Last updated: August 15, 2021

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Para empezar bien el día, la calidad de nuestro sueño juega un papel importante. Una fase REM larga e ininterrumpida nos permite completar nuestras tareas de manera más eficiente al día siguiente y nuestro estado de ánimo no se hunde en el sótano tan rápido. El L-triptófano es un aminoácido responsable de la síntesis de la serotonina, la "hormona de la felicidad". Sin esta hormona, podríamos tener problemas para conciliar el sueño y también está directamente relacionada con nuestro estado de ánimo.

En este artículo, hemos recopilado para ti la información científica más importante para que puedas conocer más sobre este aminoácido relevante y tomar la mejor decisión posible a la hora de realizar tu compra.




Summary

  • El L-triptófano es un elemento clave para nuestra salud física y mental. Este aminoácido apoya la síntesis de muchas sustancias que sustentan nuestro cuerpo. Encontramos estos ingredientes en alimentos ricos en proteínas.
  • Con el tiempo, este aminoácido se ha estudiado y analizado. Muchos resultados indican que tomar L-triptófano puede mejorar la calidad del sueño y el estado de ánimo.
  • En la literatura y en los artículos científicos, el L-triptófano también se escribe sin L, porque la otra forma (D-triptófano) a menudo tiene poca importancia.

El mejor L-triptófano: nuestras selecciones

Guía: Preguntas que debe hacerse antes de comprar L-triptófano

¿Qué es el L-triptófano?

El L-triptófano se descubrió a principios del siglo XX y es uno de los aminoácidos que nuestro cuerpo no puede producir por sí mismo, por lo que se ingiere a través de la dieta. Junto con la tirosina, la histidina y la fenilalanina, forma el grupo de los aminoácidos aromáticos. Además, el L-triptófano es uno de los aminoácidos proteinogénicos, lo que significa que son necesarios para la síntesis de proteínas en nuestro cuerpo.

Desempeña un papel importante en muchos procesos metabólicos. Algunos de estos son:

  • Síntesis de melatonina: esto influye en su ritmo de sueño, así como en sus procesos digestivos y motilidad gastrointestinal.
  • Síntesis de serotonina: aunque solo el 1% del L-triptófano ingerido está destinado a nuestro cerebro, tiene un fuerte efecto en nuestro estado psiquiátrico y procesos psicológicos.
  • Síntesis de triptamina: sirve para controlar el equilibrio entre las funciones excitadoras e inhibidoras de la serotonina (1).

¿Cuáles son los efectos del L-triptófano?

Desde el descubrimiento del L-triptófano, se han estudiado y encontrado muchos de sus efectos en nuestro cuerpo. Su efecto inductor del sueño se investigó en un estudio de 1979. Los investigadores descubrieron que tomar 1 gramo de L-triptófano acortaba el tiempo necesario para conciliar el sueño y que tomar ¼ de gramo prolongaba la fase de sueño profundo (2).

Con el L-triptófano también puede determinar su propio ritmo de sueño, ya que puede promover eficazmente las fases del sueño incluso si no coinciden con su ritmo biológico (3). Para las personas que padecen el síndrome de apnea obstructiva del sueño (SAOS), la ingesta de L-triptófano también ha mostrado efectos positivos. Los trastornos respiratorios se aliviaron y, por lo tanto, su fase REM se prolongó y su latencia REM se redujo (4).

Para las mujeres que sufren de síndrome premenstrual, una cena rica en L-triptófano y carbohidratos alivió el dolor, la depresión, la ira y la fatiga al día siguiente. En comparación, el otro grupo solo tuvo una cena rica en carbohidratos en la que los cambios no aparecieron (5). Debido a su papel en la síntesis de serotonina, el L-triptófano también se ha relacionado con la promoción de un mejor estado de ánimo.

Algunos también afirman que el L-triptófano ayuda a perder peso. Este efecto no se ha estudiado adecuadamente. Los resultados de muchos estudios arrojaron resultados contradictorios. En el estudio publicado en el "Journal of Obesity Studies", la pérdida de peso de los sujetos con sobrepeso no fue lo suficientemente significativa como para relacionar directamente esta disminución con la ingesta de L-triptófano (6).

Esta afirmación podría haberse extendido porque los receptores de serotonina bloquean el ansia de carbohidratos, lo que posteriormente puede conducir a la pérdida de peso. Sin embargo, hay que tener en cuenta que con una comida rica en proteínas y baja en carbohidratos, el organismo se abastece de otros aminoácidos que compiten con el L-triptófano. Por lo tanto, el cerebro recibe menos L-triptófano y, por lo tanto, se produce menos serotonina (7).

Why is L-tryptophan important?

Without this amino acid, the creation of the "happiness hormone" serotonin would not take place. Even though serotonin does not focus only on a specific function in our brain, this hormone is responsible for food intake, activity rhythm, sexual behaviour and emotional states (8).

L-triptófano-1

Serotonin also plays an important role in memory and learning
(Image source: unsplash.com / Helena Lopes)

In addition, L-tryptophan is necessary for the "sleep hormone" melatonin and for the synthesis of nicotinic acid.

Nicotinic acid is involved in the activation of all the enzymes found in our body and thus it regulates many processes that should happen in our body (1).

What is the right dosage of L-tryptophan?

When determining the correct dosage of this amino acid, age, weight, body type, exercise, diet, stress and health status are criteria that should be taken into account. Apart from this, the L-tryptophan requirement of an average adult could be estimated and this value is between 3.5 and 6 milligrams per body weight per day and depends on the type of source (9)

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It has been calculated that we normally consume between 0.5 to 2 grams of L-tryptophan per day through a healthy diet and even this small amount improves our sleep quality. The quality of our deep sleep will be improved by the intake of only 1/4 gram (250 milligrams) (10)

To improve and prolong the REM phase for people who have sleep disordered breathing (OSAS), taking 2.5 grams of L-tryptophan, preferably before bedtime, is sufficient (11)

When taking L-tryptophan and additionally 5-HTP (5 hydroxy tryptophan), the dosage should be reduced.

Since both amino acids cause an increase in serotonin levels, this combination can lead to an excess of serotonin in the brain, which can have negative effects (12).

What are the possible side effects of L-tryptophan?

On the market, some manufacturers offer L-tryptophan together with 5-HTP. You should never exceed the daily amount, because an excess of serotonin can cause nausea, dizziness, dizziness and excessive sweating.

There are no side effects if you only get your L-tryptophan intake from food.

No side effects have been found for breastfeeding women either. In 2015, a study published in the Journal of European Neuropsychopharmacology showed that L-tryptophan supplements maintain normal L-tryptophan levels in breast milk. Therefore, there is no danger for the baby (13).

For pregnant women, however, it has not yet been established whether taking L-tryptophan supplements is safe. So it is best to talk to your doctor first or not to take L-tryptophan supplements.

Who should take L-tryptophan supplements?

In a healthy balanced diet we already supply our body with enough L-tryptophan. However, there are factors that impair the absorption of this amino acid. One group of people who have trouble absorbing L-tryptophan are those who suffer from fructose malabsorption (14).

L-triptófano-2

The quality of our bedtime affects our ability to learn, memory and mood. One reason why you should not neglect it.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Kinga Cichewicz)

People who want to improve their sleep patterns can also take L-tryptophan supplements. Better sleep quality affects mood and moodiness. The length and quality of sleep have been linked to the maintenance of a positive mood (15). Pregnant women should avoid L-tryptophan supplements for the time being, because their effects on the baby have not yet been classified as "safe".

Decision: What types of L-tryptophan are there and which is right for you?

With L-tryptophan intake coming exclusively from food, there will usually be no overdose. But for people who need a higher concentration of this amino acid, the following options are on the market. The next few lines should help you make the best decision.

What distinguishes L-tryptophan in capsules and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

When taking the L-tryptophan amino acid in capsules, the substance is better absorbed by our bodies.

Advantages
  • Easy to transport
  • Robust packaging
  • Easy dosage without having to weigh
Disadvantages
  • Sufficient liquid is necessary when taking the capsules

What are the advantages and disadvantages of powdered L-tryptophan?

When taking powder, it is also possible to mix it with yoghurt or muesli.

Advantages
  • Easy to transport
  • dosage can be adjusted
Disadvantages
  • Packaging can be torn
  • sufficient liquid is necessary when taking

What distinguishes L-tryptophan as an oral spray and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

You often need to shake it well before use so that the other ingredients are well mixed. The mouth spray works faster than another dosage form. The sprayed substance comes into contact with your oral mucosa immediately, which means there is no digestion process and the substance enters your bloodstream immediately.

Advantages
  • Space-saving packaging
  • Works much faster than powder or capsule
Disadvantages
  • For sleeping only
  • Not much choice on the market

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate L-tryptophan

Since this ingredient improves important functions of our body, you can find it on the market in various forms.

Purpose

If you are stressed about work or university and find it difficult to fall asleep, you can use the capsules, powder or oral spray. All three forms will improve the quality of your sleep. One important difference is that the mouth spray works faster because it doesn't have to be digested first like the other forms.

Dosage

Since the correct dosage depends greatly on your body composition, age and weight, it is not the same for everyone. If you decide to take the powder, you can calculate it yourself and take the exact amount. With capsules, the daily requirement is already determined and you are therefore less flexible with the dosage.

Dosage form

All three options have their advantages and disadvantages, which have already been explained above. Only your opinion is important here. Some people don't get on with the capsules and for others it's no problem. So just choose the option that suits you best.

Facts worth knowing about L-tryptophan

Which foods contain L-tryptophan?

L-tryptophan is one of the amino acids that can be supplied by certain foods or preparations, because our body cannot produce it itself. Certain foods have higher levels of L-tryptophan and we have listed these for you in a table with their corresponding concentration.

Food L-tryptophan (mg) content per 100 grams
bran 250
oatmeal 190
millet 180
lima beans 300
soya beans 450
tuna 300
mackerel 270
salmon 260
pork liver 310
pork 300
ham 294

(source: vitalstoff-lexikon. de).de) (16).

Fruits and vegetables usually contain little L-tryptophan. Some vegetables with higher L-tryptophan are kale with 64 mg and chanterelles with 48 mg.

When is the best time to take L-tryptophan?

Los fabricantes de suplementos de L-triptófano tienen una recomendación escrita en el empaque o en su sitio web. Por lo general, recomiendan tomar los suplementos o cápsulas 30 minutos o justo antes de acostarse.

Fuente de la imagen: Piotrkt / 123rf.com

References (16)

1. Autoren: Dawn M Richard, Michael A Dawes, Charles W Mathias, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, and Donald M Dougherty
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2. Autor: Hartmann E, Spinweber CL.
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3. Autor: Schmidt HS.
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4. Autor: Schmidt HS.
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5. Autor: Wurtman JJ, Brzezinski A, Wurtman RJ, Laferrere B.
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6. Autor: Strain GW, Strain JJ, Zumoff B.
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7. Autor: Wurtman RJ, Wurtman JJ.
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8. Autor: Buhot MC, Martin, S.
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9. Autor: United Nations University
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10. Autor: Hartmann E, Spinweber CL.
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11. Autor: Schmidt HS.
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12. Autor: Volpie-Abadie, J., Kaye A.
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13. Autor: Dowlati Y, Ravindran AV, Maheux M, Steiner M, Stewart DE, Meyer JH.
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14. Autor: Ledochowski M, Widner B, Propst-Braunsteiner T, Vogel W, Sperner-Unterweger B, Fuchs D.
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15. Autor: Silber BY1, Schmitt JA.
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16. Autor: Doc Medicus
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L-Tryptophan: Basic Metabolic Functions, Behavioral Research and Therapeutic Indications
Autoren: Dawn M Richard, Michael A Dawes, Charles W Mathias, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, and Donald M Dougherty
Go to source
Sleep induced by L-tryptophan. Effect of dosages within the normal dietary intake
Autor: Hartmann E, Spinweber CL.
Go to source
L-tryptophan: effects on daytime sleep latency and the waking EEG.
Autor: Schmidt HS.
Go to source
L-tryptophan in the treatment of impaired respiration in sleep
Autor: Schmidt HS.
Go to source
Effect of nutrient intake on premenstrual depression
Autor: Wurtman JJ, Brzezinski A, Wurtman RJ, Laferrere B.
Go to source
L-tryptophan does not increase weight loss in carbohydrate-craving obese subjects
Autor: Strain GW, Strain JJ, Zumoff B.
Go to source
Carbohydrate craving, obesity and brain serotonin
Autor: Wurtman RJ, Wurtman JJ.
Go to source
Role of serotonin in memory impairment
Autor: Buhot MC, Martin, S.
Go to source
Recent 24-hour tracer studies of amino acid requirements
Autor: United Nations University
Go to source
Sleep induced by L-tryptophan. Effect of dosages within the normal dietary intake.
Autor: Hartmann E, Spinweber CL.
Go to source
L-tryptophan in the treatment of impaired respiration in sleep.
Autor: Schmidt HS.
Go to source
Serotonin Syndrome
Autor: Volpie-Abadie, J., Kaye A.
Go to source
No effect of oral L-tryptophan or alpha-lactalbumin on total tryptophan levels in breast milk.
Autor: Dowlati Y, Ravindran AV, Maheux M, Steiner M, Stewart DE, Meyer JH.
Go to source
Fructose malabsorption is associated with decreased plasma tryptophan
Autor: Ledochowski M, Widner B, Propst-Braunsteiner T, Vogel W, Sperner-Unterweger B, Fuchs D.
Go to source
Effects of tryptophan loading on human cognition, mood, and sleep.
Autor: Silber BY1, Schmitt JA.
Go to source
Tryptophan-Gehalt – angegeben in mg – pro 100 g Lebensmittel
Autor: Doc Medicus
Go to source
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