N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine: Unlock the Gateway to Neurotransmission

Overview:

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) is an acetylated form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine. It breaks down to L-Tyrosine in the kidneys and is more soluble than Tyrosine supplements.

The brain converts L-Tyrosine to L-DOPA, which produces the neurotransmitter dopamine. The excess dopamine is then further converted into neurotransmitters epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). This triad of neurotransmitters (referred to as catecholamines) is associated with mood, attention, focus, and alertness.

Tyrosine is considered a non-essential amino acid as it can be synthesised in the body from phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is commonly found in many protein-rich foods such as chicken, fish, dairy, and nuts. However, supplementation of NALT is often necessary to optimise cognitive function.

Brain L-Tyrosine

Benefits of NALT:

NALT influences some of the key neurotransmitters and hormones that can play a massive role in the causes of stress, particularly in periods of sleep deprivation. These neurotransmitters are involved in a lot of our cognitive processing, and too much stimulation is believed to influence an onset of anxiety.

One of the primary contributing determinants of stress is the overstimulation of the neurotransmitter glutamate. This overstimulation of the glutamate neurotransmitters may also lead to nerve damage.

NALT helps convert tyrosine into l-dopa, which leads to the hormone dopamine being produced. There’s numerous research that suggests dopamine reduces the symptoms associated with anxiety and stress, by regulating the amount of glutamate activity in the brain.

Supplementation of NALT helps facilitate an increase in dopamine levels, allowing a user to have a reduction in both anxiety and stress levels theoretically.

A clinical study published in 2015 found that use of tyrosine supplementation promoted further cognitive flexibility - described as the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously - when compared to a neutral placebo.

The benefit of using NALT over L-Tyrosine is that the substance has increased solubility. NALT is 20 times more soluble in water than L-Tyrosine.


Summary:

NALT is an excellent supplement for supporting both cognition and calming stress and anxiety levels. It’s for these reasons that we chose to use NALT as one of our ten ingredients in the formula for Vita MIND.


References:

  1. Colzato, Lorenza S., et al. “Eating to stop: Tyrosine supplementation enhances inhibitory control but not response execution.” Neuropsychologia, vol. 62, 2014, pp. 398–402., doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.12.027.
  2. Hardman, Charlotte A., et al. “Dopamine and food reward: Effects of acute tyrosine/Phenylalanine depletion on appetite.” Physiology & Behavior, vol. 105, no. 5, 2012, pp. 1202–1207., doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.12.022.
  3. Homan, Philipp, et al. “The effects of catecholamine depletion on the neural response to fearful faces in remitted depression.” The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 17, no. 09, 2014, pp. 1419–1428., doi:10.1017/s1461145714000339.
  4. Jongkees, Bryant J., et al. “Effect of tyrosine supplementation on clinical and healthy populations under stress or cognitive demands—A review.” Journal of Psychiatric Research, vol. 70, 2015, pp. 50–57., doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.08.014.
  5. Shurtleff, David, et al. “Tyrosine reverses a cold-Induced working memory deficit in humans.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 47, no. 4, 1994, pp. 935–941., doi:10.1016/0091-3057(94)90299-2.
  6. Steenbergen, Laura, et al. “Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: Evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance.” Neuropsychologia, vol. 69, 2015, pp. 50–55., doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.01.022.

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