Depression
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Explain how tryptofan factors into depression.

I've heard a little about it, but want to know more.

Asked 9 years ago by TBrown
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Posted 9 years ago

Tryptofan is ingested into the body through food (like turkey, milk, cheese, pumpkin seeds and legumes) and raises serotonin levels in the brain. You can eat foods that contain tryptofan or take a supplement, but it can be helpful to raise the serotonin levels which are often low in depressed individuals. Some people who go without enough of the aforementioned foods or taking a supplement may show lowered levels of serotonin, and may very well be prone to depression. The person who posted a pervious question about whether being vegan can cause depression would be interested to read this as many people on a vegan diet might find they are low in serotonin. But remember, everyone is different and one person eating a vegan diet could have perfectly normal levels of serotonin and show no symptoms of depression and someone who eats turkey daily and drinks milk might still have low levels and might be depressed. That's the difficulty in treating depression; everyone's is different! If you think you're suffering from depression though, go ahead and eat some of the aforementioned foods, they just might help!

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