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May 22, 2018  |  Login
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.
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Description: This amino acid serves to build protein and acts as a precursor to L-tyrosine, L-dopa, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. L-phenylalanine occurs naturally in foods. The supplemental form, D-phenylalanine (DPA), is not naturally occurring in the body but can be converted into phenylethylamine to elevate mood and decrease pain. Also, a common supplement form that combines L-phenylalanine (LPA) and D-phenylalanine (DPA) is known as DLPA (DL-phenylalanine).

Indications for DPA:

  • Depression
  • Lower back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pain

Indications for DLPA:

  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Depression

Precautions: People with phenylketonuria and tardive dyskinesia must not supplement phenylalanine. Rare instances of heartburn, nausea, and headaches have been reported. People with liver or kidney disease should not supplement amino acids unless under the direction of a health-care professional.

Dosage: DLPA is usually taken at a dosage of 500 mg, two to three times daily between meals. LPA is used in dosages of up to 3,500 mg daily.

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