Tyrosine: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

• Tyrosine is a conditionally essential amino acid that is ingested from the diet or produced from phenylalanine in the body.

• Many of the pharmacological actions of tyrosine relate to its role as a precursor to a number of neurotransmitters and thyroid hormones.

• Protein sources enriched with tyrosine but lacking in phenylalanine are used in PKU.

• Tyrosine supplements are used to improve cognitive function, in the management of depression or reward deficiency syndrome associated with noradrenaline or dopamine depletion, and to enhance stress adaptation systems.

• Due to its effects on neurotransmitters, it may elevate blood pressure in susceptible people when taken in high doses, and increase the effects of amphetamines, ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, thyroxineand pharmaceutical antidepressants.

Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions

What will this supplement do for me?

Tyrosine supplementation appears to increase the levels of important brain chemicals and thyroid hormones. As such, it may elevate mood and alertness, and enhance the body’s ability to deal with stress.

When will it start to work?

Although some research suggests that effects begin within 1-2 hours, it may take up to 1 week for maximal effects to be seen.

Are there any safety issues?

Theoretically, tyrosine may increase blood pressure in susceptible individuals and also interact with a number of medicines such as pharmaceutical antidepressants and thyroid treatment. It is also not recommended in pregnancy.