Tyrosine
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Mental Health

Tyrosine

Other name(s):

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

Unsubstantiated claims

There may be benefits that have not yet been proven through research.

Tyrosine is said to improve mood. It may help treat depression, anxiety, narcolepsy, and insomnia. It may help suppress appetite and reduce body fat. It may prompt the release of human growth hormone (HGH). It’s been used to treat some allergies.

Recommended intake

Tyrosine is an amino acid. It helps make neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. It helps make hormones such as thyroxine. And it helps make melanin. Amino acids (AAs) are available as single AAs or in AA combinations. They also come as part of multi-vitamins, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders.

By eating enough protein in your diet, you get all of the amino acids you need.

People with phenylketonuria (PKU) may need to take tyrosine supplements. This is because they are not able to turn phenylalanine into tyrosine. 

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can lessen how well your metabolism works. It can make your kidneys work harder. In children, single amino acid supplements may cause growth problems.

You should not take high doses of single amino acids for long periods of time.

You should not use this supplement if:

  • You have melanoma (pigmented type)

  • You have tyrosinemia type I or II

  • You take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) to treat depression

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid), talk with your healthcare provider before taking tyrosine supplements. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Godsey
Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2019