Amino acids play crucial roles in our bodies. They have a hand in countless functions you may not know they had anything to do with. One such amino acid is tyrosine, which is involved in several mental processes. New research also suggests tyrosine can help you feel more alert and maintain a healthy weight.
What is tyrosine?
Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid, which is naturally produced by the body. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, another amino acid. Amino acids are known as the building blocks of protein, making them essential for continued health. Tyrosine, in particular, is used in the production of neurotransmitters, making it vital to cognitive function.
Benefits of Tyrosine
As we learn more and more about the role of amino acids throughout the body, new connections are emerging. Tyrosine can impact the way you look and feel:
1. Penylketonuria (PKU) -- Tyrosine may be used in the treatment of individuals who have been diagnosed with this condition, which means their bodies don't use phenylalanine, which can cause serious cognitive side effects. The most common way the get more tyrosine is through tyrosine-enriched protein supplements.
2. Mental Health -- As previously stated, tyrosine is important for mental wellness. Tyrosine boosts production of dopamine (a neurotransmitter), a "happy hormone." Tyrosine has been used in the treatment of depression (moderate), chronic stress (tyrosine also manages the production of epinephrine and norepinephrine, two "stress hormones"), attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
3. Increased Energy -- Those suffering from chronic fatigue as the result of poor sleep can also benefit from tyrosine. Tyrosine is known to make someone more alert and focused during the day.
4. Weight Loss -- Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended tyrosine on "The Dr. Oz Show" as part of a regimen to increase dopamine for weight loss. Many people eat as a way to calm emotions and cope with stress. Increasing dopamine levels can help reduce those cravings. Dr. Oz suggested patients take 500 to 1,000 mg of tyrosine in the morning on an empty stomach and between lunch and dinner, in addition to getting more tyrosine into the diet through food.
5. Hormone Regulation -- Tyrosine helps support the body's main hormone-producing organs, which are the adrenal glands, the thyroid and the pituitary gland. The hormones produced in these glands control everything from mood to metabolism.
Tyrosine for weight loss and fatigue is still being carefully studied to determine the exact action and benefits of supplementing with tyrosine.
How to Get More Tyrosine
Tyrosine is known to work more quickly than other treatments, when consumed on a daily basis. You can start adding more tyrosine to your diet to get the benefits listed above. Some foods to start with are proteins like chicken, turkey or fish, nuts, seeds, beans, oats and dairy products.
The recommended dose for tyrosine varies, based on individual need. Anyone interested in adding a tyrosine supplement to their routine should speak with their doctor first to determine if it's right for them and the appropriate dosage (which we suggest for all supplements). Anyone who takes medication regularly for any of the conditions mentioned above (prescription or over the counter) as well as MAOIs and thyroid medications or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should especially check in with doctor first.
Shop our selection of tyrosine supplements at eVitamins to help improve your health today. Have a great week!