Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid meaning it cannot be made by the body and as a result must come from either the foods we eat or through supplementation. The body naturally converts L-Phenylalanine into the amino acid L-Tyrosine which then converts to L-DOPA in the body. The brain converts L-DOPA into the neurotransmitter dopamine. Unused dopamine is then converted into norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline). These 3 neurotransmittors, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are as a group referred to as “catecholamines”. L-Phenylalanine is the preferred catecholamine precursor because it supports neurotransmitter production without actually increasing neurotransmitter levels which can lead to imbalances as well as intolerances.
L-Phenylalanine is often referred to as a nootropic supplement because of its ability to enhance working memory and executive function, as well as its ability to provide stress reduction, mood enhancement, lessen anxiety and improve ADHD symptoms. Improvements in creative flow states have also been documented with L-Phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine also supports the production of T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine) which are essential for maintaining cognitive health and overall physical wellbeing.
There are different forms of Phenylalanine available:
L-Phenylalanine (LPA): the natural form of this essential amino acid found in protein and is considered to be extremely effective at boosting cognitive function and supporting mood elevation.
D-Phenylalanine (DPA): a mirror image of L-Phenylalanine which is made in a lab and has been used to treat chronic pain.
DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA): is a 50/50 combination of the two forms which ideally gives you a more synergistic benefit
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