Thursday, November 23, 2006


Does the tryptophan in turkey make you sleepy? Expert opinion suggests that it doesn't really. I'm not so sure. Would eating the same meal with chicken or roast beef instead of turkey really have the same soporific effect? My experience suggests that it wouldn't, but I'd like to see some real testing of the hypothesis. Meanwhile, I'll just sleep on it.

posted by Fido the Yak at 8:02 PM.


Blogger Moviegoer said...

It's not the tryptophan, it's the turkey's virtus dormitiva that makes us sleepy. =P

November 24, 2006 12:01 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

But of course! :-)

November 24, 2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Well, if it were the tryptophan, one would expect ham-and-swiss sandwiches to have an even stronger effect, because both ham and swiss cheese are high-tryptophan foods. (Per 100 grams of swiss cheese you get .4 grams of tryptphan, compared to only about .33 grams per 100 grams of turkey; most pork products are higher in tryptophan than turkey, weight for weight.)

Tryptophan is probably the culprit, but probably not the tryptophan in the turkey; instead, our bodies produce tryptophan when we eat meals that are too carbohydrate-rich (think not turkey but stuffing, potatoes, breads, pies, and the like). So to test the hypothesis you'd have to cut all that out and just eat the turkey.

November 24, 2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Hi, Brandon. You're probably correct, but I'm not going to test it by serving just turkey. The next experiment at our house will be a comparison of turkey tetrazini vs. shrimp pesto which will be on the menu next week. Now if I only had an objective drowsy-ometer...

November 25, 2006 10:58 AM  

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