20221220T Day -1: W is for Tryptophan (Trp)


W is for Tryptophan, an essential amino acid encoded by only a single codon, UGG. Tryptophan is essential for the synthesis of serotonin, a molecule that plays a key role in many bodily functions, such as sexual desire, mood, focus, learning, cognition, sleep, body temperature, wound healing, bone health, nausea, digestion, and vasoconstriction, and blood clotting. An adult body requires about 250mg/day per 100 lbs of body weight (about 5 mg/kg of body weight). A normal adult diet supplies about 20 mg/kg of body weight. For example, 150 mg of Tryptophan can be found in the following servings:

  1. Cup of milk
  2. Cup of oatmeal
  3. Canned sardines (3 oz)
  4. Edamame (3 oz)
  5. Eggs (2)
  6. Hamburger patty (5 oz)
  7. Tofu (2 oz)
  8. Roasted turkey breast (2 oz)
  9. Tuna or Salmon fillet (1.5 oz)
  10. Steak, chicken, or lamb (1.5 oz)
  11. Seeds, for example pumpkin seeds (1 oz) and chia seeds (0.7 oz)
  12. Wheat germ (1 oz)
  13. Spirulina (0.5 oz)

An interesting study found that a high tryptophan diet had a positive impact on mood in healthy college students:

The results of this double-blinded, within-subjects study indicate that participants consuming higher levels of tryptophan (>10 mg/kg body weight/d) had significantly less depression and irritability and decreased anxiety than when they consumed lower levels of tryptophan (<5 mg/kg body weight/d). 

2014 Dec 9, The Effects of Dietary Tryptophan on Affective Disorders (https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.apnu.2014.11.008)

As we near the end of reviewing the encoded amino acids, the following genetic code diagram with chemical structures might be helpful.

From public domain: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GeneticCode21-version-2.svg

Author: J. Sands Loch

Student and teacher of reality in all its forms. I self-published my personal experience of discovering and trying to understand and use a model of reality based on the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Surfing the Multiverse: Finding Happiness One Universe at a Time Available on Kindle and from Amazon, and found in blog post form at: SurfingTheUniverse.com

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