Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is also one of the aromatic amino acids that exhibit ultraviolet radiation absorption properties with a large extinction coefficient. This characteristic is often used as an analytical tool to quantify the amount of protein in a sample. It is one of the essential amino acid which means it should be provided to the body from diet. Once in the body, phenylalanine can be converted into another amino acid, tyrosine, which in turn is used to synthesize two key neurotransmitters that promote alertness: dopamine and norepinephrine. Because of its relationship to the action of the central nervous system, this amino acid can elevate mood, decrease pain, aid in memory and learning, and suppress the appetite. It can be used to treat arthritis, depression, menstrual cramps, migraines, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia.
This amino acid also absorbs ultraviolet light and strong absorbance of light by protein is at 280 nm. This property is used to detect and measure proteins. Its codons are UUU and UUC and are coded for by DNA as well. The codons are discovered byHeinrich Matthaei and Marshall Nirenberg in 1961. It has three forms: D-phenylalanine, L-phenylalanine, DL-phenylalanine.
The L- form is the most common type and is the form in which phenylalanine is incorporated into the body’s proteins. The D- type acts as a painkiller. The DL- form is a combination of the D- and the L-. Like the Dform, it is effective for controlling pain, especially the pain of arthritis; like the L- form, it functions as a building block for proteins, increases mental alertness, suppresses the appetite, and helps people with Parkinson’s disease. It has been used to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and various types of chronic pain.
Functions of the Phenylalanine
- Phenylalanine amino acid can elevate mood, decrease pain, aid in memory and learning, and suppress the appetite. It can be used to treat arthritis, depression, menstrual cramps, migraines, obesity, and schizophrenia.
- Helpful for some people with Parkinson’s disease and has been used to treat chronic pain.
- It helps with memory and learning. It has been used as an appetite suppressant.
- It has also found useful in persons with vitiligo as it helps to strengthen the ultraviolet rays’ effect in them.
- Phenylalanine gives rise to tyrosine which is one of the most important amino acid. This reaction is characterized by phenylalanine hydroxylase.
- Tyrosine also gives rise to many different and essential products for example melanin, thyroid gland, and neurotransmitters like aldosterone, noraldosterone and dopamine. So it is also involved in central nervous system.
- L-phenylalanine (LPA) serves as a building block for the various proteins that are produced in the body.
- LPA can be converted to L-tyrosine (another amino acid) and subsequently to L-dopa, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. LPA can also be converted (through a separate pathway) to phenylethylamine, a substance that occurs naturally in the brain and appears to elevate mood.
- D-phenylalanine (DPA) is not normally found in the body and cannot be converted to L-tyrosine, L-dopa, or norepinephrine. As a result, DPA is converted primarily to phenylethylamine (the potential mood elevator). DPA also appears to influence certain chemicals in the brain that relate to pain sensation
- DLPA is a mixture of LPA and its mirror image DPA. DLPA (or the D- or L-form alone) has been used to treat depression. DPA may be helpful for some people with Parkinson’s disease and has been used to treat chronic pain—including pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—with both positive and negative results. No research has evaluated the effectiveness of DLPA on rheumatoid arthritis.
- Bloodshot eyes.
- Schizophrenic behavior.
Rich Food Sources of Phenylalanine
Almonds, avocado, bananas, beans, brewer’s yeast, brown rice bran, caseinate, cheese, corn, cottage cheese, dairy products, eggs, fish, lactalbumin, legumes, lima beans, meat, nuts, ovalbumin, peanuts, pickled herring, pumpkin seeds, seafood, seeds, sesame seeds, pistachio nuts and leafy vegetables.
- Tryptophan: The essential amino acid that is needed to maintain optimum health. (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Alanine : The amino acid that helps the body to convert glucose, a simple sugar, into energy and also helps the body to eliminate excess toxins from the liver. (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Methionine : The essential amino acid which assists with metabolic function, breaks down fat, and is the primary source of sulfur in the body. (blissreturned.wordpress.com)