Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning our bodies can make tyrosine, indeed it makes tyrosine from another amino acid - phenylalanine. First isolated and identified in 1846 (from casein protein), tyrosine serves many functions in our bodies. Among the most important functions is tyrosine is a precursor to several important neurotransmitters; epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters regulate our mood. Tyrosine is also used to make melanin, the substance responsible for skin pigmentation. But what is of particular concern for people who are in the process of losing weight is the role tyrosine serves as being a precursor to both major thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine, referred to as T3, and thyroxine, referred to as T4. It is the T3 that is the active hormone, T4 serves mostly as a prohormone and the body converts T4 into T3 by simply removing an iodine atom.
Tyrosine can be found in foods such as chicken and turkey, chicken breasts are an excellent source of tyrosine, as well as some cheese, particularly cottage cheese. You can also find tyrosine in casein and whey protein supplements. Many people take tyrosine supplements because they feel it enhances mental alertness and sharpens focus. I became particularly interested due to its role in thyroid hormone production. Because I am not consuming tyrosine-rich foods throughout the day, I wanted to ensure there was enough tyrosine inside me to let my thyroid output at its maximum capacity.
As with my kelp tablets, I spread my tyrosine across the day, taking them at the same time as the kelp tablets. I started taking tyrosine the same time I started taking kelp tablets, and began dropping weight immediately. As you will notice in my report on my first six weeks, each week I dropped six pounds. Doubtless many factors contributed their part, and I believe ensuring I was getting enough tyrosine was one of them. It must be stated that simply consuming tyrosine with kelp tablets will not boost the amount of thyroid hormone you can produce, it will simply allow you to reach your individual potential max hormone production capacity. After all, your thyroid cannot produce its full potential if it does not have all the materials it needs. Since tyrosine serves many roles in the body, your body will make use of any tyrosine it gets.
I have seen advisories that consumption should not exceed more than 12,000mg (including dietary tyrosine). I am almost certain I exceeded that dosage on many occasion, and did not feel any bad effects, but because it was mentioned in several places, it was pertinent to put that advisory here. I take 3000mg a day, spread through out the day. Unlike other specific amino acid supplements, I will continue to take tyrosine when I am traveling due, so I buy tyrosine in powder form and tablets when I am on the road. Consuming tyrosine does offer many benefits to the body aside from the benefit to the thyroid gland. If you want to give tyrosine a try, All Star Health carries tyrosine at great prices; I prefer Twinlabs or NOW brand.