Drugs, Depression & Antidepressant Drugs > How the Mind Works > Tryptophan


Serotonin is one of the major neurotransmitters involved with mood control and emotional stability. Many synthetic pharmaceutical antidepressant drugs relieve depression by manipulating how serotonin works inside your brain. Instead of using these it is much cheaper, safer, and easier to try to control your serotonin levels naturally.

Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters, and tryptophan is the amino acid which is the precursor to serotonin. By loading up on tryptophan using amino acid therapy you may find it easy to naturally overcome depression.

Diet and depression: There are many foods high in tryptophan, and until 1993 tryptophan was a supplement that upwards of 15 million americans were taking. With the increased serotonin levels many of these people were feeling happier and also loosing weight. A Japanese company made a bad batch of tryptophan using a new activated charcoal filter without testing the results. A few people died from this and tryptophan became illegal in the United States.

Legal status of Tryptophan: In most other countries tryptophan is still legal, and is used by many as a supplement. In fact, today we still add tryptophan to baby food in the united states. Tryptophan becoming illegal can closely be associated with the release of Prozac, at least in my mind. If you read more and learn how Prozac and tryptophan each work you will understand why tryptophan becoming illegal seems somewhat fishy. Read an article titled "Politics, Profit, and Prozac" about when tryptophan became illegal and the associated topics.

Reality of the legal status of Tryptophan: If tryptophan were actually as harmful as claimed, do you think we would still put tryptophan in baby food? Would tryptophan still be legal even in conservative countries like the UK? Would we still add tryptophan to baby food?

5HTP, the new Tryptophan: In the early 1990s an alternative to tryptophan was released called 5HTP (5Hydroxytryptophan.) Much of its basic functions are the same, as it is chemically very similar. I would recommend taking multivitamins with any other depression treatment. I also have taken 5HTP and notice its effects.

Drugs, Depression & Antidepressant Drugs > How the Mind Works > Tryptophan