I know that tryptophan is the precursor to buy melatonin – but what does that mean? Can someone put it into simpler terms for me please?
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (you must obtain it through your diet.) Like you pointed out, it is a precursor to melatonin. “Precursor” implies that something comes before something else, right? In this sense, tryptophan comes before melatonin when your body makes melatonin.
Look at it this way. In chemistry, you take some chemicals, mix them together, and you get new chemicals. In the same way, your body does a series of chemical reactions that start with tryptophan and end with melatonin. (In the body, chemical reactions are mediated by enzymes.)
If you make a door, you start with a tree. Then you cut down the tree to make a log. From the log, you cut out a piece of wood roughly in the shape of the door. You sand it down to make it nice. Add a doorknob and some hinges, and you have a door. The door represents melatonin, and the tree is the same thing as tryptophan.
Here is how tryptohan eventually becomes melatonin… I have also included the enzymes that achieve this:
Tryptophan is converted to 5-hydroxyltryptophan by the enzyme Tryptophan Oxidase.
Aromatic Amino Acid Decarboxylase takes 5-hydroxyltryptophan and makes seratonin (as in SSRI medications for depression.)
Seratonin is converted into N-acetyl-5-hydroxytryptamine by the enzyme N-Acetyltransferase.
Finally, N-acetyl-5-hydroxytryptamine is taken to melatonin by the action of the enzyme O-Methyltransferase.
Tryptophan is an important precursor to many, many kinds of compounds in the body. Like I said, it can make serotonin. Receptors that bind this also bind drugs like mescaline, MDMA, and DMT.
Melatonin is involved in estruses control (AKA the menstrual cycle.) It is also thought to be involved in the natural mediation of sleep. Melatonin sleeping supplement affects the circadian rhythm and is potentially a weak sedative-hypnotic.
I hope this clarifies the issue.
Difference Between Melatonin and Tryptophan
TryptoPhan Four Molecules in ONE! See how the brain works? It uses the skeleton of molecules to make them do many different things conveying messages between synapes in the brain! Dopamine…Melatonin….see how these are all related to your mood?! Sleep Feeling good…..