A healthy result should fall into the range 0.095 - 0.106 Ratio.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, a subunit in protein molecules and a precursor to serotonin. The brain uses tryptophan to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter largely responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being.

Tryptophan cannot be synthesised by the body and must be obtained through diet.

Tryptophan is a large, neutral amino acid (LNAA) that must compete with the other LNAAs including leucineisoleucinevalinephenylalanine, and threonine when crossing the blood-brain barrier. So these LNAAs can prevent tryptophan from entering the brain, resulting in low serotonin production. A high-protein meal, for example, leads to more amino acids in the bloodstream and more competition for tryptophan to enter the brain.

Hence, the Tryptophan/LNAA Ratio governs the amount of serotonin synthesis in the brain.

References:

– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20699195

– https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1601-5215.2010.00508.x

– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499331

– https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/food-and-mood

– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/

– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499331

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