Term: tryptophan (Trp W)
Literally meaning: “to be broken and to appear”
Origin: Anc Greek
τρίβω/trivo (=to rub, to powder, to grind) > (simple past) ἔτριψα/etripsα >τρύω/tryo(=to puncture)
φαίνω/pheno(=be visible, or obvious, show)
Tryptophan discovered by Frederick Hopkins (1861-1947) through casein hydrolysis. Hopkins was first who referred to those amino acids that are not manufactured by body and they must be taken by diet. The name of tryptophan was first used by Neumeister in 1890 concerning the substance present in tryptic digests of proteins.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (cannot be synthesized by the organism) which contains an indole functional group. It is precursor for the serotonin (neurotransmitter) auxin (phytohormone) and niacin (vitamin). It is found in foods such as chocolate, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, sesame seeds, dried spirulina and bananas.