What is Tyrosine?

You may have heard the term before or seen it on a vitamin bottle – but what is this chemical messenger and why do you need it so much? Tyrosine is an amino acid required to produce three major brain neurotransmitters: dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Your adrenal glands, located on top of your kidneys, work with your brain to manage stress and to utilize the special amino acid tyrosine, which helps produce more of these key brain neurotransmitters.

Your body uses tyrosine to create the little chemical messengers that can help conditions that start in the brain, including low mood and chronic fatigue.

What’s So Special About This Amino Acid?

Ingesting tyrosine seems to be very effective in people whose chronic low moods are due to low dopamine levels. (Dopamine is a key mood regulator and a “feel good” neurotransmitter found in humans as well as animals.)

5 Reasons to Take Tyrosine

Your brain needs tyrosine to promote focus and mental clarity, especially if you are really stressed or down. Here are other ways your body requires the neurotransmitter called tyrosine:

  1. Tyrosine is a powerful antioxidant which may help neutralize cancer-causing free radicals.
  1. Your thyroid glands require tyrosine to produce the hormone thyroxine, which helps regulate your metabolism.
  1. Skin needs tyrosine to produce melanin, battle wrinkles and help prevent harmful UV rays.
  1. Tyrosine influences your thyroid glands, which can affect weight loss and appetites.
  1. Also referred to as L-Tyrosine, this chemical messenger supports your adrenal function and thyroid glands.

How Do You Get Enough Tyrosine?

Tyrosine is found in kelp, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, wheat, meat and dairy products. If you don’t eat meat or have certain food sensitivities, try exploring vegan or natural supplements that may potentially help decrease cognitive decline and depressive symptoms.

Note: Tyrosine can occasionally raise blood pressure in some people, so ask your doctor or health practitioner about supplementing tyrosine if you have hypertension, Parkinson’s disease or thyroid problems.