Mental Health Home > L-Tryptophan

L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is found in many foods and is also used in dietary supplements. It is claimed to be beneficial for several conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. However, there is currently not enough evidence to confirm the effectiveness of L-tryptophan supplements for any use. Some possible side effects include indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea.

What Is L-Tryptophan?

L-tryptophan (also known as tryptophan) is an essential amino acid. This means that humans must obtain it from dietary sources -- the body cannot produce L-tryptophan. Even though it is found in many foods, L-tryptophan dietary supplements are also available. These supplements are claimed to be useful for treating a variety of conditions, such as:
(Click L-Tryptophan Benefits for more information on what the supplement is used for.)

Are There Side Effects?

Although it is a "natural" product, L-tryptophan can still cause side effects. Common side effects include:
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Belching and gas
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea.
(Click L-Tryptophan Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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