Should You Consider
Tyrosine for Depression?

Should you consider a natural remedy such as tyrosine for depression? Many people are looking for natural remedies for depression disorders and Tyrosine is just one of them.

Tyrosine, also known as L-tyrosine and it is one of the amino acids that synthesizes proteins and is the building block for neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, L-dopa, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters control pain, regulate the appetite and control moods and stress levels.



Your body has the ability to produce this amino acid naturally but not without the presence of phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is another essential amino acid but our bodies do not make it. Rather we get it from the foods that we eat such as meats, dairy and fish. Our bodies make the amino acid from the phenylalanine.

Even if you eat the right foods there are things that can deplete your body of the amino acide such as alcohol consumption, excess of caffeine or sugar, and even prescription medications. Taking the supplement in some cases has been shown to counteract this and actually build up the supply of the neurotransmitters.


Effects of Low Tyrosine Levels

When your Tyrosine levels are low you will likely have low levels of energy, feelings of anxiety, irritability, sadness, frustration. Low levels also lead to low blood pressure, low body temperature, underactive thyroid and low adrenal function. Also, tyrosine is an “ingredient” in skin pigment so low levels of tyrosine could lead to skin cancer.

Benefits of Tyrosine for Depression

By taking amino acid supplements, research suggests that it helps to rebuild the neurotransmitters, thus benefiting brain functioning. As a result, it helps to improve a person’s mood, minimize stress, increase energy levels, help regulate your appetite and reduce anxiety.

Since neurotransmitters are improved, this would suggest that tyrosine can help minimize the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, and possibly narcolepsy. This will also reduce stress, minimize depressed feelings, improve thyroid functioning – ultimately providing a better state of well-being. The supplements have also been used to reduce symptoms encountered through menopause and PMS. Finally, it can also be used to help with weight loss, skin health and bodybuilding.

Side Effects of Tyrosine Supplements

While there are benefits of taking tyrosine for depression, it is important to note that only a small percentage of the population actually have low levels of L-tyrosine. As a result, supplements are not really necessary. If you are depressed, you might want to consider getting your tyrosine levels tested before choosing to take a supplement because there are several side effects.

Taking tyrosine when it’s not needed can lead to anxiety, restlessness, heart palpitations, overstimulation and sleep disruption. On occasion though, some people have reported breathing problems mild chest pains, a tight feeling in the chest, hives. Even fewer people have reported mood changes, fatigue or headaches. Some have also had some stomach upset, irritability and heartburn. Any problems like these should be mentioned to the doctor.

You should not take L-tyrosine if you have diabetes, are taking antidepressants, on Parkinson's medication or pregnant. In each of these cases, you need to check with the doctor before taking this. Also this is not a good supplement for kids.

Tyrosine should not be taken for longer than 2 weeks without the supervision of your physican. The dosage needs to be properly determined as taking too much can negatively affect your nervous system. This can accentuate the very feelings or conditions you are trying to correct. If treating depression naturally is a goal of yours, there are other natural remedies for depression including SAM-e, St. John’s Wort and Omega-3 fish oils. So if you are considering tyrosine for depression please consult your physician first and then decide on the right course of action.

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