Tryptophan/5-HTP may help to address the following conditions:
5-HTP has been used by some alternative health practitioners to help treat alcoholism. However, alcohol should not be consumed within 6 hours of taking 5-HTP.
eating disorders
Tryptophan in combination with vitamin B6 was found in one study to help bulemics control obsessive eating. A similar study testing tryptophan alone did not find these results.
Tryptophan and 5-HTP help to relieve fibromyalgic pain, while relieving anxiety and insomnia, which are common symptoms of the condition.
Tryptophan and its relative 5-HTP are effective antidepressants for a large number of individuals. The amino acid tryptophan is metabolized into serotonin, the mood-elevating neurotransmitter so often manipulated by patent drugs, and has the advantage of near-immediate action for those it will help. Tryptophan is effective against seasonal affective disorder.
Down syndrome
Infants with Down's syndrome have shown improved muscle tone after supplementation with tryptophan.
sleep disorders
Tryptophan is a nutritional sleep aid that doubles as an quick-acting antidepressant. The amino acid has also been used to control sleep paralysis without the prescription drug amitriptyline.
obsessive-compulsive disorder
Tryptophan may be useful in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to some reports.
premenstrual syndrome
Tryptophan can help to ease premenstrual depression and anxiety.
seasonal affective disorder
Tryptophan can help those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other mild forms of depression. Some believe SAD is really a tryptophan deficiency disease.
Tourette syndrome
It is not yet known whether tryptophan supplementation will help Tourette's patients, but the following facts create cause for hope: (1) Tourette's syndrome is accompanied by low blood serotonin and tryptophan levels; (2) behavioral symptoms associated with these deficiencies are similar to those seen in Tourette's; and (3) tryptophan supplements have helped those with obsessive compulsive disorder, which shares many characteristics of Tourette's.

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