Tryptophan is a crucial amino acid found naturally in a variety of foods and supplements. It is abundant in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, spirulina, and peanuts. These diverse sources make it accessible through a balanced diet, contributing to its essential role in human nutrition.

Also Known As

Tryptophan is known by several scientific names that reflect its chemical structure. These include:

  • (2S)-2-amino-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid
  • 2-Amino-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid


Tryptophan is primarily used for its role in the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences sleep, mood, and behavior. It is often included in dietary supplements aimed at improving sleep quality and managing mood disorders. Its inclusion in various foods also contributes to a balanced diet that supports overall mental and physical health.


L-Tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid essential for producing serotonin, which helps regulate mood, anxiety, stress, and sleep quality. Its importance in human health is highlighted by its role in:

  • Normalizing serotonin and other neurotransmitters to alleviate symptoms of irritability, mood disorders, and stress.
  • Enhancing sleep quality, with research indicating its effectiveness in helping individuals fall asleep more easily.
  • Serving as a critical building block in the human diet, obtainable from both food sources and supplements.

Common Dosage

The recommended dosage of Tryptophan for adults aged 19 years and over is 5 mg/kg body weight per day. This guideline ensures an adequate intake to support the body’s serotonin production without exceeding necessary amounts.


Tryptophan is an essential amino acid with a broad spectrum of benefits, from improving mental health to enhancing sleep quality. Its wide availability in foods and supplements makes it an accessible nutrient for maintaining overall wellbeing. Key points to remember include:

  • Tryptophan aids in the production of serotonin, impacting mood and sleep.
  • It is found in a wide range of foods and supplements.
  • The recommended dosage for adults is 5 mg/kg body weight per day.

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