L-tyrosine, also known as, 4-hydroxyphenylalanine, is one of the 22 amino acids that are the primary building blocks of protein. The human body produces L-tyrosine with the help of another amino acid – phenylalanine.
The term “tyrosine” is a Greek word which literally means “cheese”. This supplement was originally discovered from casein – a cheese protein – in 1846. It is generally found in many high-protein food items such as cheese, chicken, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, yogurt, avocados, almonds, bananas, meat, and fish.
Tyrosine directly affects the parts of your brain which improve various cognitive functions. It enhances your learning prowess, memory power, and your concentration levels. Furthermore, it helps in the production of more neurotransmitters in the body.
L-tyrosine is produced in your body naturally. Therefore, you don’t have to consume additional L-tyrosine to maintain its quantity.
How much L-tyrosine per day?
Medical research shows that you can take L-tyrosine up to 12 grams a day. However, doctors and nutritionists do not recommend taking such high doses as it can give rise to a number of health concerns.
You should consume food items and medical foods with 4 to 6 grams of L-tyrosine on a regular basis. Women with PKU condition (phenylketonuria) as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume food items that have 6 to 7.6 grams of L-tyrosine daily.
People with PKU condition are also advised not to take additional free L-tyrosine supplements. Doing so can lead to the occurrence of high-quantity of tyrosine in the blood which may cause some serious side-effects.
- May help in reducing stress.
- Helps in improvement of cognitive functions.
- It under cold, fatigue, prolonged work, and even sleep deprivation.
The human body uses L-tyrosine to make chemical messengers in your brain. These chemical messengers can help you become more alert and focused.
How does L-tyrosine work?
L-tyrosine increases the production of effective neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine within our bodies. By allowing the production of these neurotransmitters (also known as catecholamines) our brain is able to process and function properly. In other words, these neurotransmitters aid in the proper functioning of the brain which helps us to stay attentive focused and alert.
For L-tyrosine to provide its benefits, it needs to be converted into catecholamines. L-tyrosine has to go through two significant steps. Firstly, it needs to be converted into dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA). Then an enzyme – a form of a decarboxylase helps to convert DOPA into one of the three catecholamines.
As soon as we consume L-tyrosine, our body produces and synthesizes new chemicals and hormones. One of them is Melanin – a pigment necessary for fresh skin and fast hair growth.
For body builders, the intake of protein is significant as it accelerates muscle growth. And one of the main building blocks of protein is the amino acid.
Amino acids are not solely responsible for promoting muscle gain but they enhance various bodily functions, whether you take them alone or in combination of other supplements.
There are about 80 amino acids present in our body, out of which 20 are used by the human body. But all these 20 amino acids are essential for the body to function properly. We can find these amino acids in food items like meat, fish, soy, eggs, whey, and casein.
However, each food item contains different types of protein and different amounts of amino acids. Since it is unlikely to eat a variety of high-protein food every day, protein supplements can make for a better alternative.
You can consume individual amino acids in concentrated doses as supplements. This way, they are able to perform functions that extend beyond muscle-making. One of the amino acids that you can consume in the form of supplements for muscle gain is L-tyrosine.
L-tyrosine acts as a stimulant that boosts the production of nor-epinephrine in your body. Nor-epinephrine is a hormone that aids in fat loss and controls appetite. Owing to its metabolism-boosting ability, L-tyrosine is regarded as a thermogenic.
Moreover, L-tyrosine supplements help to elevate energy. If your energy levels are low, you can have 1 to 2 grams of L-tyrosine on an empty stomach, twice a day. This will buckle you up for your training session. Make sure that you take this dose of L-tyrosine an hour before your body-building session.
L-tyrosine plays a key role in the production of a group of neurotransmitters (known as the catecholamines). The three neurotransmitters are dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and epinephrine.
However, stress can damage the growth of these neurotransmitters, affecting the performance of your cognitive department. The maintenance of these neurotransmitters is quite important as they play a key role in enhancing different body functions.
Dopamine plays a critical role in mood, sleep, memory, and focus while nor-epinephrine increases muscle strength and mental alertness. You can enhance the prowess of your brain with the help of L-tyrosine supplements. They decrease stress symptoms and enhance the production of essential neurotransmitters.
1. Phenylketonuria (PKU)
People with the condition of PKU are unable to synthesize phenylalanine – an amino acid. Your body system uses phenylalanine to make L-tyrosine. This is one of the primary reasons why people with PKU have low levels of tyrosine in their body.
To maintain the right level of L-tyrosine in the body, people with PKU should consume food items that contain high levels of L-tyrosine but phenylalanine is present in very small quantity.
2. Accelerates Mental Performance
Various studies show that L-tyrosine can enhance the production of norepinephrine, especially during stressful conditions when levels of norepinephrine can drop considerably.
In a rat study, rats got L-tyrosine injection and then they were given an electric shock. They showed no strange behavioral change and their levels of norepinephrine also remained constant. On the other hand, those who were not given L-tyrosine supplements showed an adverse behavior change during stressful conditions. There was also a decrease in their norepinephrine levels.
3. Improves Memory
L-tyrosine supplements enhance levels of dopamine and adrenaline in the brain. Both of these neurotransmitters possess the ability to improve memory power.
In one study, participants with cold stress had to utilize their cognitive power after the consumption L-tyrosine supplements. The study found an improvement in the memory of these participants.
L-tyrosine can also prevent neurological decline. In stressful situations, people generally tend to panic more and concentrate less on solving the problem. However, with the intake of L-tyrosine, people are able to deal with problematic situations in far better ways as they begin to focus on solving problems rather than constantly worrying about the situation.
4. Improves Alertness
The consumption of L-tyrosine can help sleep-deprived people to stay alert. Research shows that L-tyrosine can help people who have miss out on their night’s sleep to stay focused for about 3 hours longer than they normally would.
Generally, we are unable to concentrate better when sleep-deprived. However, L-tyrosine can come to the rescue and help you stay attentive.
1. Treats Depression
According to a case, a 30-year-old woman suffering from depression showed an improvement in her behavior after L-tyrosine therapy. Patients who had placebo treatments also showed an improvement but their depression symptoms returned back after a while.
You should note that L-tyrosine is able to treat depression among patients who have low dopamine and norepinephrine levels only. In another study, L-tyrosine was unable to work as an anti-depressant because patients who were suffering from depression had well-maintained dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Depression can occur due to other important factors as well which apparently L-tyrosine cannot treat.
2. Improves Attention Deficient Disorder
In a clinical study, 12 adults suffering from attention deficient disorder were able to show positive results. Their attention capacity was considerably improved within the span of just 12 weeks. After six weeks, 8 patients fully recovered from attention deficit disorder. The intake of L-tyrosine helped them to recover their impaired neurotransmitter energy production.
3. A Significant Building Block of Thyroid Hormone
Thyroid hormones help to repair damaged cells present in our body. These hormones ensure that our body produces enough energy to effectively fight stress hormones and is able to renew the production of cells.
In a study conducted on birds, chicks with low thyroid hormones had to consume phenylalanine along with tyrosine supplements. Owing to the intake of L-tyrosine supplements, there was a healthy growth observed among chicks as compared to those who consumed only phenylalanine supplements.
In a rat study, rats under constant stress experienced a reduction in thyroid hormones. When they consumed L-tyrosine supplements, there was an increased in levels of norepinephrine which drastically increased thyroid hormones.
4. Treats Parkinson’s Disease
In a medical research, 9 patients who had Parkinson’s disease showed an elevation of homovanillic acid in their cerebrospinal fluid. Homovanillic acid is related to dopamine energy which also increased after the intake of L-tyrosine. Research shows that an increase in both of these components can be helpful in treating Parkinson’s disease in no time.
5. Improves Mood During Cold Seasons
In a study conducted on patients in Antarctica, there was an improvement in the mood of patients who consumed tyrosine supplements on a regular basis over the summer and winter. During stressful conditions in the winter months, there was an improvement in their mood by 47%.
L-tyrosine is a well-tolerated supplement. It is basically safe. However, there are some side-effects that you should know beforehand.
L-tyrosine may cause migraines, headaches, intestinal problems, and even an upset stomach. These are the side-effects which can only occur if you take L-tyrosine supplements in high doses.
You should also avoid taking L-tyrosine supplements if you are suffering from hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease as the supplement can aggravate your condition.
Moreover, those who take MAIO’s should also avoid the intake of L-tyrosine as it can rapidly increase your blood pressure. This can further lead to health problems like heart attack or strokes. Keep in mind that if you suffer from any medical condition already, it is better to first consult your doctor before you consume L-tyrosine supplements.
The clinical research doesn’t cover the area whether it’s ideal for children or pregnant women to consume L-tyrosine. To be on the safe side, you should avoid the consumption of L-tyrosine supplements. If necessary, it is better to consult a doctor first.
Many people find the consumption of L-tyrosine supplements beneficial. Let’s look at some of the positive reviews by those who consume L-tyrosine supplements.
Three Effective User Reviews of L-Tyrosine:
“I’ve been taking L-tyrosine for depression and anxiety for quite some time now. I must say, I’m really satisfied with its amazing results. I don’t feel upset or stressed-out anymore. In fact, I feel more energetic and alive!”
“My wife has been taking L-tyrosine supplements for about six months for low thyroid function. I’m so happy to see a remarkable difference in her health. She doesn’t suffer from hair loss or skin problems at all. She used to suffer from depression as well but not anymore!”
“One of my friends suggested me to try L-tyrosine to improve my memory and concentration. I’m so glad that I followed his advice. I’ve been using it over a year now and have seen only positive results.”
You can find L-tyrosine naturally in many food items like cheese, where its name comes from – tyros which Is Greek for cheese. You can also find it in other food items such as tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken, beef, seafood, and soy milk. Despite eating foods rich in L-tyrosine cannot guarantee the amount of tyrosine your body needs. Thus, it is important that you take L-tyrosine supplements to meet your body requirements.
You can find L-tyrosine supplements on various websites. Before you invest in an L-tyrosine supplement, do have a look at customer reviews. They will help you assess the credibility of the product. Also, make sure it is approved by the FDA.
- Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment.
- Effect of tyrosine supplementation on clinical and healthy populations under stress or cognitive demands–A review.
- An open trial of L-tyrosine in the treatment of attention deficit disorder, residual type.
- The role of tyrosine metabolism in the pathogenesis of chronic migraine.
- 13-week repeated dose toxicity study of l-tyrosine in rats by daily oral administration.
- Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course.
- L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress.
- Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress.
- Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans.
- Tyrosine improves behavioral and neurochemical deficits caused by cold exposure.
- Tyrosine, phenylalanine, and catecholamine synthesis and function in the brain.
- Brain tyrosine increases after treating with prodrugs: comparison with tyrosine.
- Tyrosine reverses a cold-induced working memory deficit in humans.
- Daily rhythm in tyrosine concentration in human plasma: persistence on low-protein diets.
- Tyrosine supplementation for phenylketonuria.