What Is Tyrosine & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Tyrosine (src)

Tyrosine, also called 4-hydroxyphenylalanine, is a non-essential amino-acid, used to synthesize proteins.

Tyrosine is synthesized in the body from another amino acid called phenylalanine, which you get from food.

Non-essential means that can be made by humans in the body, and don’t have to be ingested through the diet.

Table of Contents

Tyrosine And Adrenaline

Tyrosine is an amino acid that easily goes through the blood-brain barrier into the brain.

Once in the brain, it is a precursor to adrenaline. (source )

Adrenaline is a hormone in the adrenal glands, released into the body of someone feeling extreme emotions, preparing the body for fight or flight.

Tyrosine Converts Into Melanin

Tyrosine can be converted into melanin by tyrosinase, which has been widely used as a method for the treatment of various diseases.

The tyrosinase is an enzyme that is present in the cells and is highly expressed in the melanin-producing cells such as melanocytes and melanoma cells.

Melanin is a pigment present in the skin and hair. Its synthesis in the skin is involved in the formation of pigments that protect the skin against the damage of ultraviolet rays.

Tyrosine As Supplement

Tyrosine is often sold as a supplement with the ability to reduce stress and help alertness.

But tyrosine does not appear to have the stimulant-like activity like caffeine.

It is not likely to be useful in situations in which performance is lacking due to boredom or sleepiness. Therefore should not be recommended for that reason. (source )

Foods You Can Find Tyrosine In

You find Tyrosine mostly in dairy and egg, legume, vegetable, and beverage products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Tyrosine, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Tyrosine.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.