Tryptophan Supplement Information
As an essential amino acid, tryptophan (also known as L-tryptophan) must be obtained from dietary sources -- the body cannot produce it. Even though tryptophan is found in many foods, some people take tryptophan in the form of dietary supplements. These supplements are claimed to be useful for treating a variety of conditions, such as:
Side effects are possible, despite the fact that supplements are often thought of as "natural" products. For example, some people who take tryptophan supplements may experience heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea. In addition, you may be more likely than others to experience problems if you have any of the following conditions:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- High levels of eosinophils in the blood (known as eosinophilia).
If you have any of these conditions, make sure your healthcare provider has this information before you start taking tryptophan.
(Click Tryptophan for more information, including details about whether the supplement is still banned in the United States.)