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What is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan: It is an amino-indolepropionic acid. It is essential and should not be omitted in the diet. Its not synthesized in the body, but may be synthesized in the micro-organism, E.coli. It is neither ketogenic nor glycogenic. Though this amino acid is very essential for the body, yet it is inefficiently utilized in the body, and a large amount of tryptophan is excreted in urine.

The amino acids being colourless do not absorb visible light and ultraviolet light of a wavelength above 240 mm. The exception being aromatic amino acids which includes histidine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. The ultraviolent absorption of proteins above 240 mm wavelength is due to their tryptophan content.

The tryptophan gets converted to nicotinamide, which gets hampared in cases of Vitamin B-6 deficiency. The hereditary abnormality in metabolism of tryptophan causing deficiency of niacin, know as Hartnup disease is manifested in pellagra like skin rash, and mental deterioration, with excess tryptophan in urine 1 mg equivalent of niacin is generated for every 60 mg of trytophan.

The tryptophan also forms secrotonin, a potent vasoconstrictor and stimulator of smooth muscle contraction. One 1% of tryptophan is normally converted to serotonin, but in malignant carcinoid (serotonin producing tumour cells in abdominal cavity) it could go up to 60%, affecting adversely production of nicotinic acid from trytophan, and causing negative nitrogen balance.

Trytophan is obtained on eating whole grain bread, enters the brain and boosts levels of serotonin, the mood elevating brain chemical.

Extraction from the body:
The tryptophan metabolites are excreted in urine and faces. Melanins are polymers of tryptophan catabolites. The tryptophan may undergo bacterial putrefaction in the intestine causing the formation of toxic substances, which then get detoxified in liver with acids.

Benefits and Uses:
Tryptophan works as a safe and effective food remedy for insomnia and emotional complaints. It is essential for blood clotting and digestive juices. It prevents early aging and its related effects on eye, hair, and teeth. It also acts as a natural painkiller. It slows down the rate of starch decomposition and thus prevents tooth decay.

Natural Sources of Tryptophan:
The rice sources for tryptophan is bajra, ragi, barley, soyabean, bengal gram, knoll-khol greens, spinach, agathi, colocasia, sweet potato, cauliflower, cashew nut, mango, papaya, egg, and milk.

Recommended Dosage:
The RDA for children is 3.3 mg, and for adults is 3.5 mg per kg. of body weight.

Additional Information:
Find complete and updated information on amino acid, essential amino acid, amino acid supplement, 20 amino acid, amino acid structure, amino acid chain, amino acid protein, and amino acid food at House Of Nutrition Online.

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