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Serotonin precursor influenced by type of carbohydrate meal in healthy adults

Serotonin precursor influenced by type of carbohydrate meal in healthy adults

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 47(3): 433-439

We compared the effects on the ratio of plasma tryptophan to large neutral amino acids (trp:LNAA) of two different carbohydrate meals (sucrose or starch, 120 g) and a contrasting meal of fat + protein given at breakfast to 10 healthy adults. Plasma glucose and insulin were also measured. The trp:LNAA ratio rose after both carbohydrate meals (p less than 0.001). Glucose and insulin peaks were higher after sucrose than starch, and trp:LNAA rose correspondingly higher (sucrose +34% and starch +20%, p less than 0.05). The ratio declined 45% after the fat + protein meal. A 180 min, absolute ratio values were twofold higher after carbohydrate (sucrose 0.133 and starch 0.127) than after fat + protein (0.057). Similar results were found with the same meals given in the evening. Our results suggest that high-carbohydrate meals have an influence on serotonin synthesis. We predict that carbohydrates with a high glycemic index would have a greater serotoninergic effect than carbohydrates with a low glycemic index.(author)

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Accession: 002219622

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PMID: 3279747

DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/47.3.433

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