Photograph of Phenylalanine under the microscope.

 An essential amino acid, phenylalanine plays a key role in the biosynthesis of other amino acids and some neurotransmitters, helping to elevate mood and may be used in the treatment of some forms of depression. It is essential for the production of adrenalin. It is also essential for the thyroid gland to secrete thyroxine which regulates the metabolic rate. It may be used for suppression of the appetite. Current studies are exploring its possibilities for the treatment of mental disorders.

 Phenylalanine is an essential precursor to the amino acid tyrosine. Because tyrosine is necessary for the synthesis of proteins and the production of the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, phenylalanine is an extremely important emotional support nutrient. Moreover, it inhibits an enzyme that breaks down enkephalins and endorphins, two naturally occurring morphine-like hormones which act as mild mood elevators and potent pain suppressers.

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