L-tryptophan: basic metabolic functions, behavioral and therapeutic indications.

As an essential component of the human diet, L-tryptophan is critical to a number of metabolic functions and has been used in numerous research and clinical studies. This review provides a brief overview of the role of L-tryptophan in protein synthesis and a number of other metabolic functions.

Focusing on the role of L-tryptophan in the synthesis of serotonin in the brain, details are provided on research applications of L-tryptophan, particularly L-tryptophan depletion, and clinical trials conducted using L-tryptophan supplementation. The ability to alter rates of serotonin synthesis in the brain by manipulating serum tryptophan concentrations is the basis of much research.

As the sole precursor to serotonin, experimental research has shown that the role of L-tryptophan in serotonin synthesis in the brain is an important factor involved in mood, behavior, and cognition.

In addition, clinical studies have provided some preliminary evidence of the efficacy of L-tryptophan in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, especially when used in combination with other therapeutic agents.

Int J Tryptophan Res.: L-Tryptophan: Basic Metabolic Functions, Behavioral Research and Therapeutic Indications

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