Hormones #4

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Today for the “specials”

Tryptophan (an essential amino acid. This means it cannot be manufactured in our bodies and therefore has to be part of our diet)

It is not really a hormone but I class it in the same group because it elevates our Serotonin levels.  Serotonin effects our Insulin and our Growth Hormone. therfore it indirectly effects our Hormones


Insulin effects our glycaemic index and Growth Hormone effects the rejuvenation of our cells. Serotonin itself can sometimes have these same effects.

Tryptophan is essential for the production of Niacin. Niacin is on my list of top 10 supplements as it is a powerful anti inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the ways in which we age


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Impulsiveness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Over eating
  • Sugar cravings
  • Poor dreams – (this means you are not getting enough REM sleep. REM sleep is essential for cell rejuvenation therefore great skin, good functioning organs etc)


  • Prawns
  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Soy beans
  • Cod
  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Chickpeas
  • Spirulina
  • AND of course… Chocolate!!!

Yes Dairy products are high in Tryptophan. But you know my opinion about dairy (see previous post Almond milk)

When I go to bed at night I take a small amount of Bio identical Progesterone and a calcium and Magnesium supplement.
If I am having difficulty sleeping, jet lagged or have had a stressful day or just generally feeling blue I take 200mg of Tryptophan and I am out like a light with the best night sleep ever. This is because Tryptophan in addition to all its other benefits puts us into REM sleep (the good stuff) unlike sleeping tablets that just put us to sleep.

If I have the blues and we all have days like that especially dark, grey winter mornings I take 50mg of Tryptophan in the morning. You can aid its speed of absorption i.e. action by taking it with a tiny bit of honey (ideally Manuka, but any will do!)