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Meat in the Diet
By Dr. Neil Nedley

            Getting enough tryptophan is not the only nutritional factor in serotonin produc­tion. As stated in The Importance of Serotonin, five large amino acids compete against tryp­tophan in traveling to the brain. A food that contains a large total amount of these five amino acids will reduce the flow of tryp­tophan to the brain. Thus, if our diet is moderate in tryptophan but high in those five amino acids, we may still develop a tryp­tophan deficiency in the frontal lobe of the brain. The amount of tryptophan compared to the amount of the five amino acids is the critical yardstick.

            Foods with high ratios of tryptophan 10 these five competitors are shown in Fig­ure 2.


Figure 2 shows that whole milk has a low amount of tryptophan compared to the five amino acids. It also contains a very little quantity of tryptophan, as shown in Fig­ure 1. These factors work together to ren­der milk of less value in supplying the brain with tryptophan.

Tofu, however, is in sharp contrast to whole milk. It has a high amount of tryp­tophan relative to the five amino acids, and a high quantity of tryptophan. This makes it an excellent food for supplying a high quantity of tryptophan to the brain, which enhances the production of serotonin, which in turn combats depression.

Once sufficient tryptophan is in the brain, other lifestyle issues are crucial in the production of serotonin.

DepressionFrom the book
Depression, the Way Out,
Nedley  Publishing, Ardmore, OK, 2001


Neil Nedley, M.D.,
Nedley Health Solutions
P. O. Box 1565
Ardmore, OK 73402

Toll-free: 1-888-778-4445
Phone: 1-580-226-8007
Fax: 1-580-223-2645