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Phenylalanine


Phenylalanine Information

There are three types of phenylalanine available:
L-phenylalanine (LPA).
D-phenylalanine (DPA).
DL-phenylalanine (DLPA).

L-phenylalanine is an amino acid that, among other functions, is a dopamine precursor. It is the most commonly encountered type of phenylalanine. If you see the word phenylalanine, unless informed otherwise, assume it is referring to L-phenylalanine.

The D isomer of phenylalanine (called D-phenylalanine) is available by itself as a supplement. It is also available as part of the racemic mixture DL-phenylalanine. DL-phenylalanine is a combination of 50% D-phenylalanine and 50% L-phenylalanine.

L-phenylalanine
D-phenylalanine
DL-phenylalanine
Availability
Warnings


L-phenylalanine

L-phenylalanine is a dopamine precursor. In the body:
--- L-phenylalanine is converted to Tyrosine.
--- Tyrosine is converted to L-dopa.
--- L-dopa is converted to the neurotransmitter Dopamine.

Some people take L-phenylalanine supplements to increase dopamine. In addition to being a dopamine precursor, it is also a precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine all act as neurotransmitters.

L-phenylalanine is the mildest of the dopamine precursors when taken by itself. But, it is sometimes combined with other dopamine precursors to increase their potency. It is also sometimes combined with other kinds of supplements.

L-phenylalanine is rarely taken as a treatment for pain or depression by itself, but there are a relatively rare few who have tried D-phenylalanine and found it didn't work, only to try L-phenylalanine and get some degree of relief.

--- Not addictive.
--- Dose: 350-1000 milligrams.
--- Frequency: 1-4 times daily (every 5-24 hours).
--- Solubility: semi-soluble in water.
--- Take on an empty stomach for optimal results.

There is a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria caused by a lack of an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase. Those with phenylketonuria are unable to metabolize phenylalanine and have to regulate the amount of L-phenylalanine they ingest.


D-phenylalanine

D-phenylalanine is not a dopamine precursor, like L-phenylalanine is, but can reduce the breakdown enkephalins. Enkephalins have pain reducing and antidepressant qualities similar to endorphins.

Because of this, it is sometimes utilized to treat pain and depression, it may also increase energy. The majority of people who try different forms of phenylalanine, to treat these problems, find D-phenylalanine is the most effective.

Those who report positive results say D-phenylalanine helps with:
--- Various Types Of Chronic Pain.
--- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
--- Increasing Energy Levels.
--- Peripheral Neuropathy.
--- Bipolar Disorder.
--- Fibromyalgia.
--- Depression.
--- Arthritis.
--- Anxiety.
--- ADHD.

Keep in mind that it doesn't work for everyone. Some of those who find it effective say it works the first time they take it, others say it becomes more effective over time (if it is taken daily). Some people can't take it everyday or it becomes less effective.

--- Not addictive.
--- Dose: 350-1000 milligrams.
--- Frequency: 1-4 times daily (every 5-24 hours).
--- Solubility: semi-soluble in water.
--- Take on an empty stomach for optimal results.

If you don't notice any worthwhile benefit of D-phenylalanine within 1-2 weeks of daily consumption, it would be best to try an alternate medication, D-phenylalanine is probably not an appropriate medication for you.


DL-phenylalanine

DL-phenylalanine is a mixture of 50% D-phenylalanine and 50% L-phenylalanine. For most people taking a dose of DL-phenylalanine that is twice as big as a dose of D-phenylalanine produces the same results, but is cheaper.

For example, taking 1000 mg of DL-phenylalanine produces the same results as 500 mg of D-phenylalanine. 1000 mg of DL-phenylalanine is usually less expensive than 500 mg of D-phenylalanine. So taking DL-phenylalanine can save money.

--- Not addictive.
--- Dose: 500-1500 milligrams.
--- Frequency: 1-4 times daily (every 5-24 hours).
--- Solubility: semi-soluble in water.
--- Take on an empty stomach for optimal results.


Phenylalanine Availability

Prior to utilizing any type of phenylalanine, to be safe discuss it with your physician. On your first attempt it might be the best thing to try working with a small quantity, somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 milligrams or less.

A small dose size will give you an indication of the possible results as well as alerting you to any negative reactions. At small dose sizes, the effects are subtle and some people might not notice anything.


Phenylalanine Warnings, Side Effects

Possible phenylalanine side effects include:
--- Nausea.
--- Heartburn.
--- Headaches.
--- Increase in blood pressure (especially with MAOI's).

Taking a large dose of a phenylalanine supplement can cause numbness and tingling that feels like, or worsens symptoms of pre-existing, nerve damage. Some sources say it can become permanent if doses this large are consumed daily.

The artificial sweetener known as aspartame, is metabolized into L-phenylalanine and other chemicals by the body. If you have to regulate your how much L-phenylalanine you ingest, take into account that aspartame will increase your intake.

If you are taking benzodiazepines or opioid pain medications like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, etcetera to treat pain, D-phenylalanine and DL-phenylalanine may interfere with their action and make them a bit less effective.

--- L-phenylalanine is a naturally occuring substance. It can be obtained from various sources including food.
--- D-phenylalanine is a man made substance that must be synthesized by those familiar with the process.
--- DL-phenylalanine is a combination of 50% D-phenylalanine and 50% L-phenylalanine.

There is a slight chance that those who take a very large dose of an L-phenylalanine supplement may experience a temporary reduction in the amount of serotonin, nitric oxide, aromatic amino acids that their body is able to produce.





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