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Journal abstracts: Twenty-four-hour Plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios are below normal in obese subjects and are not normalized by substantial weight reduction.

BACKGROUND: Plasma tryptophan concentrations and the ratio of tryptophan to other large neutral amino acids (plasma tryptophan ratio) are reportedly low in obese subjects. The plasma tryptophan ratio predicts brain tryptophan uptake and serotonin production. If this ratio is low in obese subjects, serotonin function may also be low. Plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios have been measured only at single time points in obese subjects; it is not known whether low values for these 2 variables persist throughout a 24-h period. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine whether plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios in obese subjects are lower than those in normal-weight subjects throughout a 24-h period and whether they increase when body weight is reduced. DESIGN: Plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios were examined in obese subjects before and after weight loss and in nonobese control subjects. Blood samples were drawn frequently throughout the 24-h period. An insulin tolerance test was also used to determine whether weight loss altered the ability of insulin to modify plasma concentrations of tryptophan and of the other large neutral amino acids. RESULTS: Plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios in obese subjects were low at all times; these effects persisted after weight reduction. Plasma concentrations of all the large neutral amino acids decreased during insulin infusion in all the groups. CONCLUSIONS: The low 24-h plasma tryptophan ratios in obese and formerly obese subjects suggest that brain tryptophan uptake may be continuously diminished and may remain below normal despite weight reduction.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1112-8

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Title Annotation:Saffron
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2010
Words:253
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