L-tyrosine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. It plays an important role in the production of neurotransmitters that regulate emotions. The body makes l-tyrosine from another amino acid, known as phenylalanine.
L-tyrosine is found in many protein containing foods, such as meats, dairy products, fish, wheat and oats. L-tyrosine benefits include helping the brain to produce adequate amounts of the neurotransmitters L-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. All of these are necessary to regulate emotions.
If levels of these neurotransmitters are insufficient, feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability and frustration can result. In addition, dopamine helps suppress appetite and reduce body fat, so people with insufficient levels of this neurotransmitter may find they are gaining weight or struggling to lose it.
Tyrosine helps stimulate the nervous system to keep it functioning well. It helps synthesize several brain chemicals and neurotransmitters that control pain, helps regulate your appetite and facilitates in stabilizing your body's reaction to stress factors. It helps regulate your moods and helps stimulate your nervous system to keep it functioning properly. The body literally can not function properly without adequate supply of l-tyrosine.
Neurotransmitters are central in body functioning mainly because they are the main chemical messengers that transport information from the brain to the rest of your body. Tyrosine plays an important role in the synthesis of three neurotransmitters, namely, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The effect of l-tyrosine on these neurotransmitters is the main reason why this non-essential amino acid has health benefits in your body.
Another way l-tyrosine benefits the body is by converting thyroid hormone to adrenaline during times of stress. Someone who is chronically stressed can have depleted levels of l-tyrosine.
In addition to the need for sufficient amounts of amino acids to produce them, neurotransmitters can also become depleted by too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. Prescription drugs can also interfere with neurotransmitter production. In some cases, people find that a supplement of l-tyrosine benefits the body by providing the means to replenish neurotransmitters.
Other possible l-tyrosine benefits include helping to calm the body, increase energy and enhance libido. It is also converted into the skin pigment melanin that protects the skin from harmful UV light rays.
L-tyrosine is thought to specifically affect several health conditions, particularly Parkinso's disease and certain mood disorders. Supplements may be useful for people with these conditions as well. Several studies have also indicated that l-tyrosine benefits people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.