Tyrosine is the amino acid with aromatic side chain. It has hydroxyl group for H bonds and shows polarity. It is non-essential amino acid which means, which means that it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet. It is glucogenic and ketogenic both. It 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. Tyrosine is important to overall metabolism. It is a precursor of adrenaline and the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which regulate mood and stimulate metabolism and the nervous system.
Tyrosine, a parent amino acid for skin, hair, and eye pigments, 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.”
Functions of Tyrosine
- Tyrosine acts as a mood elevator; a lack of adequate amounts of tyrosine leads to a deficiency of norepinephrine in the brain, which in turn can result in depression.
- Helps 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 aids in the production of melanin (the pigment responsible for skin and hair color) and in the functions of the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. It is also involved in the metabolism of the amino acid phenylalanine.
- Supplemental L-tyrosine has been used for stress reduction, and research suggests it may be helpful against chronic fatigue and narcolepsy. It has been used to help individuals suffering from anxiety, depression, low sex drive, allergies, and headaches, as well as persons undergoing withdrawal from drugs. It may also help people with Parkinson’s disease.
- 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.
- Tyrosine is known for giving lots of important products to our body. It gives rise to catecholamine e.g. adrenaline and noradrenalin and dopamine. They then function as neurotransmitters in our brain. These are important in maintaining the good balance of moods in person. If there deficiency occurs then this result in depression in a person. Dopamine further has another important physiological role in our body i.e. it stimulates the myocardial activity in the heart means it performs an isotropic action. Since it is a neurotransmitter in the brain, in case of its deficiency in the basal ganglia, an extra pyramidal disease called Parkinsonism occurs. It also acts as a prolactin release inhibiting factor in the anterior pituitary gland.
Deficiency Symptoms of Tyrosine
- Symptoms of tyrosine deficiency can also include low blood pressure, low body temperature (such as cold hands and feet), and restless leg syndrome.
Rich Food Sources of Tyrosine
- Natural Food sources of tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
- Animal sources include chicken, turkey, dairy products like yogurt, milk, cheese, and in fish.
- Tryptophan: The essential amino acid that is needed to maintain optimum health. (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)
- 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)