L-Tyrosine: Does It Really Increase Dopamine In The Brain?

Many people use L-tyrosine to alleviate disturbing symptoms during stressful situations. It is because L-tyrosine has been proven to boost mental acuity and concentration by increasing the production of dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Mainly the patients suffering from a deficiency of dopamine are often prescribed L-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is believed to boost dopamine synthesis in the body, but is this true? Let’s find out doe L-tyrosine really increases dopamine in the brain.

What Is L-Tyrosine?

L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid, a building block for synthesizing protein and protein-related conjugated compounds in the body. It is present naturally in the body (produced through different phenylalanine mechanisms). Also naturally occurring foods can also be a good source of L-tyrosine. Dietary products such as eggs, meat, fish, nuts, wheat, oats, and other dairy products contain significant amounts of L-tyrosine.

It is a nonessential amino acid, so getting L-tyrosine from dietary products is not always necessary. The body can synthesize L-tyrosine by itself if getting deficient in this acid. If someone gets excess L-tyrosine through duet, the body will simply break down the excessive L-tyrosine and eliminate it from the body.

The vital function of L-tyrosine in the body is the production of neurotransmitters. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine are neurotransmitter that works mainly for the sympathetic and central nervous systems, which rely on the presence of L-tyrosine for their production. Besides neurotransmitters, several enzymes, thyroid hormones, and a skin pigment, melanin also depends on L-tyrosine for its synthesis.

A deficiency of L-tyrosine can result in chronic disorders. Patients suffering from hereditary malfunctioning may have less L-tyrosine in the body. Low L-tyrosine level leads to a condition known as phenylketonuria among patients. In phenylketonuria, an amino acid known as phenylalanine is not properly metabolized in the body. As phenylalanine is required for the production of L-tyrosine, there occur disturbances in tyrosine which restrict the body in the production of neurotransmitters and enzymes.

Does L-Tyrosine Really Increase Dopamine In The Brain?

Yes, L-tyrosine increase the level of dopamine in the brain. There are certain medical conditions in which the level of dopamine fall due to tyrosine deficiency among patients. It leads to serious adverse effects such as stress, anxiety, mood swings, and weakened cognitive abilities among sufferers. To combat these conditions, patients are prescribed with increased intake of tyrosine. L-tyrosine, when present significantly, promotes the boosted production of dopamine and helps regain normal metabolic functioning.

How Does L-Tyrosine Increase Dopamine In The Brain?

L-tyrosine is the basic component needed to produce dopamine in the body. The first step in synthesizing dopamine is the transfer of tyrosine from the extracellular matrix in the cytoplasm of specific neurons. Then, this tyrosine undergoes hydroxylation by a specific enzyme known as tyrosine hydroxylase. Hydroxylation of tyrosine leads to the production of L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine). L-DOPA then undergoes decarboxylation and is converted to dopamine. This reaction is catalyzed by an aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) enzyme.

The mechanism shows that L-tyrosine is needed at the first step of dopamine production. If the body is deficient in tyrosine, it will greatly alter dopamine production. On the other hand, patients taking tyrosine supplements allow the body to boost dopamine production by offering them the basic component (tyrosine). Several studies conducted in the past have shown that people taking L-tyrosine supplements are observed with an improved level of dopamine. Improved dopamine level further helps improve the symptoms, including stress, depression, memory loss, and cognitive behavior.

What Are the Functions Of Dopamine In The Brain?

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for several vital functions in the body, as mentioned below.

  • Coordinate movement
  • Store memory
  • Regulate sleep cycle
  • Responsible for lactation
  • Regulate learning
  • Maintain healthy mood
  • Maintain attention
  • Regulate cognitive behavior
  • Manage stress situation
  • Relax or dilate blood vessels
  • Boost sodium removal
  • Reducing gastric motility

What Are The Benefits Of L-Tyrosine Intake?

L-tyrosine treats various medical conditions, which we will discuss below. But remember FDA has not approved L-tyrosine consumption for treating diseases. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult your medical expert first and then go with tyrosine intake, either in the form of supplements or herbal dosage form.

Improve Memory

Tyrosine works mainly by improving cognitive behavior among patients. Many patients suffer from weak memory or memory loss as a side effect of certain diseases.

L-tyrosine can help patients by improving their memory. More particularly, it boosts memory and thinking abilities during stressful conditions. Studies have shown that people taking L-tyrosine supplements were able to complete complicated and complex tasks in a better way than others. This function is mainly accomplished by boosting the level of dopamine in the brain.

Manage Stress

Stress occurs when the body suffers from a low level of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It further adversely alters other CNS functioning, and patients experience mood swings, memory loss, and weakened cognitive abilities.

L-tyrosine helps patients combat these adverse effects by increasing the production of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Studies have found that L-tyrosine supplements may not work effectively when the patient is normal, but during stressful conditions, L-tyrosine is proven efficient for alleviating unhealthy symptoms.


The tyrosine level falls among patients suffering from attention disorders known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). L-tyrosine supplements are effective in alleviating the different symptoms of these disorders. Children, as well as adults who are suffering from ADHD, are often prescribed tyrosine supplements to boost their recovery.

Boost Neurotransmitter And Hormonal Production

The body needs L-tyrosine to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, and hormones including T3 and T4. Neurotransmitters are essential for coordinating the body's activities and preventing stressful conditions. Boosted production of thyroid hormones by tyrosine maintains metabolic activities and prevents hypothyroidism.

Improve Mood

Mood swings occur due to alterations in the level of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, in the body. Tyrosine helps in maintaining a healthy mood among patients. Tyrosine supplements boost mood and increase the patient's ability to manage challenging situations.

It has been observed that patients taking tyrosine supplements feel motivated and powered. These functions are accomplished by boosting dopamine, epinephrine, and nor-epinephrine production by tyrosine.

Alleviate Phenylketonuria Symptoms

Patients suffering from phenylketonuria cannot produce tyrosine from phenylalanine due to the deficiency of specific enzymes. L-tyrosine supplements given to patients with phenylketonuria can alleviate some symptoms and boost recovery.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking L-Tyrosine Supplements?

L-tyrosine supplements are usually considered safe to take in the prescribed dose. Only acute side effects can occur among patients taking regular doses of L-tyrosine. These side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Acidity
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach malfunctioning

Prolonged consumption of L-tyrosine can result in side effects, but there is a limited study related to the prolonged use of L-tyrosine. Therefore taking tyrosine supplements for up to 3 months is recommended to reduce the risk factors of severe side effects.


L-tyrosine can result in adverse side effects mainly due to interaction with some specific substance. Here are mentioned the chemicals with which intake of L-tyrosine can be contraindicative.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Monoamine oxidase is the enzyme needed to break down unwanted tyrosine in the body. Reduced functioning of this enzyme can result in the accumulation of tyrosine in the body, which further causes mild to chronic side effects. There are certain types of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors which adversely alter the catabolic functioning of the monoamine oxidase enzyme. Therefore, patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tyrosine supplements are at risk of experiencing tyrosine accumulation, causing an amino acid imbalance in the body.

Thyroid Hormone

Patients taking thyroid-boosting medications should be careful about the intake of tyrosine. It is because tyrosine works by increasing the production of thyroid hormones in the body. Intake of thyroid medications and L-tyrosine can excessively increase the level of thyroid hormones and can result in hyperthyroidism.


Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease take L-dopa or levodopa. But when L-dopa and tyrosine are taken simultaneously, they compete for their absorption in the small intestine. It reduces the effectiveness of both drugs. Therefore, patients are always recommended to consult their doctor about the duration gap between the intake of L-dopa and tyrosine supplements.

How To Keep A Check At Dopamine Level In The Body?

Regular blood tests allow a person to monitor their body's dopamine levels. Attending the lab for routine testing might be stressful and stop people from monitoring their blood dopamine levels. Nevertheless, LabMe has solved this problem by providing precise at-home testing.

You can purchase a LabMe at-home testing kit, conduct the test, and then send the sample back to the lab for analysis. After evaluating the sample, medical professionals will inform you of your body's dopamine level. If you discover that your dopamine levels are low, you should talk to a medical professional about taking L-tyrosine.


L-tyrosine increases the synthesis of dopamine in the body and helps to alleviate adverse side effects such as stress, memory loss, cognitive abnormalities, and mood swings. Tyrosine is the basic component needed for synthesizing neurotransmitters, including dopamine, various enzymes, and thyroid hormones, which boost the health benefits of this amino acid.


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