Yeesh, I post ONE thing on tryptophan and everyone’s all like “excessive daytime sleepiness!” Oy. So let’s be straight here. Turkey contains tryptophan. So does chicken. So does beef. So does anything containing proteins, because tryptophan is an amino acid that is one of the building blocks of larger proteins. It contains it in roughly equal proportions compared to other amino acids, and thus, eating turkey is not going to give you way more tryptophan than anything else. Also, I would not encourage anyone to take in higher amounts of tryptophan than normal, because that is silly.
I also want to say that I don’t think the tryptophan in turkey is what causes excessive sleepiness after Thanksgiving meal ingestion. For reasons behind this, see this excellent article from Adventures in Ethics and Science. After all, haven’t we all experienced a “food coma”? You eat a big carb meals (mmm…pasta…breakfast of champions) and the next thing you know, you’re falling asleep over your computer trying to workbecausethisthing is duetomorrow…zzzzzzz….*wha*? sorry? Right. Anyway. Heavy eating of foods with high glycemic index (masshed sweet potatoes and pie, anyone?) causes changes in bloodflow (as your body lovingly cradles your stomach), as well as release of hormones in the parasympathetic nervous system which leads to “post-prandial somnolence“. So don’t blame the turkey, what did it ever do to you?
Also, there’s a new blog ’round here! “What’s new in life science research”. It will be covering the current biggest topics in biotechnology, including stem cells! The latest posts are already up, and it’s a great read! I recommend. Some familiar faces over there.
And now it’s almost dinnertime, and I’m off to get quickly into my own food-coma amongst a plethora of family members, dogs, cats, and significant others. Mmmmm. Happy Thanksgiving!
Filed under: Synaptic Misfires