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054: If my tryptophan is low, and I'm on a low-carb diet, would you recommend 5-HTP supplements or tryptophan supplements or both?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 54

Introduction

Question: If my tryptophan is low, and I'm on a low-carb diet, would you recommend 5-HTP supplements or tryptophan supplements or both?

There are multiple reasons why tryptophan could be low. It could be that you are not eating enough protein, or it could be that you have a high utilization of the tryptophan. I would look in the test and see if the 5-hydroxyindoleacetate is elevated — because if it is, then that would suggest high serotonin production, and that might explain the low tryptophan.

If that is the case, you may want to look into other explanations. In this particular case, we have talked about high estrogen levels and how they might be one of those things. In which case the root cause is the high estrogen levels and you need to address it at that level.

Repleting the tryptophan maybe isn't necessarily the goal unless you have symptoms that are related to low tryptophan levels. If you're overproducing serotonin, if anything, you might have symptoms that are more related to high serotonin levels. 

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
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Authors
Chris Masterjohn, PhD