Happy Thanksgiving! I thought I’d post and give everyone some ammunition for the inevitable arguments with distant relatives over the cause of post-turkey sleepiness:
- Myth: Eating turkey makes you sleepy – discusses the sleep-inducing property of purified tryptophan, but points out that Turkey isn’t particularly rich in this amino acid.
- Is there something in turkey that makes you sleepy? – discusses the pathway from tryptophan to niacin and then to serotonin, and points out the obvious cause of post-Thanksgiving drowsiness: heavy carbohydrate consumption and alcohol.
- The Big Sleep – points out that milk, beans, and beef are richer in tryptophan than is Turkey, but also mentions the FDA’s ban on L-tryptophan supplements due to an outbreak of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome in 1989.
- Thanksgiving, Turkey, and Tryptophan – the ACS weighs in with the actual metabolic pathway between tryptophan and serotonin
Have a great feast but don’t blame the turkey for your sleepiness.
[tags]turkey, tryptophan, urban legends[/tags]