The brain is a complex organ. There are millions of pathways, neurotransmitters, receptors and chemicals that all must stay balanced. If these pieces become skewed or imbalanced, they can exhibit themselves in your mood or attitude. Anxiety, depression and other mood or brain related conditions are all connected to the mix of chemicals and hormones in your brain. Maintaining a healthy brain and an ideal mix of all these is sometimes easier said than done. Stress, adverse events, or even over consumption of drugs, alcohol and sugar can all shift the balance of crucial brain components. One way to boost your mood naturally is to supplement with the amino acid tyrosine.
What is Tyrosine?
Tyrosine is a naturally-occurring, non-essential (because it can be produced in the liver) amino acid that is found in a variety of food sources. Dietary sources of tyrosine include chicken, eggs, fish, and dairy products. It can also be taken in supplement form to ensure adequate intake. Within the body tyrosine plays a very important role as a component in the production of norepinephrine and dopamine .
Norepinephrine is a hormone vital to the body’s functioning. It’s an important part of the stress response known as “fight or flight”, but plays other roles as well. Norepinephrine levels, either too low or too high, are associated with attention issues, mood problems, and more .
Dopamine is an ancient neurotransmitter that is involved in maintaining control of the brains pleasure and reward mechanisms. Having a dopamine imbalance, like norepinephrine, can result in numerous conditions including, but not limited to, binge eating, depression, and even bipolar disorder. Tyrosine is essential to the creation of dopamine since dopamine itself cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, but tyrosine can.
What are the Benefits of Tyrosine?
How can tyrosine help you? As shown above, tyrosine is a critical component to the production of chemicals we rely on to not only maintain optimal brain function, but to live lives with a sense of wellbeing. Supplementing with tyrosine can give your body all the necessary tools to create the ideal chemical environment.
- Improved stress response. The correct levels of norephinephrine will help you respond to, and deal with, stressful situations more effectively. Supplemental tyrosine may help improve memory and cognitive performance when stress arises .
- Elevate Your Mood. Low tyrosine levels have been found in people with mood difficulties or that suffer from depression. Since tyrosine is the main component of dopamine and dopamine is necessary to maintain a healthy mood, supplementing tyrosine will ensure you’re getting all the correct building blocks for this important neurotransmitter and may help boost your mood .