NALT (sometimes NAT), or N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, is an acetyl derivative of L-tyrosine- an amino acid found in proteins that plays various roles in the body. Moreover, it is a substrate to the syntehsis of thyroid hormones and catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine) that serve hormonal and neutransmitter functions in the central nervous system (CNS). In contrast to L-tyrosine, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine is very watersoluble, which results in its higher bioavailability. NALT is converted in the kidneys to the free amino acid, which can then be incorporated into different metabolic pathways.1,2 Despite very limited scientific material and evidence, NALT is considered to be an alternative source of L-tyrosine for the body.2–4
Stress, especially prolonged stress, leads to an increased use of dopamine and noradrenaline in many structures of the brain, which is characterized by headaches, fatigue, irritability, and a decreased effectiveness in cognitive functions, especially of the working memory. L-tyrosine, as a precursor to dopamine and noradrenaline, eases the symptoms associated with a deficiency of these neurotransmitters.5,6 Supplementation incorporating tyrosine mitigates the cognitive, behavioral, and physiological effects of stress, in both laboratory and everyday settings. Studies done on a group of cadets of the Royal Dutch Army during military training have shown increased mental abilities of the soldiers taking-tyrosine. These individuals also showed normal diastolic blood pressure.7
Phenylketonuria is a genetic disease characterized by the inability to metabolize phenylalanine, which results in the accumulation of this amino acid and various neurological disorders. One of the methods of preventing the symptoms of toxicity is the low phenylalanine diet. Regardless, phenylalanine is essential for the syntehsis of L-tyrosine in the body, and limiting its availability leads to a deficiency of tyrosine. This is why L-tyrosine, as well as its derivatives, are necessary supplements to this diet for individuals diagnosed with phenylketonuria.8,9
One of the first studies on N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, patients were given intravenal doses of up to 5 g per day.3 Studies done in 2003, the daily dose was 11mg/kg body mass.2 According to the World Health Organization, a daily requirement of tyrosine is 14 mg/kg.5
A typical supplementation of NALT falls between 300-500 mg per day in one or 2 doses before meals. Nonetheless, NALT is slowly deacylated and rapidly excreted in urine, so it seems reasonable to be taking the supplement in smaller doses, but with a slightly higher frequency.
Has synergistic effects with caffeine, ALCAR, DMAE or sulbutiamine.
In one study involving children with diagnosed ADHD; L-tyrosine, in combination with 5-HTP, was administered in doses of 150 mg and 1500 mg (up to 3750 mg and 425 mg) which significantly reduced the symptoms of this syndrome.10
NALT is considered to be a safe substance. Side effects are not known, or not present at all.
NALT is intensively removed by the kidneys, therefore, ingestion of large amounts of this substance would dramatically increase NALT and tyrosine in the urine.
1. M, N., JA, W., U, G., KH, B. & K., L. Utilization of N-acetyl-L-tyrosine and glycyl-L-tyrosine during long-term parenteral nutrition in the growing rat. Am J Clin Nutr. 42, 585–596 (1985).
2. Hoffer, L. J. et al. N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine as a Tyrosine Source in Adult Parenteral Nutrition. J Parenter Enter. Nutr. 27, 419–422 (2003).
3. I, M., L, E., M, W. & J., W. N-acetyl-L-tyrosine and N-acetyl-L-cysteine as tyrosine and cysteine precursors during intravenous infusion in humans. Metabolism 38, 957–961 (1989).
4. Im, H. A., Meyer, P. D. & Stegink, L. D. N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine as a Tyrosine Source during Total Parenteral Nutrition in Adult Rats. Pediatr Res. 19, 514–8 (1985).
5. Jongkees, B. J., Hommel, B., Kühn, S. & Colzato, L. S. Effect of tyrosine supplementation on clinical and healthy populations under stress or cognitive demands d A review. J. Psychiatr. Res. 70, 50–57 (2015).
6. Hase, A., Jung, S. E. & Rot, M. ann het. Pharmacology , Biochemistry and Behavior Behavioral and cognitive effects of tyrosine intake in healthy human adults. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 133, 1–6 (2015).
7. Deijen, J. B., Wientjes, C. J. E., Vullinghs, H. F. M., Cloin, P. A. & Langefeld, J. J. Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course. Brain Res. Bull. 48, 203–209 (1999).
8. Spronsen, F. J. van, Rijn, M. van, Bekhof, J., Koch, R. & Smit, P. G. Phenylketonuria: tyrosine supplementation in phenylalanine-restricted diets. Am J Clin Nutr 73, 153–7 (2001).
9. Webster, D. & Wildgoose, J. Tyrosine supplementation for phenylketonuria ( Review ). Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. (2013).
10. Hinz, M., Stein, A., Neff, R., Weinberg, R. & Uncini, T. Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation. Neuropsychiatr. Dis. Treat. 7, 31–38 (2011).
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