L-phenylalanine is an essential, alpha amino acid. There are 3 forms of the amino acid: the natural L-phenylalanine, the synthetic try-phenylalanine-for-depression-and-anxiety and DL-phenylalanine, a combination of the first two forms.



This supplement is also critical to the normal functioning of the central nervous system, especially regarding symptoms like depression and chronic pain along with a number of additional diseases that have been linked to a malfunctioning nervous system. It is also used in the formation and synthesis of a number of different neurotransmitters like epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. All of these chemicals are vital for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

As a nootropic, Phenylalanine has many different positive effects including mood enhancement, anxiety relief, increased focus and concentration, and improved motivation.


There are a number of key benefits to the brain for using Phenylalanine supplementation. This includes helping to improve the memory, enhance overall alertness, and possibly expand learning capacity. The supplement also enables the overall nervous system to operate more efficiently. Signals which carry information from neuron to neuron are conducted faster and more effectively. Primarily due to these effects, Phenylalanine is currently being used in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, and Parkinson’s disease.

This amino acid is also thought to function as an effective pain reliever. This is particularly true for migraines and other headaches. Phenylalanine also appears to be quite effective for other types of pain including the lower back and neck, arthritis, and menstrual cramps. There is also evidence suggesting that it is helpful for many types of chronic pain, even those which begin with an injury or accident involving physical trauma. The supplement appears to work through up-regulation of your endogenous analgesia system which actually suppresses nerve transmissions in your pain pathways.

Phenylalanine may also help to improve conditions like anxiety and depression. Many of the neurotransmitters produced by this supplement are effective at improving overall mood and impart a feeling of greater well-being that can help with stress levels, relieve anxiety, and even combat feelings of depression. Using Phenylalanine can put you in a positive state of mind and lead to better emotional balance.


L-phenylalanine is LIKELY SAFE for most people when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods.

Phenylalanine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as medicine.

There is not enough reliable information available about the safety of D-phenylalanine.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Phenylalanine is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods by pregnant women who have normal phenylalanine levels. However, having too much phenylalanine in the mother’s system during pregnancy can increase the chances of birth defects. The risk for facial defects is highest at weeks 10-14, nervous system and growth defects between 3-16 weeks, and heart defects at 3-8 weeks. For women who process phenylalanine normally and have normal levels, it is probably fine to get the amount of phenylalanine found in food, but not in higher doses. Do not take supplements. For women who have high levels of phenylalanine, even normal food amounts are UNSAFE. Additionally, experts recommend a low phenylalanine diet for at least 20 weeks before getting pregnant. This should reduce the risk of birth defects.

Phenylalanine is LIKELY SAFE for breast-feeding mothers whose bodies’ process phenylalanine normally to consume the amount of phenylalanine found in food. However, do not take more. Not enough is known about the safety of taking phenylalanine in medicinal amounts during breast-feeding.

Phenylketonuria (PKU) and other conditions that cause high levels of phenylalanine: Phenylalanine should be avoided in people with certain inherited disorders that cause their bodies to build up too much phenylalanine. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is one of these diseases. People with this disorder can develop mental retardation, high blood pressure, stroke, and many other serious health issues if they consume phenylalanine. PKU is so serious that babies are screened at birth to determine whether they have the disorder and will need a special diet to avoid these problems.

Schizophrenia: Use with caution. Phenylalanine can make a movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia) in people with schizophrenia worse.



  • Levodopa interacts with PHENYLALANINE
    Levodopa is used for Parkinson’s disease. Taking phenylalanine along with levodopa can make Parkinson’s disease worse. Do not take phenylalanine if you are taking levodopa.
  • Medications for depression (MAOIs) interacts with PHENYLALANINE
    Phenylalanine can increase a chemical in the body called tyramine. Large amounts of tyramine can cause high blood pressure. But the body naturally breaks down tyramine to get rid of it. This usually prevents the tyramine from causing high blood pressure. Some medications used for depression stop the body from breaking down tyramine. This can cause there to be too much tyramine and lead to dangerously high blood pressure.

    Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.

  • Medications for mental conditions (Antipsychotic drugs) interacts with PHENYLALANINE
    Some medications for mental conditions might cause jerky muscle movements. Taking phenylalanine along with some medications for mental conditions might increase the risk of jerky muscle movements.

    Some medications for mental conditions include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (Clozaril), fluphenazine (Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), olanzapine (Zyprexa), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), thioridazine (Mellaril), thiothixene (Navane), and others.

Other names

2-amino-3-phenyl-propanoic acid, Acide Alpha-aminohydrocinnamique, Acide Isovalérique de Phénylalanine, Alpha-aminohydrocinnamic Acid, Beta-phenyl-alanine, Bêta-phenyl-alanine, DLPA, D-Phenylalanine, D-Phénylalanine, DL-Phenylalanine, DL-Phénylalanine, D,L-Phenylalanine, D,L-Phénylalanine, Fenilalanina, L-Phenylalanine, L-Phénylalanine, Phenylalanine Ethyl Ester HCl, Phenylalanine Isovaleric Acid, Phenylalanine Methyl Ester HCl


Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-653-phenylalanine.aspx?activeingredientid=653&activeingredientname=phenylalanine

Nootritment, http://nootriment.com/phenylalanine/

Progressivehealth, http://www.progressivehealth.com/try-phenylalanine-for-depression-and-anxiety.htm

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