Tryptofaan / Tryptophan
Tryptofaan is een essentieel aminozuur en de voorstof voor de aanmaak van niacine (vitamine B3), serotonine en melatonine. Serotonine is een neurotransmitter die wordt geproduceerd in het centrale zenuwstelsel, met name in de hersenen. Serotonine heeft invloed op stemming, slaap-waak ritme, pijnbeleving, eetlust, bloeddruk, seksualiteit en zelfvertrouwen. Het wordt ook wel het gelukshormoon genoemd. Melatonine, een (neuro)hormoon dat in de pijnappelklier wordt gevormd uit serotonine, is onder meer belangrijk voor het slaap-waakritme en de voortplanting en is tevens een krachtige antioxidant. Tryptofaan is belangrijk voor de leverfunctie.
aanwezig in chocolade, haver, bananen, gedroogde dadels, pinda’s, melk, cottage cheese, vlees, vis, kalkoen. Een glas warme melk voor het slapen gaan is een oeroude remedie tegen slapeloosheid, mogelijk veroorzaakt door het tryptofaan in de melk. Veel in zaden vooral teunisbloemzaad, zonnebloempitten....
Tekenen van een mogelijk tekort
Vermoeidheid, depressie, hallucinaties, stemmingswisselingen, gebrek aan eetlust, haaruitval, huidafwijkingen, diarree, slecht zien, ataxie, polyneuropathie.
Indicaties, mogelijk gebruik
depressie (door tryptofaantekort)
agressie (geassocieerd met tryptofaantekort)
PMS/PMDD (premenstrueel syndroom, premenstruele dysforische stoornis)
syndroom van Gilles de la Tourette
eetstoornissen (anorexia, boulimia, overmatig snoepen)
stoppen met roken
zwangerschap en lactatie
gebruik van reguliere antidepressiva (waaronder MAO-remmers), benzodiazepines, fenothiazines, meperidine, pentazocine, tramadol en zolpidem
Algemene adviesdosering: 400-1200 mg/dag
Slapeloosheid: 400-2000 mg, 20 minuten voor het naar bed gaan innemen
Slaapapneu: 400 mg-2400 mg/dag
Winterdepressie: 4000 mg/dag
Stoppen met roken: (tijdelijk) 50 mg/kg/dag
PMS/PMDD: 4000 mg/dag
L-tryptofaan heeft een kalmerende werking en kan de werking van andere sederende kruiden versterken zoals valeriaan, Sint Janskruid en hop.
L-tryptofaan verhoogt de serotoninespiegel en kan (serotonerge) bijwerkingen van antidepressiva (SSRI’s, tricyclische en atypische antidepressiva), meperidine, pentazocine en tramadol versterken.
L-tryptofaan in combinatie met benzodiazepines (diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam e.a.) of fenothiazines kan ongewenste bijwerkingen geven zoals te sterke sedatie, seksuele ontremming, reversibele dyskinesie en reversibele Parkinson-achtige rigiditeit.
Suppletie met L-tryptofaan kan maagdarmklachten geven zoals zuurbranden, maagpijn, winderigheid en misselijkheid, hoofdpijn, licht gevoel in het hoofd, droge mond. Suppletie met L-tryptofaan kan astma bronchiale en SLE (tijdelijk) verergeren. Doses tot 4 gram per dag zijn waarschijnlijk veilig.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Jan;77(1):137-43. 5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan suppresses food intake in food-deprived and stressed rats.Amer A1, Breu J, McDermott J, Wurtman RJ, Maher TJ.
Giving L-tryptophan, serotonin's circulating precursor, or a serotonin-releasing drug can decrease food intake and body weight. Giving 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP), serotonin's immediate intracellular precursor, has been thought to be ineffective in enhancing brain serotonin synthesis unless it is coadministered with a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor to protect 5-HTP from destruction outside the brain. We have examined the effect of 5-HTP on food consumption and tissue 5-HTP levels among rats subjected to two different hyperphagic stimuli, food deprivation and a standardized stress (tail pinch), and on plasma 5-HTP levels in humans. In rats, 5-HTP (3-200 mg/kg ip) suppressed food intake in a dose-dependent manner in both models, but was at least eight times more effective in our stress-hyperphagia model. (Differences in the two procedures might have contributed to the observed differences in potencies.) This suppression was blocked by coadministration of another large neutral amino acid (LNAA), L-valine. Brain 5-HTP levels correlated significantly with peak plasma 5-HTP (r(2)=.69) or 5-HTP/LNAA (r(2)=.81) levels. Additionally, among humans, oral 5-HTP (1.2-2.0 mg/kg) produced, after 1 and 2 h, a significant increase in plasma 5-HTP (1.5- to 2.3-fold). These observations suggest that 5-HTP may be useful in controlling the excessive food intake sometimes generated by stress, even if given without decarboxylase inhibitors or other drugs.
Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Birdsall TC1.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the intermediate metabolite of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan (LT) in the biosynthesis of serotonin. Intestinal absorption of 5-HTP does not require the presence of a transport molecule, and is not affected by the presence of other amino acids; therefore it may be taken with meals without reducing its effectiveness. Unlike LT, 5-HTP cannot be shunted into niacin or protein production. Therapeutic use of 5-HTP bypasses the conversion of LT into 5-HTP by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase, which is the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of serotonin. 5-HTP is well absorbed from an oral dose, with about 70 percent ending up in the bloodstream. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and effectively increases central nervous system (CNS) synthesis of serotonin. In the CNS, serotonin levels have been implicated in the regulation of sleep, depression, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behaviour, and pain sensation. Therapeutic administration of 5-HTP has been shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including depression, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, chronic headaches, and insomnia.
Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2012; 8: 323–328. Published online 2012 Jul 19. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S33259
5-HTP efficacy and contraindications Marty Hinz,1 Alvin Stein,2 and Thomas Uncini3
5-HTP in the treatment of depression has languished for years. Intuitively, the potential is extraordinary, but from a practical level efficacy is no better than placebo. In review of the science, effective integration of 5-HTP into a patient management plan is much more complicated than simply giving some 5-HTP in order to have more serotonin throughout the system.
Administration of 5-HTP alone is contraindicated for depression and any process involving a catecholamine component due to its ability to facilitate depletion of these neurotransmitters. 5-HTP should be administered carefully in patients because depletion of dopamine and norepinephrine may exacerbate existing disease processes or precipitate onset of catecholamine-related problems.
Administering serotonin or dopamine amino acid precursors should never involve administration of only one amino acid. Improperly balanced amino acid precursors are associated with decreased efficacy, increased side effects, and depletion of the nondominant system.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a chemical by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan. It is also produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia).
5-HTP is used for sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and along with prescription drugs to treat seizure disorder and Parkinson's disease.
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for 5-HTP are as follows:
Possibly effective for...
Depression. Research shows that taking 5-HTP by mouth might improve symptoms of depression. Several trials have found that doses of 50-3000 mg daily for 2-4 weeks can improve symptoms of depression. Some early research also shows that 5-HTP might be as beneficial as conventional antidepressant therapy.
Fibromyalgia. Taking 5-HTP by mouth appears to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia including pain severity, morning stiffness, and sleeplessness.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
Alcoholism. Early research shows that taking 5-HTP with D-phenylalanine and L-glutamine for 40 days can reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, taking 5-HTP with carbidopa daily for one year does not seem to help people stop drinking. The effect of 5-HTP alone for alcoholism is not clear.
Alzheimer's disease. Early research suggests that taking 5-HTP by mouth does not help symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Anxiety. Evidence on the effects of 5-HTP for anxiety is unclear. Taking up to 300 mg of 5-HTP daily along with carbidopa seems to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. However, taking 60 mg of 5-HTP daily through the vein does not reduce anxiety in people with panic disorders.
Nervous system disorder (Cerebellar ataxia). Evidence on the use of 5-HTP for cerebellar ataxia is unclear. Early evidence shows that taking 5 mg/kg of 5-HTP daily for 4 months can decrease nervous system dysfunction. However, other research shows that taking 5-HTP daily for up to one year does not improve symptoms of cerebellar ataxia.
Down syndrome. Taking 2 mg/kg of 5-HTP daily for 3 years does not improve muscle movement, social skills, or intellectual development in newborn children with Down syndrome.
Headache. Evidence on the use of 5-HTP to prevent or treat headache symptoms is unclear. Some research shows that taking 5-HTP daily can reduce headache symptoms in children with headaches. However, other studies show that 5-HTP does not reduce the number or severity of headaches.
Insomnia. Taking an amino acid formula (Gabadone) containing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 5-HTP seems to help people with sleeping problems fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The effect of 5-HTP alone on sleeping problems is unclear.
Menopausal symptoms. Taking 150 mg of 5-HTP daily for 4 weeks does not reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women.
Migraine headache. Evidence on the effects of 5-HTP for the prevention or treatment of migraines in adults is unclear. Some studies show that taking 5-HTP daily does not reduce migraines, while other studies show that it might be as beneficial as prescription drugs. 5-HTP does not seem to reduce migraines in children.
Obesity. Early research suggests that taking 5-HTP might help reduce appetite, caloric intake, and weight in obese people.
Muscle spasms in the mouth (Palatal myoclonus). Early evidence suggests that taking 5-HTP by mouth might reduce muscle spasms in people with palatal myoclonus.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
How does it work?
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.
Are there safety concerns?
5-HTP is POSSIBLY SAFE when taking by mouth. However, some people who have taken it have come down with eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia). Some people think EMS might be caused by an accidental ingredient (contaminant) in some 5-HTP products. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know if EMS is caused by 5-HTP, a contaminant, or some other factor. Until more is known, 5-HTP should be used cautiously.
Other potential side effects of 5-HTP include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.
Special precautions & warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: 5-HTP is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth when pregnant or breast-feeding. Avoid using it.
Down syndrome: There are reports of 5-HTP causing seizures in some people with Down syndrome. In one group studied, 15% of people with Down syndrome receiving long-term 5-HTP treatment experienced seizures.
Surgery: 5-HTP can affect a brain chemical called serotonin. Some drugs administered during surgery can also affect serotonin. Taking 5-HTP before surgery might cause too much serotonin in the brain and can result in serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Tell patients to stop taking 5-HTP at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Sicuteri F. 5-hydroxytryptophan in the prophylaxis of migraine. Pharmacological Research Communications 1972;4:213-218.
De Benedittis G, Massei R. 5-HT precursors in migraine prophylaxis: a double-blind cross-over study with L-5-hydroxytryptophan. Clin J Pain 1986;2:123-129.
Cangiano C, Laviano A, Del Ben M, et al. Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1998;22:648-54. View abstract.
Trouillas P, Serratrice G, Laplane D, et al. Levorotatory form of 5-hydroxytryptophan in Friedreich's ataxia. Results of a double-blind drug-placebo cooperative study. Arch Neurol 1995;52:456-60. View abstract.
Wessel K, Hermsdörfer J, Deger K, et al. Double-blind crossover study with levorotatory form of hydroxytryptophan in patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases. Arch Neurol 1995;52:451-5. View abstract.
van Hiele LJ. l-5-Hydroxytryptophan in depression: the first substitution therapy in psychiatry? The treatment of 99 out-patients with 'therapy-resistant' depressions. Neuropsychobiology 1980;6:230-40. View abstract.
Pueschel SM, Reed RB, Cronk CE, Goldstein BI. 5-hydroxytryptophan and pyridoxine. Their effects in young children with Down's syndrome. Am J Dis Child 1980;134:838-44. View abstract.
Longo G, Rudoi I, Iannuccelli M, Strinati R, Panizon F. [Treatment of essential headache in developmental age with L-5-HTP (cross over double-blind study versus placebo)]. Pediatr Med Chir 1984;6:241-5. View abstract.
van Praag HM, Korf J, Dols LC, Schut T. A pilot study of the predictive value of the probenecid test in application of 5-hydroxytryptophan as antidepressant. Psychopharmacologia 1972;25:14-21. View abstract.
Nolen WA, van de Putte JJ, Dijken WA, Kamp JS. L-5HTP in depression resistant to re-uptake inhibitors. An open comparative study with tranylcypromine. Br J Psychiatry 1985;147:16-22.View abstract
Plants Containing TRYPTOPHAN
Ordered by quantity
Species Part Quantity Reference
Oenothera biennis L. -- Evening-Primrose Seed 16,000 ppm DUKE1992A
Helianthus annuus L. -- Girasol, Sunflower Seed 15,900 ppm DUKE1992A
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. -- Asparagus Pea, Goa Bean, Winged Bean Seed 8,313 ppm DUKE1992A
Lablab purpureus (L.) SWEET -- Bonavist Bean, Hyacinth Bean, Lablab Bean Seed 7,255 ppm DUKE1992A
Nasturtium officinale R. BR. -- Berro, Watercress Herb 6,000 ppm DUKE1992A
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. -- Asparagus Pea, Goa Bean, Winged Bean Tuber 5,915 ppm DUKE1992A
Sinapis alba L. -- White Mustard Seed 5,628 ppm DUKE1992A
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. -- Asparagus Pea, Goa Bean, Winged Bean Leaf 5,011 ppm DUKE1992A
Cicer arietinum L. -- Chickpea, Garbanzo Seed 4,970 ppm DUKE1992A
Sesamum indicum L. -- Ajonjoli (Sp.), Beni, Benneseed, Sesame, Sesamo (Sp.) Seed 4,969 ppm DUKE1992A
Phaseolus vulgaris subsp. var. vulgaris -- Black Bean, Dwarf Bean, Field Bean, Flageolet Bean, French Bean, Garden Bean, Green Bean, Haricot, Haricot Bean, Haricot Vert, Kidney Bean, Navy Bean, Pop Bean, Popping Bean, Snap Bean, String Bean, Wax Bean Sprout Seedling 4,731 ppm DUKE1992A
Spinacia oleracea L. -- Spinach Plant 4,632 ppm DUKE1992A
Cucurbita pepo L. -- Pumpkin Seed 4,630 ppm DUKE1992A
Trigonella foenum-graecum L. -- Alholva (Sp.), Bockshornklee (Ger.), Fenugreek, Greek Clover, Greek Hay Seed 4,300 ppm DUKE1992A