Tyrosine

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Tyrosine is considered to be a nonessential amino acid that can be made by the human body and is produced from a different amino acid, phenylalanine. Tyrosine aids in the production of neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which play roles in nerve cell communication and mood control. Tyrosine helps the body generate melanin, which adds color to hair and skin. Tyrosine helps hormone producing and regulating organs such as the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands, and also acts as a structural aid for virtually every protein throughout the body. True tyrosine deficiency is rare, but can be recognized by symptoms such as low blood pressure, body temperature and an improperly functioning thyroid.

Also known as:  2-Acetylamino-3-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-Propanoic Acid, Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Acétyl-L-Tyrosine, L-Tyrosine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, N-Acétyl L-Tyrosine, N-Acetyl-Tyrosine, N-Acétyl-Tyrosine, Tirosina, Tyr, Tyrosinum

Diseases and Conditions

Tyrosine is effective for the following conditions:

  • Phenylketonuria

Tyrosine may be effective for the following conditions:

  • Cognitive performance
  • Memory
  • Sleep deprivation

 Tyrosine is possibly ineffective for the following conditions:

  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Depression
  • Exercise performance

There is insufficient information to access the effectiveness of tyrosine in treating the following conditions:

  • Alcoholism
  • Cocaine dependence
  • Dementia
  • Hypertension
  • Narcolepsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Weight loss
  • Wrinkled skin

Safety

Tyrosine is likely safe when used orally in food amounts. Tyrosine has achieved a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status in the United States. Tyrosine is possibly safe to use topically in the short-term under the supervision of a physician. There is insufficient information on the safety of tyrosine for pregnant and breastfeeding women, therefore it is best to avoid. When consumed in high doses, tyrosine may cause the following side effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Vision changes
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

Tyrosine may also cause migraine headaches and should avoided in those who have frequent migraines. People who have hyperthyroidism or Graves disease should also avoid tyrosine.

Medication Interactions

Tyrosine may interact with the following medications:

  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
    • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
    • Phenelzine (Nardil)
    • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
    • Selegiline
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Levodopa

Supplement and Food Interactions

There are no known interactions between tyrosine and supplements or foods.

 

Dosage

The following dosages of tyrosine have been recommended:

  • For athletic performance, 25mg/kg of body weight has been used, 60 minutes prior to exercise and every 30 minutes during exercise.
  • For cognitive performance, 100-300mg/kg daily, sometimes in the form of a food or energy bar and five daily doses orally of a protein-rich drink containing 2g of tyrosine displayed evidence of benefit.

Foods

Foods which contain tyrosine include:

  • Soy products
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Dairy products
  • Lima beans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds

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References

  1. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/references.aspx?productid=1037
  2. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/tyrosine

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