Tyrosine

L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid (protein building block) that the body synthesizes from phenylalanine, another amino acid. Tyrosine is important to the structure of almost all proteins in the body. It is also the precursor of a few neurotransmitters, including L-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Tyrosine is also used by skin cells to produce the dark pigment melanin, which helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation in sunlight.

Dairy products, meats, fish, wheat, oats, and most other protein-containing foods contain tyrosine.

What it does

  1. Anti-Depressant: Tyrosine is a precursor to the mood elevating compound dopamine. When taken with 5-HTP it may alleviate mild depression.
  2. Appetite Supression: A deficiency of tyrosine may increase appetite, whereas excess tyrosine, (more than 20g daily) may decrease appetite.
  3. Cognitive Performance: Aside from dopamine, tyrosine converts into other stimulatory brain chemicals, such as noradrenaline (norepinephrine), which may ultimately enhance mental alertness. Tyrosine levels typically decline with age and low levels of tyrosine-derived neurotransmitters are seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Stress support: Tyrosine is required to manufacture stress-regulating hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline which are depleted during times of stress.
  5. Thyroid Hormone Synthesis: Tyrosine is required to manufacture thyroid hormones and may be of value as part of a programme in the management of hypothyroidism.

Potential Uses

Depression Stress

Mental fatigue

Cognitive performance Appetite control Hypothyroidism
PKU ( to offset deficiency of tyrosine)

Cautions

If you are taking MAOI medication, you have high blood pressure or melanoma, do not take tyrosine without first consulting your doctor.

Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

People with liver or kidney disease should consult their doctor before taking high level amino acid or protein supplements.

 

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