Tyrosine is an amino acid and like all amino acids it is derived from protein. It is naturally occurring, derived from L-phenylalanine (if the conversion is healthy) and is noted for improving mood, increasing energy levels and enhancing mental and physical performance. It’s necessary to produce adequate levels of tyrosine because it (should) converts to L-Dopa, Dopamine, Noraderenline and Adrenaline. This series of conversion is crucial to healthy neurotransmitter balancing.
However, conversions can often have impairments. An individual may have impaired enzymes, genetic variances, have infections that impair the conversion, and/or nutritional deficiencies that don’t allow these conversions to take place. Adequate levels of folate, iron, B2, B3, Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, B6, Copper, SAMe, Manganese, Phosphorus and B5 are absolutely necessary for the conversions to take effect. When deficiencies are present dysfunction exists in the chemical messengers between neurons, as we refer to as neurotransmitters.
I’ve included a diagram to show the “co-factors” that need to be adequate in order for a conversion to take place. For example L-Tyrosine requires folate, iron, B2, B3, Vitamin C and the enzyme tyrosine hydrolase to be functioning optimally. This enzyme can be dysfunctional if there is an infection present.
I’ve had clients come to me stating that their child/loved one had been tested and showed low levels of tyrosine so they began supplementing. This may have come under the recommendation of another professional. This is extremely dangerous. If the conversions do not exist for the reasons listed above, a build up of tyrosine/excessive dosing can result. The side effects of excess tyrosine include anxiety, heart rate changes and seizures.
My approach is to ensure that the co-factors are in place and assess and address infections. An organic acids test can help identify gaps in nutrition and yeast and bacterial infections. (For your information, Vitamin C and B6 are almost always low in every OAT I interpret even if the parent is supplementing). This will help ensure that the conversions are healthy and that L-Phenylalanine is converting to Tyrosine and Tyrosine is converting to much needed healthy neurotransmitter functioning.
Bringing much light,