An Amino Acid


Tryptophan is an essential aromatic amino acid that is metabolized into niacin, serotonin and melatonin. It is converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in these metabolic processes. 5-Hydroxytryptophan can also be manufactured from the seed of Griffonia simplicifolia, an African plant. Most research concludes that approximately 1-3% of oral tryptophan is converted to serotonin compared to 70% of 5-HTP and it is generally accepted that about 1% or less of dietary/supplementary tryptophan ever enters the brain. As an antidepressant, some studies have shown better results using 200 - 300 mg 5-HTP per day as opposed to using 2000 - 3000 mg or more of tryptophan during the same period.

The information on this page is for the amino acid, tryptophan. In the treatment of diseases/health conditions, 5-hydroxytryptophan is used instead of tryptophan.


Physiologic Functions:

Clinical Indications:

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency:

Causes of Deficiencies:


Toxicity and Side Effects:

Copyright 1998 - 2008 by L. Vicky Crouse, ND and James S. Reiley, ND. All rights reserved (ISSN 1527-0661).