Turkey Blog Post- The Effect of Tryptophan

Over Thanksgiving vacation, all of my extended family and I gathered at my aunt’s house to celebrate the holidays. My sister and I are the only girls in the midst of all of our boy cousins so we decided to use this fact to do an experiment. My sister and I did not eat turkey while my cousins did to test whether tryptophan, an amino acid present in turkey, makes you drowsy. A myth has always circulated that Tryptophan is the reason that people feel tired and sleepy upon eating a lot of turkey in traditional Thanksgiving meals. However, after an hour and a half of finishing the Thanksgiving dinner, I asked my boy cousins how tired they felt on a scale of 1 to 10. After careful thought, my four cousins gave me numbers of 5, 6, 6, and 7. Before asking my cousins, my sister and I number our tiredness as 5 and 6. After seeing the results, I concluded that tryptophan does not in fact cause drowsiness and is a myth that has been circulating the United States. Tryptophan does have a role in making people drowsy but the difference was not so drastic as to cause a big difference. I concluded that the amino acid may have different roles in different genders and that is why it did not have a major effect on the boys. Next Thanksgiving, my sister and I will switch roles with our boy cousins to see whether Tryptophan has a better effect on girls to make them more tired after eating turkey for Thanksgiving. 



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