Tryptophan isn’t just for Turkey lovers – It’s for Vegan lovers, too

Wow, that was a statement.

Vegans hear the statement around the fall holidays, “Too bad you don’t get Tryptophan, like us Turkey eaters!!” as they rub their bellies and flop on the couch for a post-meal rest.

Frankly, I feel a bit sleepy after preparing that huge meal for carnivores and vegans and consuming the charbohydrate laden vegan holiday meal. So, what’s up with that, Turkey!?!? Uh, we Vegans like our Turkeys roaming.

Uh, Neal Barnard, could you please explain this one – HELP!!

Well, he’s not really live here in my post, but I’ve been reading, Foods That Cause You To Lose Weight: The Negative Calorie Effect (1992) by Neal Barnard, M.D. and so feels like he is here to support my argument about Vegans being able to benefit from Trytophan during the holidays and other times of the year, i.e. 21 Day Vegan Kickstart.

Get your chemistry brain on now!

Chemistry Brain

Big Long Neal Barnard quote:

“…Carbohydrates break down in the body to sugars, which, in
turn, stimulate insulin secretion. Insulin is a hormone produced in the
pancreas. It helps get sugar out of the blood stream and into the cells of the
body. Now that is not all insulin does. It also helps amino acids, which are
the building blocks of protein, to get out of the  blood stream and into the cells.  So, after a carbohydrate-rich meal, insulin drives the sugar and the amino acids out of the blood and into the cells.

Now here is the interesting part: As the insulin drives the amino acids out of the blood, it leaves behind one particular amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan stays behind because it is stuck to the large carrier molecule. Without all the other amino acids around, tryptophan has less competition for getting into the brain. So the tryptophan passes into the brain, where it is converted to serotonin, which can alter moods, and cause sleepiness (Neal Barnard, M.D., 1992).”

So, there you go! Trypophan is for Vegan’s, too. If that was your 1st or 100th excuse for not joining PCRM’s 21 Vegan Kickstart – just join and drop the excuses.


Barnard, N.D., M.D., Brown, J., & Bates, D.R. (2009). Foods that cause you to lose weight: the negative calorie effect. McKinney, TX: Magni Group.


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