Tryptophan is an amino acid needed for normal growth in infants and for nitrogen balance in adults. It is an essential amino acid, which means your body cannot produce it -- you must get it from your diet.
The body uses tryptophan to help make niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is thought to produce healthy sleep and a stable mood.
In order for tryptophan in the diet to be changed into niacin, the body needs to have enough:
Tryptophan can be found in:
Dietary Guidelines for Americans - 2005. Washington, DC. US Dept of Health and Human Services and US Dept of Agriculture: 2005.
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