L-Tryptophan the Obesity, Depression & ADD Silver Bullet Solution?

23 05 2019

Updated by Marc Woodard, 2/27/20

What is dietary Tryptophan and how can it help you lose weight and reduce anxiety?

It is one of the 8 essential amino acids our bodies require to function correctly. It is found naturally in varying degrees within food we eat, such as red meat, milk, eggs, turkey, bananas and chocolate, etc.

How does IMG_20130405_174848Tryptophan work to produce benefits for our bodies that could promote natural weight loss, reduce anxiety, increase happiness, remove depression, and promote good sleep? Could it be possible this essential amino acid supplemented within a diet and known as L-Tryptophan could also help with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) for you and your children?

The answers will surprise, anger and shock many of you about the health benefits our pharmaceutical industries don’t want you to fully realize. This is because the prescription industry is a billion (s) dollar industries that do not want to give up its prescription turf!

Ageless MirrorAthlete has all the consumer information you need and want now – live life to the fullest today!

Let’s first cover a bit of history. Back in 1991 the US government banned the dietary supplement L-Tryptophan because it was linked to a large outbreak of a deadly disease that killed 38 people in a 1989 study. After 10 years had passed without incident of use in Europe, the US loosened its marketing restriction on the substance in 2001. Like anything else, if misused any product may cause ill-health conditions. Like many competitive industries, and most specifically our pharmaceutical industries back in 1989, they took full advantage of this disaster and profited in the market place by denouncing L-Tryptophan supplementation and created a whole slew of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals to mimic the benefits of this essential amino acid.

As you will read below, there are still risks of using L-Tryptophan if not used correctly. But I believe the pharmaceutical cocktail mixes our doctors now prescribe to you and your children have greater risk to health than this natural occurring supplement found in a balanced diet. So instead of this industry improving a safe version of this supplement, it appears it was more profitable to create a whole lot of other products to achieve the same result at greater expense with increased health risk.

How does this amino acid work in our bodies to promote health benefits?

Our bodies need serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters which are bio-brain chemicals that allow proper function of our physiology. Our bodies do not manufacture these neurotransmitters without this amino acid in the diet. IMG_20130405_174935That’s what essential means… our body can’t produce this amino acid on its own, and it has to be obtained through the diet.

This is important why? Because without enough of this essential amino acid – any one of us stand a good chance of suffering from one, or any combination of ill-health condition of varying degree… such as, migraines, low energy, sleepless nights, improper weight regulation, obesity, depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.

If your diet is predominately low protein-high carbohydrate, you are at greater risk of ill-health. When dietary balance is one of high sugar-fat and low protein you reduce the uptake of essential nutrients needed to sustain balanced body chemicals and good health.IMG_20130405_175411

Fortunately, more consumers today are educated on proper use and benefits of L-Tryptophan. It is making a big comeback in the mainstream weight loss, anti-anxiety/depression and ADD marketplace.

As you can imagine there is big opposition to this movement from the pharmaceutical industry because there is much profit to be lost once consumers wean off unnecessary pharmaceuticals.

I’m not saying all man-made products are without merit. However, all too often, our physicians and psychiatrists are too quick to prescribe a pill when the answer to the problem could be very simple – a poor diet, or need to simply supplement the diet with an essential amino acid to stimulate the production of the necessary neurotransmitter chemical.

Can supplementing the diet with L-Tryptophan help us regulate and reduce weight?

Science shows this supplement can greatly reduce our cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.

When dieting our serotonin levels appear to decrease which creates a carbohydrate binging and cravings effect.

When our serotonin levels remain low there is a direct correlation with weight gain and obesity. We know this binging and craving effect as the Yo-Yo effect.

There are known side effects of taking L-Tryptophan if proper dosages and impure quality grade are not considered. Unlike Tryptophan extracted from the foods in our diet, there appears to be no health risk. But like anything else we put in our bodies, if you consume too much with frequency, a negative to no benefit effect can result making the body ill.

Here is a list of possible side effects when misusing, or using L-Tryptophan: Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome (EMS), or serotonin syndrome.  

Symptoms include severe muscle pain, fatigue, and nerve pain, hair loss, rash, dry thickened skin, or skin changes. High eosinophil levels are found in the blood when supplementation has gone wrong. Also when recommended dosages are disregarded, excess toxic waste in the body can impact the brain bringing on psychotic symptoms. This may include confusion, seeing, or hearing things, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, diarrhea, difficulty walking. Allergic reactions may include: Rash, hives, itching, swelling of mouth/throat, wheezing, or breathing difficulty. Science still cannot tell us if EMS is the result of impure or specific brand L-tryptophan that had contaminants. But for best results, it’s best to ensure a quality pharmaceutical grade for safe use.

If L-Tryptophan is supplemented within the right dosages, the scientific data shows the brain will manufacture balanced serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters promoting a cheerful mood, assist in weight reduction, relieve anxiety, reduce migraine, reduce hyperactivity, reduce depression and promote healthy sleep patterns. Sounds like the same benefits you’d receive from a doctor’s prescription, does it not? Because this supplement also has many potential risks like prescriptions; it would be prudent to work with your primary care physician if interested in supplementing the diet with L-Tryptophan.

This essential acid is also responsible for manufacturing the neurotransmitter Melatonin  [resulting in healthy sleep patterns]. Melatonin can be purchased over-the-counter in many retail stores.

I’ve used melatonin after working grave yard shifts and can tell you it works very well to induce sleep. But if you’re getting enough tryptophan from a balanced diet – sleepless nights may become less frequent. DSC00297Of course, bodies are all different in ability to process Tryptophan and manufacture serotonin and melatonin, so these dietary  truths and resulting effects will vary and affect each individual differently.

If you’d been advised to reduce the cholesterol in your diet, this may likely lead to a reduction of this essential amino acid. I have not supplemented my diet with L-Tryptophan, but would do so If I felt I couldn’t get this essential amino acid from the foods I eat daily.

Recommendations:

If you or your child suffer from ADD, obesity, anxiety, depression and insomnia, consider balanced diet and/or supplement with natural Trpytophan, or a high quality L-Trpytophan prescribed by a physician.

Understand there are literally thousands of Internet links and library resources on this topic. There is much to be interpreted and derived from the data I found outside of the two links listed below. I see the positive benefits of balanced diet and supplementation if needed. The pharmaceutical and psychiatric community does not share a similar enthusiasm over the benefits of supplementation.

Research the Internet and read up on diet Tryptophan versus supplement L-Tryptophan and how it may be your silver bullet to weaning off of pharmaceuticals and promoting a good health to meet your fit healthy and well-being goals.

Good health to you and your family!

Research Links:

http://www.weight-loss-center.net/L-tryptophan.html

http://mental-health.emedtv.com/l-tryptophan/l-tryptophan-side-effects.html

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2010-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





How Exercise and Weight Gain are Connected

21 12 2018

Updated:  2/28/2020, Marc Woodard

Although your favorite fitness guru or celebrity may be the picture of health and you want to look just like them…  Keep this in mind, they make a lot of money selling fitness products and services they don’t necessarily use; and may actually cause you to gain weight rather than lose it. Which may be just the opposite of a desired result you hope to achieve.

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance
Improve cardio Muscular endurance and fat burning results.

Regardless of exercise equipment and dietary products that guarantees weight loss by these professionals – The odds are not in your favor these programs will work long term for you. Why? Unless you have a customized fitness program relevant and specifically designed for your weight loss expectations, weight gain may be the result.

Relevant fitness programming should include individual lifestyle and cultural assessments that include: behavioral habits, medical condition/history, genetics, body type… fitness goals and expectation. For example, do you want to be body fat lean, increase muscle mass, or strength; improve cardio and/or muscular endurance and flexibility? The aforementioned assessments will help define, relate and apply a fitness program that’s right and will work for you.

For those whose fitness goal is to lose body fat – science shows us how exercise can add on pounds if other lifestyle factors are not considered within the programming process especially as we age. But for this exercise we’ll specifically focus on exercise and fuel source to burn more body fat weight.

It is interesting to note, regardless of the billions of dollars invested within the fitness industry our nations population is becoming fatter. So we are either becoming more sedentary, sick with disease, exercising incorrectly and/or our dietary and addictive habits – which also influence bad behavior.

Which is it? I say a combination of all the above. And this reality has a lot to do with not understanding the human anatomy and physiology and marketplace fitness and diet gimmicks that promise to fix us. In my opinion these health illiteracy issues should be addressed within our K-12 education system. If this occurred, future generations would learn to value a healthier lifestyle – which would help reduce the obesity and connected disease problems now plaguing the nation.

With that being said consider the following statistics.

45 million Americans now belong to health clubs, up from 23 million in 1993. We spend some $19 billion a year on gym memberships. One major study illustrates – The Minnesota Heart Survey found more of us say we exercise. From 1980 to 2000, 47% of respondents exercised regularly and then these figures increased to 57%, ending the 20 year survey. Even with 45 million people today using fitness centers obesity figures increased during this period. The Federal government’s definition of obesity classifies 1/3 of all Americans as obese. Those that participated in the survey admitted after they exercise, their hungrier and eat more. This is not to discount the notion that those who may not participate in gym activities may weigh more otherwise.

Let’s look at a significant study that specifically addresses the compensation effect on body after exercise and what this really means for your weight management program.

In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless, says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University, a prominent exercise researcher. Although exercise does burn calories, it also makes us hungrier. Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.

The compensation Problem “ The PLoS (Public Library of Science) published a remarkable study supervised by a colleague of Ravussin’s Dr. Timothy Church. Four groups totaling 464 overweight women who didn’t regularly exercise were selected for this study. Women in 3 of the groups worked with a personal trainer for 6 months; Group 1 exercised – 72 minutes/wk, Group 2 exercised- 136 minutes/wk and Group 3 exercised – 194 minutes/week. Although the study did not specify the exercise routines, one gets the notion exercises were balanced between aerobic and anaerobic activity with a personal assigned trainer.

The women in the 4th cluster did not change their lifestyle activities, but did fill out a monthly health questionnaire. The results were surprising. All groups of women lost weight, even the control group. It is most likely the control group through the use of monthly questionnaires learned more about their health and thereby modified their diets by eating fewer donuts, muffins, Starbucks coffee, for example. Some of the women in each group actually gained weight, some up to 10 pounds. Church calls this the compensation effect. Whether exercise made them hungry, or they wanted to reward themselves. Most of the women who exercised ate more than they did before they started the experiment!

Church states, we all need to move toward proper weight control, but stressing and depleting the body’s muscles in short bursts using stressful exercise is not necessarily the best way to loss body weight. Also the brain may feel greater entitlement to eat fast foods after we’ve exerted most of our high intensity energy at the gym. Instead, energy would have been better served by increasing daily activities like walking, healthy food shopping, preparing wholesome meals, gardening, a balanced mix using gym activities, walking, biking, etc.

[Quote excerpts posted above, Published by Time Magazine, August 17, 2009, Why Exercise Won’t Make you Thin, by John Cloud]

Exercise Science shows us anaerobic activity during weight lifting activities increases muscle mass with less stimulation of the fat burning metabolism. Muscle mass increases do occur when muscle bulking exercise out-paces aerobic fat burning exercise. The goal of burning more body fat weight requires a greater commitment to daily aerobic exercise activity within the low-medium intensity effort. So on a scale of 1-10 effort, if you exercise within a perceived physical exertion of ~4-7, you burn more body fat during aerobic exercise.

Optimizing weight loss results while toning the body requires a relevant fitness training program that will work for you. For example, if you find an aerobic exercise program you enjoy participating in daily, the odds are you’ll experience sustainable weight loss success.

Walk Daily with a Buddy

For nearly anyone who wants to lose more body fat weight without experiencing extreme hunger spikes, a low-medium intensity aerobic activity such as daily walking, jogging or biking and hiking will help achieve the objective. This is because our aerobic metabolism prefers burning fat fuel during low-intensity, long duration exercise. During high-intensity exercise, the body prefers burning carbohydrates. The carbohydrates present a limited fuel storage source compared to stored body fat. Once carbohydrate fuel is spent through high-intensity exercise – the body feels hungry.

Regardless of exercise program chosen,

Having a balanced and nutritious diet in place prior to starting an exercise program is important to achieve the weight loss results you desire.

 If your not sure how to custom design a fitness and nutrition program to achieve a natural weight loss objective  – might I suggest investing in a professional fitness trainer or fit healthy lifestyle consultant with a degree in Exercise Science/physiology.

Once the encompassing being [mind, body and spirit] achieves a sustainable fit healthy lifestyle balance of diet and daily exercise… achieving any fitness goal is possible. Including loss of unhealthy body weight that has a direct connection with illness and disease.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.