Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid mainly found in the gastrointestinal tract (90%), the blood cells (8%) and the brain (2%). After hydroxylation, tryptophan becomes 5-hydroxytryptophan, commonly known as 5-HTP, which is subsequently converted into serotonin by an enzyme called aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. This biotransformation occurs mainly in the liver and the brain. As tryptophan is an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the human body itself, it must be obtained from external sources. This amino acid mostly occurs in protein-rich foods like meat, fish and dairy products, but also in bananas, dates and peanuts.

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