axons, glial cells, dendrites

et_al at my-deja.com et_al at my-deja.com
Thu Sep 13 02:43:10 EST 2001

On Wed, 12 Sep 2001 16:06:24 +1000, "John H" <John at faraway.com.au>

>Be careful with tryptophan supplementation. Happened nearly two decades ago
>now, but some protein supplements were found to have v. high levels of
>tryptophan and this caused liver and kidney problems, severe problems.

Onset of illness from contaminated L-Tryptophan isn't confined the late
1980s. New cases are reported every year. The same applies to the L-T
metabolite 5-HTP.

Those wanting more information about the main illness produced by
L-Tryptophan/5-HTP contamination, Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome (EMS)
will find it here:  http://www.nemsn.org

The FDA maintains an adverse event registry listing the latest reports
from doctors about incidences involving OTC supplements at:

just enter trypophan and 5-HTP into the search engine box near the
bottom of the page.

That contaminated L-T is still being made is best illustrated by this
study into supplements available in Germany, which maintains a much more
proactive inspection regime for supplement testing than most countries. 

Simat TJ, Kleeberg KK, Muller B, Sierts A  (1999)
Department of Food Chemistry, University of Hamburg
"Synthesis, formation, and occurrence of contaminants in
biotechnologically manufactured L-tryptophan."
Adv Exp Med Biol; vol 467:p 469-80

They tested 22 L-Tryptophan supplements from 6 makers and found all were
contaminated, in some cases at 140 times the permitted level.  How they
determined a "safe' levels isn't clear, the FDA seems to believe there
probably isn't one.


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