tyrosine Overview Information
Tyrosine is one of the amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. The body makes tyrosine from another amino acid called phenylalanine. Tyrosine can also be found in dairy products, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat.
Tyrosine is used in protein supplements to treat an inherited disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU). People who have this problem can’t process phenylalanine properly, so as a result they can’t make tyrosine. To meet their bodies’ needs, supplemental tyrosine is given.
People take tyrosine for depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy), and improving alertness following sleep deprivation. It is also used for stress, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), alcohol and cocaine withdrawal, heart disease and stroke, ED (erectile dysfunction), loss of interest in sex, schizophrenia, and as a suntan agent and appetite suppressant.
Some people also apply tyrosine to the skin to reduce age-related wrinkles.
How does it work?
The body uses tyrosine to make chemical messengers that are involved in conditions involving the brain such as mental alertness.
- Treating phenylketonuria (PKU).
Possibly Effective for:
- Improving alertness following the loss of sleep. 150 mg/kg of tyrosine seems to help people who have lost a night’s sleep stay alert for about 3 hours longer than they otherwise would.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Treating moderate depression.
- Treating adult attention deficit disorder (ADD).
- Treating childhood attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Wrinkled skin. A topical preparation containing 10% vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid, acetyl tyrosine, zinc sulfate, sodium hyaluronate, and bioflavonoids (Cellex-C High Potency Serum) applied for 3 months to facial skin aged by sunlight seems to improve fine and coarse wrinkling, yellowing, roughness, and skin tone.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Parkinson's disease.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Alzheimer's disease.
- Heart disease.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED).
- Other conditions.
tyrosine Side Effects & Safety
Tyrosine is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by adults short-term in medicinal amounts or applied to the skin. Tyrosine seems to be safe when used in doses up to 150 mg/kg per day for up to 3 months. Some people experience side effects such as nausea, headache, fatigue, heartburn, and joint pain.
There isn't enough information available to know if tyrosine is safe for children to use in medicinal amounts. Don’t give it to children without the advice of your healthcare provider until more is known.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using tyrosine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or Graves disease: The body uses tyrosine to make thyroxine, a thyroid hormone. Taking extra tyrosine might increase thyroxine levels too much, making hyperthyroidism and Graves disease worse. If you have one of these conditions, don’t take tyrosine supplements.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Levodopa interacts with TYROSINE
Tyrosine might decrease how much levodopa the body absorbs. By decreasing how much levodopa the body absorbs, tyrosine might decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. Do not take tyrosine and levodopa at the same time.
- Thyroid hormone interacts with TYROSINE
The body naturally produces thyroid hormones. Tyrosine might increase how much thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking tyrosine with thyroid hormone pills might cause there to be too much thyroid hormone. This could increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormones.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For improving alertness after being without sleep for a long time: 150 mg/kg/day of tyrosine.
- For PKU: The current recommendation for people with PKU is the incorporation of 6 grams of tyrosine per 100 grams of protein. However, additional separate supplementation with free tyrosine is not recommended because it can produce wide variations in the amount of tyrosine in the blood and could cause unwanted side effects.