What Is Tryptophan?
Tryptophan is an amino acid that aids in growth and has various health functions in both humans and animals. Our body cannot produce it on its own, so it is necessary to obtain it through diet or dietary supplements.
It is the sole precursor of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter related to the control of emotions and mood, and it can also regulate appetite and body temperature.
The required amount of this amino acid varies between adults and children. In adults, the required amount is 175-250 mg/day.
The Gut Microbiota
The gut microbiota plays a fundamental role in modulating tryptophan metabolism, affecting the balance in serotonin synthesis and tryptophan degradation pathways.
Because many factors can influence the composition and, consequently, the metabolism of the gut microbiota, including diet, the use of antibiotics and probiotics, there is the possibility to modify the gut microbiota.
The latest scientific evidence discusses the primary mechanisms by which the gut microbiota modulates tryptophan metabolism and, therefore, its effects on brain function. It also participates in the communication between the gut and the brain.
The gut and the brain are directly connected, and the central nervous system continuously interacts with the digestive tract. It's a bidirectional connection, occurring through sympathetic (splanchnic nerves) and parasympathetic (vagus nerves) pathways of the autonomic nervous system.
Ninety-five percent of serotonin is produced in the gut, also known as the "hormone of serenity," and it regulates mood and behavior, among other things.
The primary actions of tryptophan occur through melatonin and serotonin. In turn, serotonin influences almost all brain functions, with a general modulatory and inhibitory effect on behavior. It regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and pain, among others.
Foods Containing Tryptophan
As mentioned, tryptophan is consumed as part of the diet and can be found in foods such as:
- Meat, especially turkey and chicken
- Fatty fish
- Cereals, particularly whole grains, rice, and oats
- Dairy products
- Fruits like pineapple, banana, or avocado
In addition to daily consumption through diet, it's also advisable to include some type of dietary supplement containing this amino acid, as sometimes the amount ingested through food may not be sufficient to synthesize an adequate amount of serotonin.
This is the case with Inner Cure from Matcha & CO. Developed with microbiome experts, Inner Cure supports your digestive system, immune system, and mood. Our formula is designed for bloating, intestinal discomfort, gut flora, and defenses.
It contains 5 probiotic strains with 50 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) per gram of specific probiotics to support the gut microbiome. Matcha, a natural prebiotic, helps probiotics survive and adapt to your body. Tryptophan, in combination with matcha and probiotics, promotes your mood.