Tag Archives: L-tyrosine

L-tyrosine for Treating Depression Symptoms

Alleviating depression can sometimes be daunting, even with pharmaceutical antidepressants prescribed by your doctor. But there are some natural things you can do to help with depression, too, says researchers. Tyrosine, also known as L-tyrosine, is a viable option as a natural-source antidepressant.

In fact, amino acids help play a role in many diseases, and can be used as a tool to predict such diseases since the biological compounds involved in the normal functioning of humans can be involved in the pathogenesis of these same diseases.

W Krzysciak at the Department of Medical Diagnostics at the Jagiellonian University in Poland, talks about aromatic amino acids like tyrosine, and that some of the diseases that are tied to amino acids include the diagnosing and treating of “social disorders, such as cancers; psychiatric disorders: depression, anxiety states, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorders; neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases; chronic kidney insufficiency or diabetes.”

L-Tyrosine for Depression

There are three aromatic amino acids commonly used to treat or diagnose disorders: tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. Where phenylalanine is a pain reliever, and tryptophan promotes sleep, it is tyrosine that acts as an antidepressant.

Dr. Greene (at DC Nutrition) also has information about L-tyrosine, and explains how this aromatic amino acid works to treat depression, saying, “Tyrosine is an essential amino acid that readily passes the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, it is a precursor for the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, better known as adrenalin. These neurotransmitters are an important part of the body’s sympathetic nervous system.”

L-tyrosine also relieves pain—both emotional pain and physical pain.

Dr. Greene says, “Tyrosine therapy is very useful in a variety of clinical situations. … An average human dose equivalent of 500 mg of tyrosine given intravenously reduces susceptibility to life-threatening ventricular fibrillation in experimental animals. More tyrosine is needed under stress, and tyrosine supplements prevent the stress-induced depletion of norepinephrine and can cure biochemical depression.” The exceptions would include psychosis (since antipsychotic drugs work by inhibiting L-tyrosine metabolism).

Larger doses of L-tyrosine may help reduce hunger as well as alleviate depression symptoms in obese patients. Low doses actually stimulate the appetite, however.

Dr. Greene says that even physicians at Harvard Medical School have used between 1-6 grams of tyrosine to effectively treat depression that was medication-resistant, saying, “The minimum daily requirement for adults of tyrosine and its precursor, phenylalanine, is 16 mg/kg a day or about 1000 mg total. Hence, 6 g is at least six times the minimum daily requirement.”

Please have a discussion with your doctor or naturopath to see if L-tyrosine might be able to help with depression.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22175049

http://www.dcnutrition.com/AminoAcids/Detail.CFM?RecordNumber=129

L-tyrosine And Vitamin D Links to Aging, Cognitive Decline

An animal study has led to greater understanding of the complex causes of cognitive decline in the aging brain. Cognitive decline is a factor in aging, but can this decline be prevented?  A study measured l-tyrosine nitration to investigate the role of Vitamin D in the aging brain.

The world population is aging. We can all expect to live longer, particularly if we live in developed countries. The percentage of people 80 and older is projected to increase fourfold over the next 50 years. And the proportion of people who live beyond the age of 100 is growing rapidly.

However, aging brains often suffer cognitive decline. Forgetfulness, inability to maintain focus, and a reduced capability to solve problems are common to all aging brains. Mild cognitive decline is an expected part of aging. But cognitive decline doesn’t affect all brains equally.

Cognitive decline can be caused by a variety of factors. Oxidative stress, which leads to free radicals damaging healthy cells, is one factor. Nitrosative stress is also a factor in cognitive decline. This occurs when nitrogen species act with reactive oxygen species to damage the healthy brain cells. But where does l-tyrosine fit into this picture?

A study from the Sanders Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky, examined the links between vitamin D deficiency and nitrosative stress. Can measuring l-tyrosine levels in the vitamin D-deficient brains help predict cognitive decline? Researchers J Keeney, S Forster, et al, developed an animal study to investigate.

Can measuring l-tyrosine combat cognitive decline?

Middle aged male rats were divided into three groups and fed either low vitamin D food, or high vitamin D food.  The diet continued for 5 months, then their brains were examined for evidence of oxidative and nitrosative stress.

One indication of nitrosative stress is the production of nitrol-tyrosine, which is caused by l-tyrosine nitration, which is a chemical process. L-tyrosine is an amino acid, produced in the body from phenylalanine. It is vital to general metabolism.

In this rat study, the low vitamin D group had much higher levels of nitrol-tyrosine. The study proved that vitamin D deficiency resulted in significant nitrosative stress in the brain, and that this nitrosative stress may cause cognitive decline.

The researchers concluded that proper nutrition, with adequate levels of vitamin D that help prevent l-tyrosine nitration, are necessary to prevent cognitive decline.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23872023

Amino Acids – Natural Cure For Alcoholism?

Could amino acids become a natural cure for alcoholism?  Based on the information in two great books by Julia Ross – “The Diet Cure” and “The Mood Cure”, this could certainly be the case.

According to Ross, overeating or drinking alcohol is actually a form of using food or alcohol as self-medication.  It is not about having poor willpower… it is because you are low on certain brain chemicals that make you emotionally strong.

Ross claims that if you are using alcohol to feel good – and the same applies to sugar and carbohydrate addictions – it is because something is interfering with your body’s ability to produce its own natural brain drugs.  What does this mean?  For example, a continuous stress lowers your natural sedative, stimulant and pain reliever reserves.  When you run out of them, your body wants to feel good and basically tells you to eat foods or drink alcohol – do anything that would fix the problem and make you feel good again.

Regular use of sugars, alcohol or drugs (even pharmaceutical drugs) can teach your brain not to produce those brain chemicals.  “Hey, why should I produce these neurotransmitters, when you are feeding me alcohol, doing the job for me,” your brain asks.  The more you condition your body with alcohol, the fewer neurotransmitters it produces.

What does this have to do with amino acids?  Everything!  Your brain relies on proteins, which are the only source for amino acids, and amino acids are what your body uses to make all of its mood-enhancing chemicals.  If you aren’t getting enough protein, or if you have conditioned your brain to interfere with the ‘conversion’ process, you start getting cravings.  This leads to an interesting conclusion: consuming amino acid supplements could become a natural cure for alcoholism and other sugar cravings.

Natural cure for alcoholism – false hope or a viable option?

In order to understand how you could use amino acid supplements to eliminate or reduce alcohol cravings and therefore gradually cure your alcoholism, it’s important to understand the role of various brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that impact our mood.  They are a) dopamine/norepinephrine (improves mental focus and energizes you naturally), b) GABA (a Valium/Diazepam like natural sedative and relaxant), c) endorphin (a natural painkiller) and serotonin (helps you sleep and keeps you ‘happy’).

If you have plenty of all four, you are living a balanced life.  But when your reserves get depleted, you may resort to overeating and alcohol consumption.

If you want to learn the intricacies of exactly how amino acids work, we highly suggest that you read Julia Ross’s two great books.  However, if you have mood related issues, here is a list of amino acids that convert into proper brain chemicals, balancing your mood and potentially eliminating the need to use other substances, such as alcohol, carbohydrates or sugar.

The first brain chemical on our list, dopamine/norepinephrine increases your energy level.  The corresponding amino acid that produces the same effect is L-Tyrosine.  L-Tyrosine typically works fast and provides you with additional energy.

Some people eat chocolate or drink alcohol because they are tired and want that initial energy boost that comes from consuming those products.  If low energy level is your one of your problem areas, try L-Tyrosine and see if it could become part of your natural cure for alcoholism.

Then again, some people drink to relax.  GABA is often called natural valium (valium is also known as diazepam), which is used to relieve anxiety and other side effects associated with alcohol withdrawal, and L-Taurine can relieve tension as well.  L-theanine helps you reduce stress and relax as well. In other words, add these three amino acids for your natural cure for alcoholism toolkit!

Then there are those people who drink to get rid of emotional pain, the source of which they may not even remember anymore. There are two powerful amino acids that are used to alleviate emotional pain: L-glutamine and DLPA or DL-Phenylalanine. L-Glutamine is the second best choice for your body to fuel your brain.  Sugar – or glucose – is the primary option.  This makes it easy to understand why sugary products, carbohydrates or alcohol, which convert to glucose, are an easy way to stop a craving.  However, L-Glutamine amino acid reaches the brain within minutes.

The last amino acid, L-Tryptophan, is sometimes called “a natural Prozac”.  When a series of contaminated batches of L-Tryptophan came from Japan to the U.S. in the late 1980’s, the Food and Drug Administration banned it.  It is again available and is a very powerful product.  It plays an important role for the synthesis of melatonin and serotonin – hormones that regulate mood and stress response. L-Tryptophan helps support relaxation, sleep, positive mood and immune function. L-Tryptophan is the precursor to Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, which is deficient in people who have depression.

A ‘watered-down’ version, 5-HTP, is widely available in most health food stores.

I want a natural cure for alcoholism but I have no idea what to do next?

How much of each one of these amino acids should you take to address your emotional issues, cravings or even create a natural cure for alcoholism?  This is a difficult question to answer. Julia Ross provides detailed instructions in her books, including the dosage, what time of the day you should take each supplement and which one of these supplements should never be taken together – after all, why take energizing and relaxing supplements at the same time?

If you do not decide to read the works of Julia Ross or Dr. Joan Mathews Larson, who is often considered to be the inventor of this amino acid therapy to cure alcoholism naturally, then you will need to make your own educated decision on which supplements to use and determine the proper dosage.

While supplement bottles typically post a recommended dosage, please remember that certain inactive ingredients in supplements (used as lubricants in the manufacturing process) reduce the absorption of the product’s active ingredients.  If you follow dosage recommendations, and do not get the results you are after, get a copy of The Diet Cure and see the dose ranges that Dr. Ross presents.

Are amino acid therapies a natural cure for alcoholism? According to Dr. Larson, her detox center’s long-term success rates quadrupled from 20% to 80%, utilizing the strategies explained in this article.  If you are suffering from any addictions, including alcoholism, amino acids might be a long-sought after solution for you!

Low Phenylalanine Diet and Cancer Patients

More information on the incredibly complex nature of cancer. Diets which limit tumor growth in animal models did not have the same positive effect on humans in a European pilot study. Diets without enough protein (that provide amino acids) like junk food that have low tyrosine and low phenylalanine were studied…

Advanced cancer is cancer which has spread, or metastasized, and may no longer be responding to treatment. Some cancers, such as brain cancers, are considered advanced cancer even if they haven’t spread. The cancer is not curable at this stage.

There are some treatment options, however, which focus on controlling the cancer and managing cancer symptoms, so the patient can feel as good as possible for as long as possible. Limiting the spread of cancer is one of the goals, including controlling tumor growth.

Low tyrosine and low phenylalanine diets

Researchers M Harvie, I Campbell, et al, with the University Department of Medical Oncology, South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester, UK, hoped there would be a correlation between the results of an animal trial and a human trial in regards to low tyrosine and low phenylalanine.

A low tyrosine and low phenylalanine diet was successful in limiting tumor growth in animal models. These are both amino acids. Tyrosine is made in the body from phenylalanine, and is crucial to general metabolism. It has a strong antidepressant effect.

The researchers developed a pilot study to test the low tyrosine and low phenylalanine diet, which was offered to human volunteers with advanced cancer. Three patients with metastatic melanoma and three patients with metastatic breast cancer agreed to try the diet for one month.

Results were disappointing. All patients experienced negative side effects. They reported increased levels of anxiety and depression due to the low tyrosine diet. Some patients also lost weight. There was a slight increase in white cell counts, but not significantly.

The researchers concluded that low tyrosine and low phenylalanine diets are not a viable treatment for people with advanced cancer.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12028515