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Tyrosine

Other name(s):

a-amino-b-[p-hydroxyphenyl]-propionic acid

Unsubstantiated claims

Please note that this section reports on claims that have NOT yet been substantiated through scientific studies.

Tyrosine has been said to improve mood and be useful in treating depression, anxiety, narcolepsy (a sleep disorder), and insomnia.

Tyrosine reportedly can help suppress appetite, reduce body fat, and stimulate the release of human growth hormone (HGH).

It has also been used to treat some allergies.

Recommended intake

Amino acids (AAs) are available as individual AAs or in proprietary AA combinations, as well as part of multi-vitamin formulas, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders. However, adequate protein in the diet should provide a sufficient source of all amino acids.

People with phenylketonuria (PKU) typically require tyrosine supplementation since they are unable to convert phenylalanine into tyrosine. 

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

The use of a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance, decreasing the metabolic efficiency and increasing the workload of the kidneys. In children, taking single amino acid supplements may also harmfully affect growth parameters.

Always avoid taking individual amino acids in high dosage for prolonged periods.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use tyrosine supplements.

People who have melanoma (pigmented type) or tyrosinemia type I or II should not take tyrosine supplements.

People with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) should talk with a physician before taking tyrosine supplements. 

Tyrosine should not be taken in conjunction with antidepressants belonging to the class of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.

Additional information

Click here for a list of reputable websites with general information on nutrition.

Online Medical Reviewer: Wilkins, Joanna, R.D., C.D.
Date Last Reviewed: 2/21/2013
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