An essential aromatic amino acid that is a precursor of melanin; dopamine; noradrenalin (norepinephrine), and thyroxine. [PubChem]
Humans and other mammals
L-phenylalanine may be helpful in some with depression. It may also be useful in the treatment of vitiligo. There is some evidence that L-phenylalanine may exacerbate tardive dyskinesia in some schizophrenic patients and in some who have used neuroleptic drugs.
Used by the brain to produce Norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain; keeps you awake and alert; reduces hunger pains; functions as an antidepressant and helps improve memory.
Mechanism of action
The mechanism of L-phenylalanine's putative antidepressant activity may be accounted for by its precursor role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Elevated brain norepinephrine and dopamine levels are thought to be associated with antidepressant effects. <br/>The mechanism of L-phenylalanine's possible antivitiligo activity is not well understood. It is thought that L-phenylalanine may stimulate the production of melanin in the affected skin