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TRYPTOPHAN – Essential Amino Acid which is sleep inducing.

Out of all essential amino acids, tryptophan plays a significant role in the synthesis of one of the B-complex group of vitamins called niacin or nicotinic acid. In the human system, an average of about 1 mg of niacin is formed from 60 mg of dietary tryptophan.
This amino acid is also essential for blood clotting and formation of digestive juices. It induces sleep and relaxes the nervous system. It wards off signs of premature ageing, such as cataract of the eyes, baldness, deterioration of sex gland functioning, and malformation of tooth enamel.
Tryptophan is also important as a major precursor of the transmitter amine, serotinin, in the central nervous system.

The failure of absorption of tryptophan in cases of intestinal disorders can cause increased sensitivity to light, leading to excessive scaling of the skin on exposure to the sun. A deficiency of tryptophan and niacin causes pellagra, a deficiency disease characterized by three Ds: dermatitis, diarrhoea, dementia.

Generally, all seeds, nuts, and most vegetables contain tryptophan. The best sources of this amino acid, however, are bajra, barley, finger millet, colocasia, sweet potatoes, cashew nuts, mangoes, papayas, and milk.

Tryptophan can be used as a safe and effective food remedy for certain ailments, especially insomnia and emotional complaints.

INSOMNIA : Tryptophan is a precursor of serotinin which is regarded as an effective sleep inducing agent. Its great advantage is that not only do you get to sleep sooner, but you do so without distortions in sleep patterns that are produced by most sleeping pills. It has been found that tryptophan is an effective hypnotic when administered at any time of the day, and that it significantly reduces the time of onset of sleep without affecting the various stages of sleep.
ACHES AND PAIN : Tryptophan is regarded as a natural painkiller.
EMOTIONAL COMPLAINTS : Increasing the tryptophan intake decreases the number and severity of emotional complaints. Tryptophan is best taken between meals with a low protein food such as fruit juice or bread.
TOOTH DECAY : Tryptophan can prevent tooth decay. It slows down the rate of starch decomposition. It was previously noted that there was a definite relationship between tooth decay and rate of starch decomposition. Persons with twenty or more cavities were found to produce saliva which decomposed starchy food very rapidly. Persons with little or no tooth decay produced saliva which decomposed starch very slowly. Thus, if tryptophan in some form could slow down the rate of carbohydrate decomposition, then in all likelihood, the rate of tooth decay could also be greatly lessened.

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