Tyrosine

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names :

  • L-Tyrosine

Uses

Principal Proposed Uses

  • None

Other Proposed Uses

Tyrosine is an amino acid found in meat proteins. Your body uses it as a starting material to make several neurotransmitters (chemicals that help the brain and nervous system function). Based on this fact, tyrosine has been proposed as a treatment for various conditions in which mental function is impaired or slowed down, such as fatigue and depression. It has also been tried for attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Sources

Your body makes tyrosine from another common amino acid, phenylalanine , so deficiencies are rare; however, they can occur in certain forms of severe kidney disease as well as in phenylketonuria (PKU), a metabolic disorder that requires complete avoidance of phenylalanine. Good sources of tyrosine include dairy products, meats, fish, and beans.

Therapeutic Dosages

The typical therapeutic dosage of tyrosine used in studies ranges from 7 g to 30 g daily.

Therapeutic Uses

Preliminary evidence, including small, double-blind trials, suggests that tyrosine supplements may help fight fatigue and improve memory and mental function in people who are deprived of sleep or exposed to other forms of stress . 1,10,12 Based on the findings, mentioned in the above paragraph, it has been inferred that tyrosine might enhance alertness in people suffering from jet lag , but this has not been studied directly. Tyrosine may also provide some temporary benefit for attention deficit disorder (ADD) , but the benefits appear to wear off in a couple of weeks. 2,3,4 Tyrosine is said to work better for this purpose when it is combined in an "amino acid cocktail" along with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), phenylalanine , and glutamine ; however, there is no scientific evidence to support this use. Although one extremely tiny study found tyrosine helpful for depression ; 5 a larger study found no evidence of benefit. 6 Tyrosine has also been suggested for enhancing sports performance . However, in a double-blind study of 20 men, one-time use of tyrosine at a dose 150 mg per kilogram body weight failed to improve any measurement of muscular performance. 11

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