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Tyrosine: Overview

L-tyrosine, which often appears on product labels as simply 'tyrosine', is a nonessential amino acid, and is synthesized in the body from the essential amino acid L-phenylalanine. Tyrosine is found in animal and plant-source proteins, such as fish, soy, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, avocados and dairy foods.

The body needs tyrosine to synthesize structural proteins, but most people who use tyrosine supplements do so for the role it plays in the production of key neurotransmitters like epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters influence mood, state-of-mind and alertness. In addition, tyrosine is also necessary for the synthesis of thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary hormones, as well as the skin and hair pigment melanin. Tyrosine is a common ingredient in many Thyroid Support Formulas.

Tyrosine's Health Benefits

Some studies have shown tyrosine to help alleviate symptoms of depression and stress via the elevation of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Additionally, tyrosine may help individuals addicted to drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine deal with the symptoms of withdrawal during drug detoxification. Tyrosine also has mild antioxidant properties.

Using Tyrosine

Use as directed. General recommended dosages vary: 500-1500mg, up to 3 times daily. Tyrosine should be taken at least 30 minutes before meals, or 3 hours after a meal for best results. Tyrosine is available in capsule, powder and tablet form.

Side-effects and Cautions:

Pregnant/nursing women and persons taking medications should not use tyrosine supplements unless directed to do so by their doctor.