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Anti-aging Tryptophan

Tryptophan is one of the 20 amino acids in the genetic code (codon UGG), and is one of the eight essential amino acids found in the human diet such as bananas, beans, brewer’s yeast, cottage cheese, dairy products, turkey etc.

Its main function is to act as a building block in protein synthesis, and the production of vitamin B3 (niacin), which is vital for the brain to manufacture serotonin – believed to play an important role in the biochemistry of depression, migraine, bipolar disorder and anxiety, and influential on sexuality and appetite.

Tryptophan plays and important role in anti-aging skin care because it also boosts the release of growth hormones by producing vitamin B3 (niacin). Vitamin B3 helps form chemicals which are involved in the release of energy from food such as coenzymes NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate). This is crucial for the release of energy in tissues and cells.

Since a typical diet provides only 1 to 1.5 grams of Tryptophan per day, there is much competition in the body for this scarce chemical in the body, and in people with low to moderate intakes of vitamin B3, Tryptophan may be used by the liver to make B3 at a ratio of 60mg Tryptophan to one mg B3.

Intake of Tryptophan is important in anti-aging skin care because Vitamin B3, Niacin, Niacinamide, or Nicotinic Acid, is also essential for maintaining healthy skin and normal growth, and a healthy nervous and digestive system. It is also helpful in the production of bile salts, the synthesis of sex hormones, and the raising of beneficial HDL cholesterol levels while lowering lower “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Pellagra is a common condition caused by deficiency of Tryptophan. The symptoms include dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin such as Eczema. So in order to maintain a healthy and young skin, Tryptophan becomes a very vital component in one’s diet. Therapeutic doses range from 1.5 to 6g per day and depending upon need.

Risks of taking Tryptophan include CNS (central nervous system) excitation for those under monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO’s). Kidney or liver patients should also be cautious before taking Tryptophan. High dosage of Tryptophan or Vitamin B may also cause ‘niacin flush’, which causes the skin to turn red (flush), tingle, or burn in the areas of the face and chest. Time-release niacin forms may also lead to liver damage.

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