L-tyrosine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. It plays an important role in the production of neurotransmitters thatregulate emotions. The body makes l-tyrosine from another amino acid, known as phenylalanine.
L-tyrosine is found in many protein containing foods, such as meats, dairy products, fish, wheat and oats. L-tyrosine benefits include helping the brain to produce adequate amounts of the neurotransmitters L-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. All of these are necessary to regulate emotions.
If levels of these neurotransmitters are insufficient, feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability and frustration can result. In addition, dopamine helps suppress appetite and reduce body fat, so people with insufficient levels of this neurotransmitter may find they are gaining weight or struggling to lose it.
Another way l-tyrosine benefits the body is by converting thyroid hormone to adrenaline during times of stress. Someone who is chronically stressed can have depleted levels of l- tyrosine.
Benefits of L Tyrosine
In addition to the need for sufficient amounts of amino acids to produce them, neurotransmitters can also become depleted by too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. Prescription drugs can also interfere with neurotransmitter production. In some cases, people find that a supplement of l-tyrosine benefits the body by providing the means to replenish neurotransmitters.
Other possible l-tyrosine benefits include helping to calm the body, increase energy and enhance libido. It is also converted into the skin pigment melanin that protects the skin from harmful UV light rays.
L-tyrosine is thought to specifically affect several health conditions, particularly Parkinson’s disease and certain mood disorders. Supplements may be useful for people with these conditions as well. Several studies have also indicated that l-tyrosine benefits people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
L Tyrosine Side Effects
L-tyrosine supplements are not necessary for most people, but those with specific conditions that may be related to deficiencies of l-tyrosine may benefit from taking 100 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight.
L-tyrosine side effects are uncommon when supplements are used for limited amounts of time. It is unclear how long term use, particularly in large amounts, will affect health. For this reason, anyone experiencing l-tyrosine side effects would be well advised to stop using it.
It is also important to note that l-tyrosine may interact with certain medications. Anyone taking prescription drugs should consult a physician about possible l-tyrosine side effects and interactions.
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