The Psychoactive Effects of Aromatic Amino Acids
Protein synthesis is considered the major pathway for the final utilization of amino acids, however amino acids also enter as key precursors in many other metabolic processes. For instance, the aromatic amino acids (AAA) tryptophan and tyrosine (or phenylalanine) are precursors of serotonin and catecholamines, respectively. By using AAA-enriched or AAA-deprived diets, the key role of serotonin and catecholamines in modulating some aspects of mood, cognition, social interactions and perhaps eating behaviour was demonstrated.
Keywords: Aromatic amino acids, catecholamines, diet, mood, serotonin, stress, metabolic processes, tryptophan, tyrosine
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