Institute for Optimum Nutrition

Institute for Optimum Nutrition

March 15, 2005 06:21 ET

The Institute for Optimum Nutrition proves to be the main mover in removing the ban on Tryptophan, used by millions as a cure for insomnia.



MARCH 15, 2005 - 06:21 ET

The Institute for Optimum Nutrition proves to be the
main mover in removing the ban on Tryptophan, used by
millions as a cure for insomnia.

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Mar. 15, 2005) - In 1989, a link was
established between Tryptophan supplements and a fatal outbreak of
Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome (EMS), and this led to legislation in
1990, following advice by the Food Standards Agency, restricting the
amino acid tryptophan from being added or supplied as a supplement to
foods. Tryptophan is an important supplement as it helps insomnia, and
is also a great converter of serotonin, which effectively counters
depression and associated ills.

The Institute for Optimum Nutrition was not convinced of the reported
link between Tryptophan and EMS, as 30 million consumers had used this
supplement with less than 10 cases of EMS ever being reported. The
Institute, which is the premier nutritional health education provider in
the United Kingdom, conducted a comprehensive study into the reported
problems with tryptophan, and could find no real evidence of a causal
link. However, it is the case that the available evidence shows that a
batch of contaminated L-tryptophan produced in Japan may well have
caused the outbreak of EMS, but that uncontaminated tryptophan is safe.

After strong representations from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition,
together with submission of a comprehensive report produced in Autumn
2002, which included evidence from Europe and the USA, the Government's
Committee on Toxicology of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the
Environment undertook a formal review. The conclusions of this
Committee have just been announced, and they rule that L-tryptophan
supplements do not in fact present an appreciable risk to health in
their uncontaminated form. Accordingly, the Foods Standards Agency has
ruled that L-tryptophan can be marketed once again as a supplement.

Adam Porter-Blake, Executive Director of The Institute for Optimum
Nutrition commented, "We are glad to have been able to contribute in
such a measurable way in overturning what we believed to be unjust
legislation. Many suffers from insomnia will be grateful indeed that
they can once again take this supplement"...ENDS

Notes to Editors:

* The Institute for Optimum Nutrition is a charity established in 1984
by Patrick Holford, the highly respected nutritionist. ION's aims
include the advancement of the knowledge and practice of nutritional
therapy, and the generation of awareness of the importance of nutrition
amongst the health professionals, and the public at large.

* The ION provides a range of courses and other tools to increase
understanding of good nutrition - please see our Website

* A copy of our full submission to the Food Standards Agency is
available from us on request.

* For further information, please contact ION's Press Office on 020 8877
9993 extension 217, or e-mail


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