Transmitters in the brain serve as messengers as they carry critical signals to make your body to function normally. These neurotransmitters play an important role in influencing your concentration levels, your ability to remain focused, overall sleep patterns and your mental wellbeing. Dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, etc. are some of the most widely known transmitting chemicals. An imbalance of these substances can lead to several side effects. For instance, too little of serotonin can trigger conditions like Parkinson’s disease; presence of a larger share of it may result in mood shifts including schizophrenia. Hence, it becomes important to keep these transmitters at a balanced state. L-tyrosine helps make brain-chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine, noradrenaline / adrenaline, important hormones such as thyroid as well as pigments like melanin. It helps you keep motivated and to stay focused. The good news is- it is available as a supplement. But, remember to know about its side effects prior to taking l-tyrosine.

Proteins need amino acids which serve as basic building blocks. L-tyrosine is one such amino acid. Your body naturally makes it. You can also get it from fish, meats, poultry, dairy-based foods as well as whole grains like wheat, oats and nuts. A hereditary condition called phenylketonuria (commonly referred as PKU) may lead to lesser amounts of l-tyrosine. Why? This genetic condition means your body stands incapable of using a substance called phenylalanine; this substance is essential for your body to make l-tyrosine.

Supplements of l-tyrosine are administered onto people living with genetic conditions such as PKU. It is also administered to boost mental strength, memory as well as nimbleness. As an extended use, l-tyrosine is also used for treating mood shifts such as depression. In some instances, it has been used in the case management of attention deficit hyperactivity, mainly to calm your system. However, more scientific evidences are needed for using it to treat Parkinson’s, dementia and substance abuse (such as excessive dependence on alcohol or being addicted to cocaine).

This drug is widely sold as herbal supplementary product. Absence of a centralized agency (such as FDA) to control this genre of drugs, it means the manufacturing processes remain largely unregulated. You are advised to be aware of likely risks of presence of toxic fillers as part of its manufacturing process. For these reasons, it is always recommended to purchase these supplements only from reliable and authentic drug manufacturers.

Side effects of l-tyrosine

Intake of l-tyrosine is widely considered safe – but only for a short term use. It is generally not known to trigger adverse reactions, discomforts or side effects among adults if the dosages are taken for 90 days or less. As l-tyrosine is available as herbal aid or supplement, you need to take your doctor’s consent prior to using it. It is always a safer choice to consult a practitioner who has experiences and knowledge on herbal medicines and / or related supplements. Intake of less than 145 milligrams (mg) every day – for a shorter term – is widely considered as safe. You may be advised to take it before a meal; in general, the abovementioned daily dose is split into 2 or 3 parts to minimize possible risks of an overdose.

Commonly observed side effects of l-tyrosine include pain in joints, excessive levels of weariness, abdominal problems such as nausea or heartburns, weakness and headaches. In order to stay safe with the intake of l-tyrosine, you need to know the amounts of proteins you are taking on a daily basis. You are advised to share all needful information about your daily diet – mainly, on all possible sources of proteins. You need to note that l-tyrosine is present in foods you take on a daily basis. For example, most of the conventional foods that supply proteins have it in plenty; these include chicken, fish, peanuts, cheese and soy. As added sources, it can also be tapped from fruits like bananas, avocados as well as seeds of sesame and pumpkin. As most of these protein-rich foods can play a crucial role in the absorption of amino acids, you need to strictly follow the diet plan provided by your dietitian or the treating doctor.

Inform your medical team immediately if you experience –

Increased levels of anxiety – A larger share of neurotransmitters as well as hyperactive brain function may result in increased levels of anxiety. Your physician may lower the strength of dosages if your anxiety levels are found to be persistently at a high level.

Angina or chest pain – Intake of l-tyrosine has led to spells of chest pain in some people. However, the quantum of pain is not high; in a few people, it showed up only as tightness in the chest accompanied by gasping or wheezing. You are advised to report such symptoms soon after they show up; call your treating physician quickly in such instances.

Indigestion and diarrhea – At very low levels – of say, less than 140 mg per day – some people have experienced untimely movements of their bowels. In fairly large dosage levels – for instance, more than 750 mg per day – l-tyrosine supplements have triggered diarrhea or other discomforts in lower abdomen as well as the gastrointestinal tract. If these side effects do not go away, your physician may lower the daily dose of l-tyrosine. For some people, an interim break is suggested and the doses are resumed after a few days.

Side effects of l-tyrosine when taken with other drugs

A few types of antidepressants – especially, monoamine oxidase inhibiting drugs (MOA controllers) tend to work on substances that regulate blood pressure. In case of being co-administered with l-tyrosine, you run the risk of an increase in blood pressure levels. In a few remote instances, co-administration of l-tyrosine with MOA inhibiting meds has led to strokes or a severe cardiac arrest. Similarly, you need to stay aware of possible changes in thyroid levels. This is because of likely interactions between tyrosine with T3 and T4 (regulators of thyroid hormone). It is quite likely to witness signs of hyperthyroidism; this is because of the ability of tyrosine to make more thyroid hormone. If you are already consuming meds to increase your thyroid function, intake of tyrosine is considered unsafe. You are advised to talk to your treating doctor before starting a plan involving the use of l-tyrosine.

A few drugs – when taken together – may lead to undesired outcomes. In case of co-administering l-tyrosine with drugs taken to treat Parkinson’s (such as levodopa), these two meds race against one another to get absorbed. This competition is observed in your intestinal tract. In the process, your body compromises on the efficacy levels of each of these drugs. In order to avoid such risks, an interval of a few hours is provided in-between doses of these two drugs.

Safe levels of intake of l-tyrosine to avoid major side effects

Your bodyweight is an important factor that influences the dosage levels of l-tyrosine. A few approaches recommend an intake of 90 to 140 milligrams (mg) of l-tyrosine supplements on a daily basis. However, another dosage-school suggests a bodyweight-based approach to administer dosages of l-tyrosine. There are also some studies which suggest a daily intake of more than 400 mg to upto 1700 mg. Your treating doctor may however advise you to take a dose which is minimal as well as effective. This can be arrived-at through a trial and error approach. Studies suggest that the odds of changes in your neuro health are less when you take doses at smaller levels. A substantially high dosage level (i.e., in the order of 1,500mg or more per day) can trigger some of the aforesaid side effects and related discomforts.

A dose is often taken at least an hour before a stressful condition – say, your regular workout. Here, you need to note that this amino acid supplement is generally available as a free and independent form; it is also available in its pre-conversion form – i.e., N-acetyl form of l-tyrosine – popularly referred as “NALT”. Of these two forms, the free and independent amino acid form of l-tyrosine is easily absorbed. This is because of the longer time taken to transform NALT into l-tyrosine. For the same reason, you may have to consume larger dosages of NALT as compared to its free and independent counterpart.

Prior medical conditions and side effects of l-tyrosine

Those living with medical conditions such as hypertension, thyroid related disorders, melanoma or other similar conditions need to share their medical history with their pharmacist as well as the treating physician. Also, if you are planning to become pregnant, you need to inform your doctor about the intake of l-tyrosine supplements. Those who are already pregnant must share details about their pregnancy prior to starting a medical plan involving the intake of l-tyrosine. Medical studies have very limited evidences about the safety of l-tyrosine intake during the times of pregnancy. Clinical studies also do not have conclusive evidences on the safety of this supplement if administered onto women who are nursing an infant. Doctors are unclear about the possibility of the drug passing through your breastmilk and its side effects on the mother as well as the feeding infant. Hence, it is not recommended to take this drug while you are nursing a baby.

Long term intake of l-tyrosine and likely side effects

This drug is considered safe if taken over a shorter duration of time. People who took it for less than 90 days rarely reported any major side effects. Moreover, those who took the supplement for long and on a daily basis experienced their system turning tolerant to such large dosages; in such conditions, higher dosage levels were needed to improve mental alertness or agility. Once you notice that large dosages are needed to make any marked changes in your ability to stay focused or concentrated, you need to quickly inform your doctor about such effects.

In sum, l-tyrosine is an amino acid which your body makes naturally. A genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria (PKU) often leads to lowering l-tyrosine levels; this is because your system finds it difficult to use phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is vital for the making of l-tyrosine in your body.

L-tyrosine – in its supplement form – is administered to people with PKU. It can boost your memory, mental agility and nimbleness. L-tyrosine is also used in the treatment of mood shifts such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity and in general, to calm your mind. You can gain access to it from foods such as meats, a few types of fish, dairy-based foods, poultry as well as whole grains like wheat, oats and nuts.

Most common side effects of l-tyrosine are headaches, abdominal problems such as nausea or heartburns, weakness, pain in joints and weariness. Intake of proteins can determine the safety levels of l-tyrosine. As protein-based foods can alter the absorption levels of amino acids, you need to follow a food plan recommended by your dietitian. If these side effects persist for long, you are advised to consult your treating physician or pharmacist promptly.

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