Phenylalanine has the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and hence very helpful in treating the diseases of the brain. The blood-brain barrier is a protective layer made up of red blood cells which protects the brain from toxins, bacteria and viruses. The brains function is affected by the chemicals which can pass through this membrane and reach the brain. It is a natural treatment for depression.
BENEFITS AND USES
Phenylalanine is required by the body to make the three neurotransmitters namely dopamine, epinephrine and nor epinephrine, that control your interaction with the environment.
Phenylalanine supplements make one’s mood happy, make you feel less hungry, improve concentration, boosts memory, makes one more alert and also eases the chronic pains.
Skin conditions like vitiligo which produces white patches on the skin are treated by the use of this amino acid. It can be taken orally or applied topically.
There are different kinds of phenylalanine, D-phenylalanine, L-phenylalanine and DL-phenylalanine. Each one has its own uses and is helpful in treating different conditions. D-phenylalanine is effective for controlling pain; L-phenylalanine is effective in treating moods, hunger and mental alertness. DL effects pain sensitivity and mental state.
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid which has to be obtained from dietary sources. It’s very helpful for people suffering from obesity, arthritis, menstrual cramps and mild depression. It has also proved effective in treating patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia.
People with high blood pressure should avoid any kind of supplementation containing this amino acid or even foods which have high doses of this amino acid. This has the ability to aggravate the condition. People suffering from a condition called phenylketonuria should also avoid this amino acid as they are not able to break it down in their body. Also those persons taking some prescribed drugs like monoamine oxidase should avoid it as this leads to abnormal increase in blood pressure. It should also be avoided when taking anti depressants. Large doses may also cause nerve damage.
It is mostly available as capsules, tablet or powder form. It is also found naturally in the breast milk of mammals. It is also used in the manufacture of food and drink products. Good sources include eggs, chicken, milk, beef, liver and soybeans. Other sources include green leafy vegetables like amaranth, tofu and lupin seeds.
Large doses may cause nausea, heart burn and headaches. Most people will not face any side effects but when taking doses like more than 1500mg per day it may lead to numbness, tingling feeling, and other signs of nerve damage. At large doses it may interfere with the synthesis of Serotonin which is essential for proper functioning of brain.
The dose depends on the requirement for which you are taking the amino acid. Those looking for battling depression and mood disorders can take 100-200mg per day in the morning on an empty stomach. For treating ADHD a dose of 20mg would be fine. For Parkinson’s disease 200-500 mg is required. Also high protein foods should be avoided for an hour or two as they interfere with the absorption.