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An essential amino acid, which has several crucial roles. It's main benefit in the body is creating serotonin, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter - a brain chemical that conveys calming messages between brain cells.
Serotonin induces sleep at night and relaxation during the day. The form of trytophan currently available from health food stores is 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), derived from the beans of an African bush, Griffonia Simplicifolia.
If buying any variety of tryptophan from health food shops, ensure that it hasn't been made with any GM crops, as a 1989 batch, made by this method, caused the deaths of 30 people in the U.S. and afflicted thousands of others with a rare blood disorder. See 'Genetically Modified Foods'