commonly consumed by humans.
When administered in abnormally high dosages of 7 grams (for a 150 pound human)
per day, potential side effects include gastric irritation, vomiting, and head
twitching (Alt Med Rev monograph 2006). Use during pregnancy or lactation has
not been studied as of yet and is, therefore, not recommended. L-tryptophan
should not be used by individuals taking antidepressant drugs without close
Suggested Adult Use: 1 or 2 capsules daily,
or as directed by a health practitioner. For optimum absorption, take separately
from protein-containing foods and dietary supplements containing protein or
Does Not Contain: milk, egg, wheat, corn, sugar,
sweeteners, starch, salt, or preservatives.
aan het Rot, M., Moskowitz, D. S., Pinard, G. and Young, S. N.
2006. Social behaviour and mood in everyday
life: the effects of tryptophan in quarrelsome individuals. J
Psychiatry Neurosci 31: 253-62.
Birdsall, T. C. 1998.
5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor.
Alternative Medicine Review 3: 271-280.
Cangiano, C., Ceci, F., Cairella, M., Cascino, A., Del Ben, M.,
Laviano, A., Muscaritoli, M. and Rossi-Fanelli, F.
1991. Effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan on eating
behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects.
Adv Exp Biol Med 294 ("Kynurenine and Serotonin Pathways"):
K., Bauer, J. and Georgi, K. 1987a.
Treatment of severe chronic insomnia with L-tryptophan and varying
sleeping times. Pharmacopsychiatry 20: 245-248.
Demisch, K., Bauer, J., Georgi, K. and Demisch, L.
1987b. Treatment of severe chronic insomnia
with L-tryptophan: results of a double-blind cross-over study.
Pharmacopsychiatry 20: 242-244.
George, C. F., Millar, T. W., Hanly, P. J. and Kryger, M. H.
1989. The effect of L-tryptophan on daytime
sleep latency in normals: correlation with blood levels. Sleep
A. M., Murphy, B. E. and Gendron, M. J. 1998.
Efficacy of light versus tryptophan therapy in seasonal affective
disorder. J Affect Disord 50:
Hartmann, E. 1982.
Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep. J
Psychiatr Res 17: 107-13.
Schneider-Helmert, D. 1981.
Interval therapy with L-tryptophan in severe chronic insomniacs. A
predictive laboratory study. International Pharmacopsychiatry
Steinberg, S., Annable, L., Young, S. N. and Liyanage, N.
1999. A placebo-controlled clinical trial of
L-tryptophan in premenstrual dysphoria. Biol Psychiatry 45:
Wyatt, R. J., Engelman, K., Kupfer, D. J., Fram, D. H., Sjoerdsma,
A. and Snyder, F. 1970.
Effects of L-tryptophan (a natural sedative) on human sleep. Lancet