The search for simple and effective treatments for conditions such as depression is an ongoing one. Simply put, there are a lot of individuals, professionals and groups with plenty of reasons to look for a nice “quick fix” for accumulated stress, which is where we come to L-tyrosine. While most supplements or treatments out there can be easily dismissed, often as little more than hokey placebos, the effectiveness of L-tyrosine is a constant point of interest among those looking to research or treat certain emotional / cerebral issues. Little known to most people, most of the original surfacing reports which outline the beneficial effects of tyrosine were initially published by units attached to the US military (source). In other words, the point to take from all this is that there are some very well-financed organizations which are very much interested seriously utilizing L-tyrosine.
Without taking things in too technical a direction, you can think of L-tyrosine as something that the brain needs in order to regulate chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These are critical for maintaining stable cerebral health, according to conventional wisdom, and while Tyrosine is referred to as a “non-essential” amino acid, the fact is that it has been shown to help those with certain conditions such as depression, elevated stress, ADD, ADHD, sleeping problems, drug addiction and more. Moreover, Tyrosine has also been used in treating aliments such as heart disease, stroke, loss of sex drive, or even in anti-aging research.
As for the case of depression and why L-Tyrosine is useful, you only have to realize that we’re talking about something that caters to healthy brain functionality. There are actually studies which have demonstrated that it assisted…
…in preventing a decline in cognitive function in response to physical stress. The physical stressors include those of interest to the military, such as cold stress, the combination of cold stress and high-altitude stress (i.e., mild hypoxia), extended wakefulness and lower body negative pressure stress (designed to simulate some of the effects of space flight). Doses of L-tyrosine in these studies ranged up to 20 g, many times the normal daily dietary intake. In one study, L-tyrosine was given at a dosage of 2 g per day for 5 days during a demanding military combat training course; it improved various aspects of cognitive function relative to placebo.
Clearly this indicates that Tyrosine can help those dealing with intense stress to better manage it as well as prevent additional damage to mental functions. Now, when you consider that stress is indeed pointed to be a major factor in the development of depression the truth becomes obvious – L-tyrosine is pretty great for fighting such conditions.
As always, you should definitely consult your regular physician before adding a new supplement to your diet, of course. Because there is currently a lack of evidence and research which points toward the safety of long-term use, it is imperative that anyone who might be interested in tyrosine know exactly what it does to the human body.
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