Most people have enough L-tyrosine, also known simply as tyrosine, in their bodies, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Tyrosine is an amino acid that is essential to proper thyroid function. However, your doctor might recommend taking it in supplement form if you have an underactive thyroid. Consult your physician for the right course of action for your thyroid.
The thyroid is a gland found in your throat that makes thyroid hormones. These hormones assist your body with important functions like metabolism and body growth. Common problems associated with the thyroid gland are hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid that makes an excess of thyroid hormones, and hypothyroidism, which is an under active thyroid that makes too little thyroid hormone.
L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid found in your body that is used by neurotransmitters in your brain. This acid assists your body to make hormones, including thyroid hormones. For this reason, it can improve hypothyroid problems, whereas you should avoid it if you have hyperthyroidism, since tyrosine will make more of the hormones you already have in excess.
Your body makes tyrosine itself with another amino acid called phenylalanine. You can also obtain it naturally through your diet in foods such as poultry, fish, soy, dairy and some beans, nuts and seeds. Tyrosine supplements, in both tablet and capsule form, are also on the market, although you should use these only with a doctor's supervision.
The generally recommended dosage of tyrosine supplements is 500 milligrams to 1,000 mg, three times per day, according to the UMMC. It should be taken a half hour or more before you eat. Taking vitamin B6, folate and copper assists the conversion of tyrosine into brain chemicals. Speak to your physician before taking tyrosine supplements.
Avoid L-tyrosine if you have manic symptoms or high blood pressure. Also, do not take L-tyrosine along with prescribed thyroid hormone drugs, unless your doctor advises it. L-tyrosine can cause digestion trouble and migraine headaches, UMMC states. Do not use tyrosine to replace medical treatment for your thyroid disorder, and discuss the use of tyrosine with your doctor.