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Re: More on phenylalanine/tyrosine PTSD

Posted by Larry Hoover on December 6, 2002, at 14:35:58

In reply to Re: More on phenylalanine/tyrosine PTSD Larry Hoover, posted by pelorojo on December 6, 2002, at 13:58:00

> I wondered the same thing. Any speculation?
> When you say 'chronic' - I'm wondering if you have conceptualized it the same way I have. I'm thinking of chronic as near-constant acute reactions. Is that how you see it?

I'm thinking of the exhaustion phase, one step past what you're describing. Maybe I'm misusing the language, but that's what I think of. You still are hyper-sensitive to stimuli, but the reaction is blunted, and it makes you feel like you're crashing.

> What interventions increase the cortisol feedback signal?

One is licorice root. Now, it's not a long-term treatment, but it may help to clarify just what the problem is. It blocks a liver enzyme which converts cotisol to cortisone (if I recall correctly), the latter being the active form in humans. Anyway, this causes an increase in circulating cortisol, which tricks the hypothalamus into thinking the adrenals are finally doing their job (i.e. no longer exhausted), shutting down pituitary release of ACTH. This actually allows the adrenals to rest, but like I said, it's not a long-term solution. You shouldn't take licorice for more than 3 or 4 weeks. Physiological doses of hydrocortisone are required to properly rest the adrenals, but you need a doctor who will "play along". I ain't so lucky.

> A second concern about tyrosine and phenylalanine is the common advice to avoid them if you have skin cancer or are vulnerable to acquiring it as I believe that tyrosine plays a role in the growth of cancer cells on the skin. I'm Casper-the-friendly-ghost fair-skinned and I live in sunny Texas (plus I was burned repeatedly as a child) so it gives me pause. Others may not have a concern here. Any thoughts or comments on that piece?

I'm fair and burn easily myself, but I don't know why you'd be advised to avoid tyrosine or phenylalanine, as they are precursors to melanin, the UV-protective skin pigment. Yes, UV rays will cause a photoreaction in tyrosine or phenylalanine, forming superoxide anion, but the enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase) should look after that. SOD requires zinc, copper or manganese (there are different forms).

All I know is that since I've been taking lots of B's and minerals, I don't burn so badly as I once did. The enzymes which convert tyrosine to melanin require B-vitamins.

Here's an article that supports tyrosine supplementation for melanin formation:

J Photochem Photobiol B 2001 Oct;63(1-3):148-61

Skin pigmentation enhancers.

Brown DA.

AGI Dermatics, 205 Buffalo Avenue, Freeport, NY 11520, USA.

The highest incidences of cancer are found in the skin, but endogenous pigmentation is associated with markedly reduced risk. Agents that enhance skin pigmentation have the potential to reduce both photodamage and skin cancer incidence. The purpose of this review is to evaluate agents that have the potential to increase skin pigmentation. These include topically applied substances that simulate natural pigmentation: dihydroxyacetone and melanins; and substances that stimulate the natural pigmentation process: psoralens with UVA (PUVA), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), L-tyrosine, L-Dopa, lysosomotropic agents, diacylglycerols, thymidine dinucleotides, DNA fragments, melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) analogs, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), nitric oxide donors, and bicyclic monoterpene (BMT) diols. These agents are compared with regards to efficacy when administered to melanoma cells, normal human epidermal melanocytes, animal skin, and human skin. In addition, mechanisms of action are reviewed since these may reveal issues related to both efficacy and safety. Both dihydroxyacetone and topically applied melanins are presently available to the consumer, and both of these have been shown to provide some photoprotection. Of the pigmentation stimulators, only PUVA and MSH analogs have been tested extensively on humans, but there are concerns about the safety and side effects of both. At least some of the remaining pigmentation stimulators under development have the potential to safely induce a photoprotective tan.




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