Do you feel happy and hopeful right now? Do you ever feel satisfied after eating a good meal? Do you remember things very well? How about that nice skin tone you’ve always wanted? What if we tell you that there is one chemical in the body that influences all of these things? Yes, you heard that one right. The amino acid, phenylalanine plays a major role in all these things. Phenylalanine benefits are so profound. It has a great effect on many systems that contribute to your physical and mental health.
Phenylalanine can help improve your memory and focus. It can also give you a better mood and relieve you of pain. When you’re too stressed, phenylalanine helps reduce your stress. If you want better skin health, you can count on phenylalanine. You need phenylalanine to stay alive and healthy. It helps to maintain your body’s proper function. What’s more, researchers say you can use phenylalanine in treating pain and depression. They say it is also a possible remedy for many other health conditions.
Phenylalanine Keeps Your Body Functioning Properly
Phenylalanine is an amino acid. This means that it is one of the building blocks that your body uses to make proteins. Without proteins, your body cannot function properly. There are so many important proteins in every tissue and organ of the body.
Proteins do most of the work in cells of your body. You can find them in your skin, brain, blood, muscles, and virtually all internal organs and tissues. They maintain the proper structure and function of these tissues and organs. They also regulate many important processes in your body.
Phenylalanine regulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). This hormone controls the transmission of signals to the brain after you have eaten. These signals are the reasons why you feel satisfied. Without phenylalanine, you will keep eating and never feel satisfied!
Phenylalanine does so many important things in your body. But in addition to these things, it is also needed for the production of other vital chemical substances. These substances include tyrosine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. I’ll tell you about their importance.
Tyrosine is another amino acid. This means it can also be used to make new proteins. For example, melanin pigment is made from tyrosine. Melanin pigments shield the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. They also give the skin a good tone.
Furthermore, tyrosine is used to produce the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine is a crucial hormone in the regulation of growth and metabolism. It is also essential for the maintenance of mental health.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine
Epinephrine and norepinephrine are chemical messengers in your body. They transmit information from one cell to the next. This happens within the brain, as well as from the brain to the other organs in the body.
Do you know what will happen without epinephrine and norepinephrine? You will lose the ability to “fight or flight” response. This means your body will refuse to respond to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
Dopamine is generally known as the “happy hormone”. The sense of reward and emotional satisfaction comes from dopamine. It is responsible for how motivated and hopeful you feel in life. Dopamine is also involved in the formation of memories and learning skills.
Phenylalanine Benefits in Treating Health Conditions
What happens if there is a problem with phenylalanine in your body? The processes and substances it regulates will be affected. Then, the other substances it forms as well as their functions will also be affected. These can lead to many negative health conditions.
Over the years, phenylalanine has been studied for its use in treating these health conditions. Some of these health conditions are highlighted below:
- Depression: A problem with dopamine production may be the cause of some forms of depression. In such cases, it is believed that phenylalanine supplements could help treat the symptoms. Phenylalanine supplements have an effect on improving mood. It can even increase your measure of optimism if you are depressed.
The rate of suicide has increased in recent times. In fact, depression is fast becoming one of the worst nightmares of mankind. That’s the bad news. The good news is that phenylalanine is a possible remedy for this problem.
- Pain: You can use phenylalanine to increase and extend the effect of certain painkillers. Remember that phenylalanine is involved in the formation of chemical messengers. The work of some of these chemical messengers in the body is to suppress pain.
- Vitiligo: Some studies have shown that vitiligo can be treated with phenylalanine. This treatment is usually combined with the use of ultraviolet light. Vitiligo is an unpredictable health condition. If you have vitiligo, some areas of your skin begin to lose their pigment. This usually results in the appearance of white patches on the skin.
These are only a few of the health benefits of phenylalanine. Other conditions that may be treated with phenylalanine include the following:
- Multiple sclerosis (a disabling disease that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body)
- Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
How Safe is Phenylalanine for your Body?
Phenylalanine is found naturally in many foods that you eat regularly. As important as phenylalanine is to your health, your body cannot make it by itself. Foods are the primary sources of phenylalanine to your body.
Most foods that have high protein content will also have high concentrations of phenylalanine. If these foods are safe for your consumption, then phenylalanine is safe for you. Some examples of such foods include:
- Dairy products (such as milk and cheese)
- Meat products (such as chicken and beef)
Apart from food sources, phenylalanine can also be gotten from food supplements. For most people, these supplements are considered to be safe. However, they must be taken in the recommended amounts.
However, phenylalanine can be dangerous for people who have a rare condition called phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is inherited and can be diagnosed from birth. Those who have this rare condition lack an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase. This enzyme is required to break down phenylalanine.
Without phenylalanine hydroxylase, your body can’t break down phenylalanine for excretion. This way, phenylalanine would accumulate in your blood and lead to brain damage. The weird thing with PKU is that it can cause damage so rapidly.
It is very rare for signs of PKU to begin when you are already an adult. It is principally an inherited childhood disorder. If you have PKU, then you must stay away from foods that contain phenylalanine. You should also avoid taking phenylalanine supplements.
It is also not advisable to take phenylalanine supplements when you are pregnant. This is because the effects of phenylalanine on the fetus are unknown. In fact, it is better not to take phenylalanine supplements until you have stopped breastfeeding your baby. However, you can eat foods that contain phenylalanine.
In summary, phenylalanine is very essential in the body. It has a profound effect on many systems that contribute to our overall health and wellbeing. From better memory and focus to an improved mood, relief of pain, better skin health, and reduction in stress; phenylalanine benefits are so enormous. Moreover, phenylalanine is thought to be safe for most people.