Mental Health Home > Does Tyrosine Work?

People who are considering L-tyrosine, or just tyrosine, may wonder if it works. While the effectiveness of tyrosine for phenylketonuria has been proven, it's unclear if supplementation helps with other conditions, such as alcohol withdrawal, erectile dysfunction, or narcolepsy. Tyrosine does not seem to work for treating ADHD or depression, despite claims to the contrary.

Does Tyrosine Work? -- An Overview

Tyrosine (also known as L-tyrosine) is an amino acid found in many foods and is also used in dietary supplements. As with most supplements, people use tyrosine for many different uses. Tyrosine supplements are sometimes claimed to be beneficial for the following purposes:
 

Studies on the Effectiveness of Tyrosine

Tyrosine studies are generally lacking. However, it is known that tyrosine works for phenylketonuria (PKU), a condition that prevents the body from producing its own tyrosine. However, tyrosine supplements are not usually recommended for people with PKU. Instead, a specially designed protein supplement containing a careful balance of amino acids, including tyrosine, is usually recommended.
 
Early studies suggest that tyrosine probably does not work for depression or ADHD.
 
There is not enough evidence proving that tyrosine is effective or ineffective for other uses.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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