(started 4/2009)

Trytophan in bipolar disorder? What is known?

This page is just a beginning. Not enough is known, that’s sure. But here is a really interesting case history:

A 44-year old man with repeated episodes of depression found that his mood was well maintained by taking tryptophan at 1.5 grams per day (a relatively low dose, one which we commonly used to use in the old days before tryptophan was removed from the market in the United States. after some years, he was able to stop it entirely. When and episode began, he would take that same dose, and this would prevent the episode from progressing. However, at one point he came backin a sustained depression.

In the meantime, his physician had learned about a unique source of tryptophan from another patient (a colleague physician) pumpkin seeds. According to this article, a 250 g bag of pumpkin seeds, about half a pound, contains about 1300 mg of tryptophan. That seems like a lot of pumpkin seeds to me, but when this patient if those seeds, his mood improved rapidly. He “felt quite transformed”.

While I am waiting to accumulate other information about tryptophan in the treatment of complex depressions, you may wish to see this article for yourself. Here is a link.