Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that the brain and body can convert into the neurotransmitter dopamine (among other substances). First, the amino acid is converted into tyrosine, and then it may either be converted into L-dopa (and then dopamine), epinephrine/adrenaline, or norepinephrine/noradrenaline. Some people recovering from certain problems may choose to use phenylalanine supplements to give their body more of the raw materials needed to produce dopamine in the brain.
Supplements of phenylalanine can treat the following:
- Dementia disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
Phenylalanine may be taken in doses of 1000mg (2 capsules) at first, and then the dosage may be increased up to 6000mg per day in more severe situations.
NOTE: Do not take phenylalanine with a protein-based snack(this includes meals or snacks with lots of animal products, such as eggs or meats, as well as protein shakes)! Instead, if you must take this supplement with food, take it with rice, bread, or another carbohydrate. Protein-based foods will have other amino acids that can compete with the phenylalanine to enter the body and take up their rightful position, thus potentially booting the phenylalanine out of your system entirely.