NOW L-Phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that can be readily converted into the amino acid tyrosine. Because tyrosine is necessary for the synthesis of proteins and the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, phenylalanine is an extremely important nutrient that must be obtained through the diet or supplementation.
Each Capsule Contains:
L-Phenylalanine (Free-Form) - 500mg
Does not contain:
sugar, salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives.
As a dietary supplement, take 1 capsule 1 to 3 times daily as needed, preferably between meals.
Persons with high blood pressure should consult a physician before using.
The body converts phenylalanine into tyrosine, another amino acid essential for making proteins, brain chemicals including dopamine and norepinephrine, and thyroid hormones. Symptoms of phenylalanine deficiency include confusion, lack of energy, depression, decreased alertness, decreased memory, and diminished appetite.
On the other hand, a rare metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) occurs in people who are missing an enzyme that is needed to properly metabolize phenylalanine, causing high levels of phenylalanine in the body. Symptoms of PKU, which tend to appear between 3 and 6 months of age, include eczema, developmental delay, an abnormally small head, and hyperactivity. If it is not treated before 3 weeks of age, PKU can cause severe, irreversible mental retardation. In the United States, newborns are tested for PKU during the first 48 - 72 hours of life.
People with PKU must eat a phenylalanine-restricted, tyrosine-supplemented diet to have optimum brain development and growth. Rarely, over-restriction of phenylalanine in the diet can lead to deficiency of this amino acid, with the same symptoms described above.
Although results of clinical studies have not been entirely consistent, preliminary evidence suggests that D-phenylalanine may help reduce chronic pain associated with certain health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and fibromyalgia, by stimulating nerve pathways in the brain that control pain. Some scientists, for example, report that they have observed enhanced pain relief when D-phenylalanine is used together with prescription painkillers, including opiates. Other clinical studies have found D-phenylalanine to be no more effective than placebo in reducing pain. Further research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of this amino acid for pain.
One animal study suggests that D-phenylalanine may improve rigidity, walking disabilities, speech difficulties, and depression associated with Parkinson`s disease. It is not clear whether these results translate into a possible treatment for people with this disease, however. Further studies in people are necessary before supplementation with this amino acid can be recommended for individuals with Parkinson`s disease.
Clinical evidence suggests that combining L-phenylalanine (oral and topical) with UVA radiation for people with vitiligo, a condition characterized by irregular depigmentation (loss of color) or white patches of skin. L-phenylalanine may lead to some darkening or repigmentation of the whitened areas, particularly on the face. Although preliminary clinical information suggests that it is safe when used under appropriate medical guidance and supervision of a health care professional, more research is needed to assess potential side effects of this treatment approach.
Some clinical evidence suggests that phenylalanine may be effective as part of a comprehensive therapy for depression. Individuals have reported improvement in mood when taking phenylalanine. This is thought to be due to enhanced production of brain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. More research is needed in this area.
Information taken from the NOW website.
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