Tyrosine is one of the 22 amino acids which form the building blocks of proteins. It belongs to the non essential category of amino acids, meaning that your body can make it by itself. So there isn't any direct need to take it through diet or supplements, unless you are lacking in it.
A healthily functioning human body synthesizes tyrosine from a precursor amino acid known as phenylalanine. There are a few cases where the body can't successfully synthesize its own tyrosine. The most common occurrence involves a condition known as phenylketonuria. This describes a situation whereby the body is unable to utilize the phenylalanine that it synthesizes. This kind of situation calls for dietary or supplementary intake of tyrosine as the body is consequently not able to synthesize it.
Tyrosine is vital for normal physiological functioning of the body as well as mental and psychological functions. It plays a major role in brain activity. It does this by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are molecules which signal the brain to effect particular responses. They help nerve cells convey messages to the brain and also play a part in determining your feelings and mood. Dopamine in particular helps in relieving stress and depression.
Aside from brain activity regulation, tyrosine also contributes towards the synthesis of melanin. Melanin refers to the pigment which gives skin and hair their color. Furthermore, tyrosine boosts the activity of organs and glands which secrete various body hormones. These include the pancreas, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland among others.
In case you need extra tyrosine through your diet, you should consume foods which are high in it. Examples of high tyrosine foods are:
You can also complement your dietary intake with tyrosine supplements should there be a need to do so.