Many of us will likely want to lose weight at some point in our lives. To speed things up, we’ll do anything. From fad diets to shakes, smoothies, and soups— the options for losing weight are limitless. And one supplement that is gaining popularity today is L-tyrosine. But does it work for weight loss?

In this article, let’s explore L-tyrosine and how it can support weight loss, including other health benefits and how much a person should take L-tyrosine for weight loss.

L-Tyrosine: A Non-Essential Amino Acid

Before we dive deep into learning how this amino acid can support weight loss, let’s first take a look at what L-tyrosine is.

Since they serve as the foundation of protein, amino acids are crucial to your general well-being [1]. Twenty amino acids are necessary for your body to function properly. Some proteins, hormones, and enzymes that keep you happy and healthy are produced with the help of L-tyrosine.

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, which means your body makes plenty of it on its own. Furthermore, L-tyrosine supports the production of critical hormones and brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that facilitate communication between nerve cells and control our mood and cognitive function.

Sources of L-Tyrosine

L-tyrosine can be found in smaller amounts in some plant foods as well as protein-rich animal foods such as fish, cheese, chicken, and turkey [2]. Therefore, if you want to increase the amount of it in your diet, there are two ways to do it: through food, or with tyrosine supplements, which are becoming increasingly popular these days.

To give you a better idea of how you can incorporate L-tyrosine into your diet, here are food sources that you can add to your next grocery list.

  • legumes and beans
  • dairy items like yogurt and milk
  • Eggs
  • seeds and nuts
  • whole grains like quinoa and oats

Tyrosine is converted into neurotransmitters along with other minerals like copper, folate, and vitamin B6, among others. Therefore, adding those food sources mentioned above is crucial so you can also get these nutrients besides L-tyrosine.

Benefits of L-Tyrosine

Let’s look at the benefits of L-tyrosine in our body, which would be helpful for people starting their weight loss journey.

Manages stress 

Everyone has gone through stressful situations in their lives. The truth is that many of us deal with it every day. Memory, concentration, and the capacity to think clearly are all significantly impacted by stress. As a result, we frequently cannot function at our best, which prolongs our stress.

Catecholamines are hormones and neurotransmitters produced by the brain, nerve fibers, and adrenal glands that support the body in responding to physical or mental stress. Stressful conditions cause an increase in catecholamine release. These include the chemicals in our brain, such as dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Under stress, these crucial catecholamines are depleted, leading to a deterioration in cognitive function. You need to replenish these compounds, so your body can handle stressful conditions. The production of all three involves L-tyrosine, so taking a supplement can help reduce stress and protect against irritation, exhaustion, and other mental side effects of stress [3].

Fights Depression

Low levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain may worsen depression. Antidepressants, which target the production of these neurotransmitters to raise their levels and elevate mood, are frequently given to treat this mental illness.

Moreover, the production of neurotransmitters linked to depression is increased by L-tyrosine. Consequently, taking a supplement might help to relieve the symptoms of depression. One study found that L-tyrosine is particularly beneficial for treating depression that is dopamine-dependent [4].

Although it is well known that L-tyrosine has antidepressant properties, anti-depressant medications shouldn’t be substituted with L-tyrosine supplements.

Supports weight loss

Due to their impact on metabolism, supplements containing L-tyrosine are believed to play a role in weight loss. This is because L-tyrosine is required to produce thyroid hormones like triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which are crucial for regulating all metabolic processes.

Low thyroid hormone levels can cause weight gain by slowing metabolism and altering how the body burns fat. Consequently, L-tyrosine supplements can help the thyroid gland produce thyroid hormones, boosting your metabolism.

There is evidence that L-tyrosine is even more beneficial for weight loss when combined with other fat-burning ingredients like caffeine and capsaicin [5].

However, L-tyrosine may cause thyroxine levels to rise for those with thyroid problems, such as an overactive thyroid. Therefore, exercising caution is important when taking it. In some cases, it may conflict with thyroid medications, so you must consult your doctor before taking L-tyrosine if you are diagnosed with this condition. 

How Much L-Tyrosine Should I Take for Weight Loss?

A recent study suggests a standard dose of 100–150 mg per 1 kg of body weight to help people lose weight. For a person weighing 150 pounds, this would be approximately 7–10 grams, and for a person weighing 200 pounds, it would be 9–13.5 grams.

L-tyrosine should be taken on an empty stomach for maximum effect to prevent interference from other amino acids found in food. Taking it in the morning is advisable because of its stimulatory properties to prevent sleep disruption.

Bottomline: L-Tyrosine for Weight Loss

The amino acid L-tyrosine is necessary to produce essential neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate mood, cognitive function, energy, and metabolism. L-tyrosine is a supplement that can help with almost every element of brain function, including attention, focus, memory, motor skills, energy, and more. 

L-tyrosine supplements might support your weight loss journey by giving you more motivation and drive combined with enhanced metabolism. However, taking precautionary measures is important if one is taking thyroid medications. 

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Wu G, Wu Z, Dai Z, Yang Y, Wang W, Liu C, Wang B, Wang J, Yin Y. Dietary requirements of “nutritionally non-essential amino acids” by animals and humans. Amino Acids. 2013 Apr;44(4):1107-13. doi: 10.1007/s00726-012-1444-2. Epub 2012 Dec 18. PMID: 23247926.
  • Kühn S, Düzel S, Colzato L, Norman K, Gallinat J, Brandmaier AM, Lindenberger U, Widaman KF. Food for thought: association between dietary tyrosine and cognitive performance in younger and older adults. Psychol Res. 2019 Sep;83(6):1097-1106. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0957-4. Epub 2017 Dec 18. PMID: 29255945; PMCID: PMC6647184.
  • Young SN. L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress? J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2007 May;32(3):224. PMID: 17476368; PMCID: PMC1863555.
  • Mouret J, Lemoine P, Minuit MP, Robelin N. La L-tyrosine guérit, immédiatement et à long terme, les dépressions dopamino-dépendantes (DDD). Etude clinique et polygraphique [L-tyrosine cures, immediate and long term, dopamine-dependent depressions. Clinical and polygraphic studies]. C R Acad Sci III. 1988;306(3):93-8. French. PMID: 3126995.
  • Belza A, Frandsen E, Kondrup J. Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Jan;31(1):121-30. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803351. Epub 2006 Apr 25. PMID: 16652130.
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Charish Luzuriaga, RDN

Charish is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RDN) who really enjoys helping her readers understand their dietary habits better. She has impressive experience and knowledge about the nutritional values of various foods and ingredients and enjoys informing her readers about popular diets, supplements, and herbs. Charish harnesses her nutritional expertise to inspire and empower people to make positive, healthy changes through what they eat (and drink!). LinkedIn

Author

  • Charish is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RDN) who really enjoys helping her readers understand their dietary habits better. She has impressive experience and knowledge about the nutritional values of various foods and ingredients and enjoys informing her readers about popular diets, supplements, and herbs. Charish harnesses her nutritional expertise to inspire and empower people to make positive, healthy changes through what they eat (and drink!). LinkedIn

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Charish is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RDN) who really enjoys helping her readers understand their dietary habits better. She has impressive experience and knowledge about the nutritional values of various foods and ingredients and enjoys informing her readers about popular diets, supplements, and herbs. Charish harnesses her nutritional expertise to inspire and empower people to make positive, healthy changes through what they eat (and drink!). LinkedIn