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Benefits of L-tryptophan in IV infusions & injections

L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning our bodies can’t produce it and we need to get it from food and other substances. Most people associate tryptophan with Thanksgiving Day and its reputation for inducing sleepiness after the feast. While studies have shown tryptophan can promote sleep in mammals,1 eating turkey isn’t likely to trigger this effect.

Tryptophan for sleep

Tryptophan helps sleep because your body uses it to make several important chemicals, including essential chemical messengers influencing your sleep.

Tryptophan is a precursor to two hormones associated with relaxation and sleep: serotonin and melatonin.

Most of the positive effects of tryptophan are due to its relationship with serotonin, an important neurotransmitter involved in many brain processes, including sleep, moods, and learning.

After consuming a tryptophan supplement or tryptophan-rich foods, your body converts tryptophan into 5-HTP, which in turn increases the production of both serotonin and melatonin.

Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle and is linked to other benefits like eye health, reducing tinnitus symptoms, and alleviating some types of heartburn.

Tryptophan influences levels of both serotonin and melatonin, and studies have shown increasing tryptophan levels in the blood can directly lead to an increase in both of these important sleep hormones.2

Tryptophan for anxiety

Because of its effect on serotonin (which plays a central role in mood regulation and anxiety), tryptophan is a well-known alternative remedy for general anxiety.

In one study, participants who consumed a high-tryptophan diet showed “significantly more positive affect scores” compared to those on a low-tryptophan diet.3

In another study, researchers studied patients with panic disorder and found depleted tryptophan corresponded to higher levels of anxiety.4

IV therapy is a fast, natural way to increase tryptophan levels because it sends hydration and beneficial nutrients directly to your bloodstream for full absorption. No time for a drip? Try our Anti-Stress Defense injection (takes less than a minute).

Tryptophan for weight loss

Tryptophan can promote weight loss because it increases serotonin, a natural appetite suppressant.

On the other hand, chronic stress can reduce serotonin, making it harder to control cravings and appetite.

Dieting may also contribute to low tryptophan levels. In one study, subjects on a very low-calorie diet were found to have depleted tryptophan5 (making it even more difficult to resist the urge to overeat).

Getting adequate tryptophan helps stabilize serotonin levels, which can make it easier to stick to a healthy nutrition plan for sustainable weight loss.


  1. Friedman M. Analysis, Nutrition, and Health Benefits of Tryptophan. Int J Tryptophan Res. 2018;11:1178646918802282. Published 2018 Sep 26. doi:10.1177/1178646918802282
  2. Hajak G, Huether G, Blanke J, et al. The influence of intravenous L-tryptophan on plasma melatonin and sleep in men. Pharmacopsychiatry. 1991;24(1):17-20. doi:10.1055/s-2007-1014427
  3. Lindseth G, Helland B, Caspers J. The effects of dietary tryptophan on affective disorders. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2015;29(2):102-107. doi:10.1016/j.apnu.2014.11.008
  4. Schruers K, Klaassen T, Pols H, Overbeek T, Deutz NE, Griez E. Effects of tryptophan depletion on carbon dioxide provoked panic in panic disorder patients. Psychiatry Res. 2000;93(3):179-187. doi:10.1016/s0165-1781(00)00117-7
  5. Smith KA, Williams C, Cowen PJ. Impaired regulation of brain serotonin function during dieting in women recovered from depression. Br J Psychiatry. 2000;176:72-75. doi:10.1192/bjp.176.1.72

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