L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is used by the cells to synthesise adrenaline and noradrenaline using the tyrosine hydroxylase enzyme pathway. This pathway maintains adequate stores of adrenaline and noradrenaline, particularly in nervous tissue. Stress depletes the body of adrenaline and noradrenaline, and as a result L-tyrosine requirements increase. Studies have shown that supplementation with L-tyrosine can overcome short term fatigue and may allow the cells to maintain adequate levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline during depletion episodes. However, supplements of L-tyrosine are most effective when other amino acids are not present to compete with the uptake of the L-tyrosine, particularly across the blood brain barrier. Therefore effective use of L-tyrosine as an anti-stress agent is more skillful than simply taking L-tyrosine supplements. A high protein diet may also have some anti-stress effects for the same reason, particularly if the protein is high in L-tyrosine, although again, timing is important.
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