A "non-essential" amino acid which acts as a mood elevator and appetite suppressant, and produces melanin in the body so it enhances natural hair color; also used as an anti-depressant and anxiety reliever.
Tyrosine is an aromatic amino acid, the hydroxylated form of the essential amino acid phenylalanine. Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenalin (epinephrine). These three compounds are monoamines, and have effects on the nervous system.
Tyrosine has been used as a natural antidepressant (monoamine levels at the synapse can affect mood), memory enhancer, and overall stimulant.
While some of the mechanisms are logical, and there is little harm in tyrosine; it is unsure how effective tyrosine supplements can be alone. Care should be taken if long-term use of single amino acid supplements is added to any regimen.
See the link between Sinusitis and Vitamin B6.
Particular precursors such as tyrosine, which increases dopamine and noradrenaline, show beneficial results in the treatment of mild depression.
One older study reported that L-tyrosine (200mg), vitamin B6 (2.5mg) and niacinamide (10mg) when given in combination for the treatment of hay fever, hives, allergic headaches and poison oak dermatitis produced significant symptomatic relief when 1-3 tablets were taken four times per day in milder cases and up to 6 tablets 4-6 times per day in more severe cases.
In some cases characterized by more chronic disorders, such as chronic sinusitis, a worsening of symptoms often occurred during the first few days of treatment. This study found that treatment with each of the nutrients individually, or with any two in combination, was ineffective. [Widmann RR, Keye JD Epinephrine precursors an control of allergy. Northwest Med 1952:51: pp.588-590]
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