Proteins are made from amino acids, and are essential for healthy metabolism. Phenylalanine is one such amino acid. L-phenylalanine is the natural form which is found in protein-rich foods, while D-phenylalanine is the synthetic mirror image. DL-phenylalanine is produced in the laboratory to ensure that the benefits of both forms can be maximised. It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to enter into the central nervous system with relative simplicity.
The chemical is absorbed through the intestines, and it then undertakes a partial conversion process within the liver. Once there, it reaches the brain where it gets to work.
So what are the benefits of taking DL-phenylalanine?
You could say that they are far and wide. One of the main health-giving properties is that it can act as an anti-depressant. This is because phenylalanine elevates the production of certain brain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which can help to regulate your mood. If you have less phenylalanine in your diet, it is believed that this can cause a deficiency in dopamine levels, which can in turn cause impulsive behaviours.
By supplementing your diet with phenylalanine, you can balance dopamine levels, leading to a calmer, clearer and more focused you. Good sources of phenylalanine include eggs, milk and spinach, as well as meats including chicken, liver and beef. Phenylalanine is also a key ingredient of our health supplement Edge7 Move. This supplement facilitates a healthier lifestyle by boosting energy, alertness and concentration.
DL-phenylalanine for pain and discomfort
The benefits go beyond acting as an efficient and effective mood booster. DL-phenylalanine is also widely used as an analgesic to relieve pain and discomfort. This is achieved by blocking the actions of a pain-inducing protein called enkephalinase. In fact, it is so effective as a pain reliever that it is even available in a cream format that can be applied directly. The amino acid is also used to treat patients with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) – it helps these people by enhancing certain chemicals in the brain, which then leads to improved concentration. It is also believed to benefit patients with Parkinson’s disease.