Tyrosine, known scientifically as l-tyrosine, is one of 20 amino acids used to build essential proteins in the body. It's a necessary component of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a number of important roles in regulating your mood, learning, memory, alertness, and concentration. Studies have shown that supplementing your diet with tyrosine can help combat stress and low mood as well as cognitive ability.
Tyrosine is an aromatic amino acid synthesised from phenylalanine. It can be modified to change the activity of a particular protein, which can lead to cell communication or signalling. According to a report in the June 2010 issue of “Cell,” mutations that disrupt tyrosine-facilitated cell signalling may contribute to poor physical health.
Stress and mood
The highly stressful modern workplace can have a negative effect on thought-processing in the brain; increased stress can lead to impaired concentrated and memory. Dopamine depletion can also affect your ability to experience pleasure since it interacts with endorphins during the 'fight or flight' stress response. Tyrosine, a major component of dopamine, is, therefore, necessary to maintain good mood and well-being. When you feel run down or depressed, taking l-tyrosine supplements can help to elevate your mood.
Dopamine controls the flow of information in the brain and is vital for cognitive functions such as problem-solving, quick thinking, and attention to detail. Studies have shown that tyrosine protects against several toxins which destroy nerve endings – resulting in decreased alertness. Tyrosine has been subject to a number of studies, including individuals who were sleep-deprived for 24 hours. These subjects were able to perform well in cognitive activities 3 hours after tyrosine supplements, despite not sleeping for 24 hours before. A similar improvement has been observed in cadet performance following a week of intensive combat training combined with tyrosine supplements.
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