Tyrosine for Depression

Is tyrosine an effective natural treatment for depression? Read more.

Is tyrosine an effective natural treatment for depression? Read more.

What is Tyrosine for Depression?

Tyrosine (or L-tyrosine) is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. We get tyrosine in our body by eating protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and beans.

How does Tyrosine work?

Tyrosine is used by the body to make the neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) noradrenaline. Noradrenaline is believed to be in short supply in the brains of people who are depressed.

Is Tyrosine effective for depression?

There is only one good scientific study on tyrosine as a treatment for depression. This study compared tyrosine with an antidepressant and with a placebo (dummy pill). No effect of tyrosine on depression was found.

Are there any disadvantages?

No major ones known.

L Tyrosine side effects can include overstimulation, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia. Heart palpitations or arrhythmias are potential side effects that occur from high doses of tyrosine. These can occur in sensitive individuals in as low a dose as 200 to 500 mg.

Where do you get Tyrosine?

Tyrosine is available as a dietary supplement from health food shops.


On the limited evidence available, tyrosine is not an effective treatment for depression.


Key references

Gelenberg AJ, Wojcik JD, Falk WE, et al. Tyrosine for depression: a double-blind trial. Journal of Affective Disorders 1990; 19: 125-132.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 5). Tyrosine for Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: July 11, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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