What is Phenylalanine?
When coming to an understanding of what Phenylalanine is all about, there are a few different areas to consider. The major ones are: pain management, depression, Parkinson’s disease, pigmentation disorders and other health issues. While these are a wide range of uses for an amino acid, it goes to show how something so simple can impact our bodies in many different ways. Amino acids are a basic requirement for our bodies to function, not just normally, but at peak performance. Diving into the study of our body’s nutritional needs is time well spent. These five areas, of which I will discuss only two, can all be affected with the use of Phenylalanine. Please understand though, the information here is for educational purposes. It is not to be construed as providing medical advice or substituting for professional services. I am not a Doctor! I am a person who has worked in the Healthcare industry for many years by being a Food and Nutrition Director in hospitals. I have seen the direct results of quality care through the use of proper supplements.
Pain Management: When we think of pain management we think of the phrase “Chronic Pain.” This is referred to as pain which has been with an individual for a protracted amount of time, maybe weeks or months. This pain could come from many different sources, an accident or injury or the result of an infection. When we look at the options to work with the pain, understanding how the brain deals with pain is primary. The brain tells our body to release amino acids like Phenylalanine. This in turn promotes the release of endorphins into the brain. A medical journal “Medical Hypothesis” in October of 2000 published an article about this concept.
Two other trends of thought about this amino acid are: effects on other pain killers, and reduction of chronic pain in certain conditions. When combined with other over the counter pain medications it is believed to enhance the medication. Simply put, it increases its benefit to the body. Also, when used in conjunction with other pain reducers for the relief of arthritis and osteoporosis the benefits seem to increase.
Depression: This one condition has a major impact on our western society with massive negative results. We have not learned to deal with depression very well. This condition is a direct result of our stressful daily lives. Many turn to destructive behaviors to deal with their stress and or depression, such as drinking and illegal drugs. This tears at the core of our mental and physical well being.
Depression can be seen as having feelings of low or no worth, bad or low moods and poor sleep habits. When these are put together the end result is destructive. These can and will result in poor daily functioning. One possible way depression and stress could be dealt with is the introduction of Phenylalanine into the daily diet in the form of a supplement. A report by Tufts University has shown the use of this amino acid in the treatment of depression to be as effective as the use of the antidepressant imipramine. They both worked at reducing the depression, the D-phenylalanine showed improvements after just 15 days, rather than several weeks for the imipramine. DL-Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that cannot be made in the body and must be supplied by supplements or diet.
As I said earlier there are five different areas that this amino acid plays a powerful role in our daily lives. I look forward to share more about Phenylalanine in more upcoming articles. The role in Parkinson’s disease and pigmentation disorders are just too important not to discuss. Please keep in mind this is being offered as educational material only, not medical advice. Always check with your healthcare professional first before incorporating any supplement into your daily routine.