Because a safe and effective L-tryptophan dosage has not been established at this point, it is important to follow dosing instructions on the label of your specific L-tryptophan product. Studies have used high L-tryptophan doses for insomnia treatment (1000 mg to 2500 mg daily) and premenstrual syndrome treatment (6000 mg per day), while lower doses (300 mg daily, in combination with antidepressants) were used for depression studies. However, it is not known if any of these doses are safe.
An Introduction to L-Tryptophan Dosage
L-tryptophan (also known as tryptophan) is an amino acid that is sometimes used in dietary supplements. It is important to note that unlike medications (for which the standard doses have been well established), there is less information available for determining the best dose for supplements, including L-tryptophan.
L-Tryptophan Supplementation Dosing
The best (safest and most effective) doses for L-tryptophan supplementation have not been clearly established. Studies have used a wide range of doses, too wide to make any recommendations for L-tryptophan dosing. Because little information is available to guide you in choosing an L-tryptophan dosage, be sure to follow the directions on your particular supplement.
Studies have used high L-tryptophan doses for insomnia treatment (1000 mg to 2500 mg daily) and premenstrual syndrome treatment (6000 mg per day), while lower doses (300 mg daily, in combination with antidepressants) were used for depression studies. It is not known if these doses are either safe or effective.
A safe maximum dose (known as the "tolerable upper intake level" or UL) for L-tryptophan has not been established due to the lack of safety information about long-term L-tryptophan supplementation and due to concerns about serious L-tryptophan side effects. In other words, it is not clear if any dose of L-tryptophan supplementation is safe.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 18, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2005. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=R1. Accessed March 18, 2008.
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