Dietary supplement, nutrient. Flavouring ingredient


Tyrosine is an essential amino acid that readily passes the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, it is a precursor for the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, better known as adrenalin. These neurotransmitters are an important part of the body's sympathetic nervous system, and their concentrations in the body and brain are directly dependent upon dietary tyrosine. Tyrosine is not found in large concentrations throughout the body, probably because it is rapidly metabolized. Folic acid, copper and vitamin C are cofactor nutrients of these reactions. Tyrosine is also the precursor for hormones, thyroid, catecholestrogens and the major human pigment, melanin. Tyrosine is an important amino acid in many proteins, peptides and even enkephalins, the body's natural pain reliever. Valine and other branched amino acids, and possibly tryptophan and phenylalanine may reduce tyrosine absorption. A number of genetic errors of tyrosine metabolism occur. Most common is the increased amount of tyrosine in the blood of premature infants, which is marked by decreased motor activity, lethargy and poor feeding. Infection and intellectual deficits may occur. Vitamin C supplements reverse the disease. Some adults also develop elevated tyrosine in their blood. This indicates a need for more vitamin C. More tyrosine is needed under stress, and tyrosine supplements prevent the stress-induced depletion of norepinephrine and can cure biochemical depression. However, tyrosine may not be good for psychosis. Many antipsychotic medications apparently function by inhibiting tyrosine metabolism. L-dopa, which is directly used in Parkinson's, is made from tyrosine. Tyrosine, the nutrient, can be used as an adjunct in the treatment of Parkinson's. Peripheral metabolism of tyrosine necessitates large doses of tyrosine, however, compared to L-dopa.

L-Tyrosine is Found in These Foods

General Information


Mechanism of Action