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Lack of Tryptophan - How to Get the Amino Acid

Iliana AngelovaIliana Angelova
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Lack of Tryptophan - How to Get the Amino Acid

There are amino acids that our body cannot obtain on its own. That is why they are called irreplaceable. One of them is tryptophan.

Its main task in the body is to participate in the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, which are important for the nervous system. Central nervous system health ensures our emotional balance and brain function.

Tryptophan is also at the service of the liver, which uses it in the synthesis of niacin to ensure the proper functioning of the digestive organs, the skin and some of the sex hormones.

With tryptophan deficiency the disease pellagra can develop. It is a disease that causes diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and is fatal. Low levels of serotonin that result from tryptophan deficiency manifest as depressive disorders, anxiety states, irritability and insomnia.

Tryptophan is used in medical practice to treat depression, schizophrenia, neurosis, dementia, as well as persistent headaches and insomnia.

Undoubtedly, tryptophan is very necessary for the body. How do we get it? It is easiest and most pleasant with foods that contain it. Here are some of them.


Clams contain vitamin B12, which most people still lack. And its effect on the mood? B12 protects brain cells that die quickly with age. The zinc, iodine and selenium in them take care of the health of the thyroid gland. They are healthy seafood, because they are high in protein and low in fat and calories.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a source of tryptophan

In addition to the pleasant taste, dark chocolate immediately contributes to our good mood. The vitality and energy that comes from it is due to the content of tryptophan in this sweet product.

Meat from grazing animals

Animals raised in homes that eat pasture grass have a higher content of linoleic acid in their meat. It is a good stress reliever. Omega-3 fatty acids and iron, which are in excess when feeding through grazing, have contibute to a good mood and good concentration.



Yogurt is very high in calcium and this mineral releases neurotransmitters that affect the mood. When deficient, depression, anxiety, and slowed thinking are common symptoms.


Asparagus is among the best natural sources of tryptophan. They charge the body with folic acid, which also fights depression.


Honey is full of beneficial substances, including quercetin and kaempferol, which support brain functions. They fight depression and keep the brain in a good condition.


Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins of group B, proteins and others support a good mood and satiate.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds - a source of tryptophan

This plant product is among the best options to get tryptophan and to provide serotonin to the brain.

See more foods with the most amino acids.