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Nov 14,2019
Tyrosine Y (Tyr)
Chemical Properties: Aromatic (Aromatic group & Hydroxyl group)
Physical Properties: Nonpolar

Tyrosine, an essential amino acid, is also an aromatic amino acid and is derived from phenylalanine by hydroxylation in the para position. While tyrosine is hydrophobic, it is significantly more soluble that is phenylalanine. The phenolic hydroxyl of tyrosine is significantly more acidic than are the aliphatic hydroxyls of either serine or threonine, having a pKa of about 9.8 in polypeptides. As with all ionizable groups, the precise pKa will depend to a major degree upon the environment within the protein. Tyrosines that are on the surface of a protein will generally have a lower pKa than those that are buried within a protein; ionization yielding the phenolate anion would be exceedingly unstable in the hydrophobic interior of a protein.

Tyrosine absorbs ultraviolet radiation and contributes to the absorbance spectra of proteins. The absorbance spectrum of tyrosine will be shown later; the extinction of tyrosine is only about 1/5 that of tryptophan at 280 nm, which is the primary contributor to the UV absorbance of proteins depending upon the number of residues of each in the protein

Tyrosine was first isolated from casein in 1849 and is abundant in insulin as well as the enzyme papain and can be synthesized from the amino acid phenylalanine in the body. It is a precursor of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, all of them extremely important in the brain and transmits nerve impulses and prevents depression. Dopamine is also vital to mental function and seems to play a role in sex drive

Tyrosine required for
The action of this amino acid in brain functions is clear with its link to dopamine as well as norepinephrine, but it is also helpful in suppressing the appetite and reducing body fat, production of skin and hair pigment, the proper functioning of the thyroid as well as the pituitary and adrenal gland.

It is used for stress reduction and may be beneficial in narcolepsy, fatigue, anxiety, depression, allergies, headaches as well as drug withdrawal. In a study, using soldiers, tyrosine proved effective in alleviating stress and keeping them more alert.

Deficiency of nutrient
Tyrosine, a parent amino acid for skin, hair, and eye pigments and is involved in syndromes, known generally as oculocutaneous albinism, that are characterized by the failure to form melanin pigments, resulting in partial or complete albinism.

It is also the precursor amino acid for the thyroid gland hormone thyroxin, and a defect in this may result in hypothyroidism - an enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter), severe growth failure, and retardation of central nervous system development.

A deficiency may also have symptoms of low blood pressure, low body temperature (including cold hands and feet) and "restless leg syndrome".

The dosage listed is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

Dosage levels are not confirmed but some experiments have been performed with people taking up to 5 - 7 grams per day, with no confirmed toxic levels, but people taking MAO inhibitors, who suffer from high blood pressure and have problems with skin cancer should not take supplementation of L-tyrosine, and should aim to limit their intake of food sources high in this nutrient.

Best used with
If taking a tyrosine supplement it is best to take it at bedtime, or with a high carbohydrate meal to prevent competition of absorption with other amino acids. Folic acid, copper and vitamin B6 is a good combination to have with this nutrient to maximize absorption and effectiveness.

Other interesting points
Tyrosine and tryptophan have with been used with some success in the treatment of cocaine abuse and in another study it was combined with the antidepressant Imipramine to treat chronic cocaine abuse where it was reported that the combination blocked the cocaine high and prevented the severe depression that accompanies withdrawal.

Food sources of tyrosine
Meat, dairy, eggs as well as almonds, avocados and bananas are good sources of this nutrient.

Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that is synthesized in the body from phenylalanine. As a building block for several important brain chemicals, tyrosine is needed to make epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which work to regulate mood. Deficiencies in tyrosine, therefore, have been associated with depression. Tyrosine also aids in the production of melanin (pigment responsible for hair and skin color) and in the function of organs in the body responsible for making and regulating hormones, including the adrenal, thyrroid, and pituitary glands. Tyrosine is also involved in the synthesis of eukephalins, substances that have pain-relieving effects in the body. Low levels of tyrosine have been associated with low blood pressure, low body temperature, and an under active thyroid. This does not mean, however, that taking tyrosine supplements will avoid these particular circumstances.

Because tyrosine binds unstable molecules (called free radicals) that can potentially cause damage to the cells and tissues, it is considered a mild antioxidant. Thus, tyrosine may be useful for people who have been exposed to harmful chemicals (such as from smoking) and radiation.

Key Benefits
  • Tyrosine is the precursor to neurotransmitters and helps elevate catecholamines in the brain.
  • Pure Tyrosine helps balance brain chemistry, and supplementation with Tyrosine has been clinically effective in the treatment of depression associated with catecholamine deficiencies.
  • Tyrosine may be helpful with behavioral changes related to stress.
  • Tyrosine may be helpful in affecting withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine addiction, since cocaine depletes the brain of Dopamine and Norepinephrine.
  • May be helpful in individuals with Narcolepsy (falling asleep suddenly without any warning) which is a sleeping disorder associated with Dopamine abnormalities, since Tyrosine is the precursor to Dopamine.
  • Narcoleptics should not take Tyrosine with B-6.

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