We have seen the news headlines for years and, undoubtedly, have all been involved in conversations around the Thanksgiving dinner table about the sluggish mood that the turkey heavy meal before us is about the induce. It turns out that L-Tryptophan does not, in fact, cause the feeling of drowsiness associated with Thanksgiving dinner. That is caused by the over-consumption of food in general and especially foods that are high in carbohydrates, causing the body to release an overabundance of insulin and triggering a biological chain of events that leads to drowsiness. Turkey, in fact, contains an average amount of L-Tryptophan when compared to other meats.
L-Tryptophan is, however, an essential amino acid – meaning the body is unable to produce it on its own and must obtain it from diet. The body, in turn, synthesizes L-Tryptophan into several vital compounds. These include serotonin, melatonin and niacin – each of which plays a role in mental health.
In other words, while thanksgiving turkey won’t make you sleepy – the L-Tryptophan found in it and in many other foods is a vital component of a quality diet for both you and your dog.
The impact of this important amino acid can often be found in how animals respond to their external environment. Most importantly, to things around them that they cannot control. In other words, times of stress – such as loud noises, strangers, car rides or unfamiliar places.
The most important role that L-Tryptophan plays in helping animals to manage external stresses is that of a precursor to serotonin. Most notably, serotonin is responsible for the regulation of mood, including feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
Many studies have found that serotonin reduces aggression and increases agreeableness. It stabilizes mood and promotes sleep. A recent study of 30 working dogs founds that L-Tryptophan supplementation decreased the frequency of stress related behaviors, such as barking and staring. Thus, it is important to ensure that the animals diet contains a sufficient amount of L-Tryptophan to support the production of serotonin and, ultimately, balanced mood and behavior.
Vet + Instinct Stress Support + Valerian is an excellent way to ensure that your pet is receiving an adequate amount of L-Tryptophan in their diet with the benefit of additional ingredients to support their response to external stress.