L-Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that the body produces on its own. Its primary role is as a neurotransmitter that acts as chemical messenger to more than 100 billion of brain and nerve cells in our body. L-Tyrosine helps in forming 3 essential neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, which are responsible for important functions like mood, memory, muscular coordination, and appetite. While norepinephrine is involved in hormone release and motor function, dopamine helps in hormone release, emotions, and motor functions, and serotonin is needed for the perception of well-being.
Tyrosine deficiency might bring about a variety of conditions like weakness, muscle loss, mood disorders, liver damage, and low protein levels. These low levels have been linked to low body temperature, hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), depression, and low blood pressure. Some symptoms of tyrosine deficiency can also include restless leg syndrome and low body temperature (like cold hands and feet).
After certain studies conducted in the mid 1980s there were many speculations about the beneficial aspects of tyrosine in treating Parkinsonâ€™s disease, as it increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. Low levels of dopamine are known to bring about various symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Then again, this has never been substantiated and it is still uncertain as to how well would oral administration of tyrosine enter the brain. Today, some medications for Parkinson’s disease incorporate tyrosine together with other chemicals.
Tyrosine is usually helpful in resisting stress, building up adrenaline stores, alleviating depression, and increasing mental concentration. Hypothetically, excessive intake of L-Tyrosine supplements could also contribute to hyperactivity so doctors are always advised to be cautious while prescribing is required.
In the 1980 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Alan Gelenberg of Harvard Medical School published a study discussing the role of tyrosine in the control of depression and anxiety. He claimed that inadequate tyrosine causes norepinephrine deficiency at a specific place in the brain that is associated with mood problems like depression. Children who were administered with tyrosine supplementation showed a noticeable improvement in their mood stability and mental performance.
Tyrosine has the ability to assist the body in building the natural stock of adrenaline in the body and cope with stress. If you are ever in need of an amino acid to cope with your stress, you need tyrosine. It not only helps little kids and teens but also helps adults with mood disorders and depression. The dosage for a child could range from 200 mg to 500 mg.
L-Tyrosine – Beneficial in treating ADHD
Various studies have been conducted on the efficiency of amino acids on the treatment of ADHD. Since L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is used for synthesizing norepinephrine and dopamine (neurotransmitters involved in ADHD), it plays a major role in the treatment. Some studies show that children suffering from ADHD usually have low levels of this amino acid.
L-Tyrosine is known to increase the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine available in our brain. As mentioned earlier, supplementing it with other nutrients can easily alleviate many symptoms of ADD/ADHD. However, if the root cause is a combination complicated of factors, other companion treatments could be required.
Dr Slagle, an inactive Honorary Assistant Clinical Professor at the Neuropsychiatric Institute (University of California Los Angeles) considers tyrosine as an essential amino acid for converting the mood elevating neurotransmitters dopamine & norepinephrine in our brain. According to her, low moods are due to action of the prescribed antidepressant drugs and depletion some neurotransmitters. However, there could be possibilities of side effects of the drugs.
Additionally, tyrosine is converted to thyroid hormone and adrenaline. Chronic stress diverts tyrosine to excessive adrenaline production, which results in decreased norepinephrine, & thyroid levels. It is only in some cases that the body has plenty of tyrosine for all the essential body functions.
The standard dose of tyrosine is 1000 milligrams every time a mental or physical boost is required. L-Tyrosine supplements are to be taken no less than 30 minutes before meals, in 3 doses everyday. Always remember to take the supplements with a multivitamin-mineral complex as vitamins copper, B6, and B9 (folate) helps in converting L-tyrosine into essential brain chemicals.
Total amount of tyrosine taken in one day should never exceed 12,000 mg. Tyrosine should not be taken during the time an individual is taking levodopa medication (used for treating Parkinson’s disease) as it may intervene with the absorption of tyrosine. Tyrosine could elevate blood pressure. Avoid using it with over-the-counter dietary medications.
In addition, even though tyrosine has been linked with an under active thyroid, low blood pressure, and low body temperature ingesting tyrosine supplements would not necessarily keep these ailments at bay.