L-phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is necessary for the normal functioning of the central nervous system. It occurs as a constituent of many proteins and is naturally converted to tyrosine in the body.
L-phenylalanine must be derived from dietary sources. It is available in most foods that contain protein, including beef, poultry, pork, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, soy products and certain nuts and seeds. Banana is also a rich source of phenylalanine, as well as the artificial sweetener aspartame (found in soft drinks and gum).
The body requires phenylalanine to synthesize epinephrine, dopamine and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters in the brain.
There are three different chemical forms of phenylalanine: L-phenylalanine, the natural form of phenylalanine found in proteins throughout the body; D-phenylalanine, a mirror image of L-phenylalanine that is synthesized in a laboratory; and DL-phenylalanine a combination of the previous two forms.
L-phenylalanine plays a role in mood, appetite and mental alertness. It functions and acts as a building block for numerous proteins that are produced in the body.
L-phenylalanine can be converted to the amino acid L-tyrosine and subsequently to dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.
The conversion of L-phenylalanine to L-tyrosine is via the enzyme l-phenylalanine hydroxylase. L-phenylalanine can also be converted (through a separate pathway) to phenylethylamine, a substance that occurs naturally in the brain and appears to affect mood.
Health Benefits of L-Phenylalanine
L-phenylalanine is an amino acid necessary for the overall health of the human body. Once in the body it is converted into another amino acid, tyrosine. Tyrosine is then transformed into key neurotransmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These are compounds that transmit signals between nerve cells and affect mood.
In the liver, phenylalanine is involved in many biochemical reactions, like protein synthesis and oxidative catabolic reactions.
Purity of L-Phenylalanine
L-phenylalanine powder is a free form of the amino acid, the most basic form without any additional chemical groups attached. This product contains no additives, fillers or anti-caking agents.