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Tyrosine in Spinach or Eggs Can Improve Reflexes

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EGGSTyrosine is a least-talked about amino acid. Yet what you will learn now may make you search for more tyrosine rich foods on your kitchen shelf.


Tyrosine is a type of amino acid which you may need to take in from your daily diet so that the body can make another amino acid called phenylalanine, Aside from this, tyrosine is also needed to make important neurotransmitters in the body such as norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are important in the communications between nerve cells, the conduction of impulses from the parts of the body to the brain and vice versa and in maintaining mood. Tyrosine also helps create melanin which is the pigment responsible for giving hair and skin its characteristic color. Other functions of tyrosine include the production and regulation of hormones in the body such as those found in the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands. It is also needed in protein metabolism. Thus we can say that tyrosine is also an important amino acid.

Tyrosine can be acquired from the daily diet, so it's rare to have tyrosine deficiency. However, if tyrosine deficiency happens indeed it will cause some manifestations such as low body temperature, low blood pressure and underactivity of the thyroid. Tyrosine can be used as a supplement in people with phenylketonuria. Phenylketonuria is a condition wherein the body cannot use phenylalanine which is an amino acid, so that it further leads to brain damage and other mental problems. People with PKU often have low levels of tyrosine so that it can be used in this situation. Tyrosine also helps with stress, because this amino acid can facilitate the production of norephinephrine and epinephrine which are stress hormones. In times of stress, the body is not able to create enough tyrosine from phenylalanine so that more tyrosine supplementation is needed. Tyrosine is also sais to sharpen memory and improve cognitive performance even in times of stress. Tyrosine can also make you feel more alert, especially when you lacked sleep, however this is subject to validation by more research studies. Some athletes even advocate the use of tyrosine because it can boost performance.

The effects of tyrosine may be due to the fact that it helps the body produce a mood chemical called dopamine, which further affects mood. It is even said that depression can lower tyrosine levels so that tyrosine supplementation may be needed in times of depression. Tyrosine can be consumed in the diet in the form of turkey, fish, chicken, soy products, bananas, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds. It is also available in supplement form.

Tyrosine and Reflexes

Recently, a study has shown that eating spinach or eggs which contain tyrosine can improve reflexes. The findings of this research are published in the journal Neuropsychologia. This study conducted by researchers from Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam have found out that intake of tyrosine can enhance the body's ability to stop an activity at a faster speed. In this study, volunteers were made to perform a repetitive activity and were told to stop and look carefully at a computer screen. They were told to stop whenever a green arrow appeared so that they can press a button as quickly as possible. They were also made to match the button to the direction of the arrow. Whenever a red arrow appeared on the screen, the volunteers should keep their hands off the keyboard.

The results showed that those who consumed an orange drink that contained tyrosine were quicker in performing the stopping task. The researchers implied that tyrosine can increase reaction speed so that it can have benefits on road safety.

For more articles on how to take care of our brain and nerves, feel free to read our other articles on this site.