There are supposedly several benefits of L-tryptophan, but some have no reliable scientific basis. L-tryptophan is claimed to be useful for treating things such as depression, PMS, ADHD, and teeth grinding. It is also claimed to help enhance athletic performance and help people quit smoking. It is important to know, however, that these reported L-tryptophan benefits have not been confirmed with sufficient scientific evidence.
L-tryptophan (sometimes known as tryptophan) is an amino acid. It is essential for human nutrition, as the human body cannot produce L-tryptophan on its own. L-tryptophan supplements are sometimes claimed to be beneficial for treating the following conditions:
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Tourette syndrome.
L-tryptophan is also sometimes used to help people quit smoking and to enhance athletic performance.
Some of these reported L-tryptophan benefits are more valid than others (see Does Tryptophan Work? for more information), and some claims have no real scientific basis. As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of L-tryptophan are sometimes exaggerated, and such claims must be evaluated critically.
There is some concern that L-tryptophan supplements may not be safe for the general public (see Precautions and Warnings With L-Tryptophan for more information). For many people, the potential risks may outweigh the possible benefits of L-tryptophan.