The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior.

H. R. Lieberman*, S. Corkin, B. J. Spring, R. J. Wurtman, J. H. Growdon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The neurotransmitter precursors tryptophan and tyrosine are present in a variety of foods. In order to document possible effects of tryptophan and tyrosine on human behavior, single oral doses of these substances and matched placebos were administered to 20 men in a double-blind, crossover study. Various tests of mood state and performance were then administered. Tryptophan increased subjective fatigue and decreased self-ratings of vigor and alertness, but did not impair performance on any of the tests. Tyrosine produced no effects in our young population compared with placebo, but did decrease reaction time relative to tryptophan. It may be concluded that tryptophan has significant sedative-like properties, but unlike other sedatives may not impair performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume42
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1985

Fingerprint

Tryptophan
Neurotransmitter Agents
Tyrosine
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Placebos
Double-Blind Method
Cross-Over Studies
Fatigue
Food
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Lieberman, H. R., Corkin, S., Spring, B. J., Wurtman, R. J., & Growdon, J. H. (1985). The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 42(2), 366-370.
Lieberman, H. R. ; Corkin, S. ; Spring, B. J. ; Wurtman, R. J. ; Growdon, J. H. / The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1985 ; Vol. 42, No. 2. pp. 366-370.
@article{eb3b906e8c23490ca77dbf4727ea6153,
title = "The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior.",
abstract = "The neurotransmitter precursors tryptophan and tyrosine are present in a variety of foods. In order to document possible effects of tryptophan and tyrosine on human behavior, single oral doses of these substances and matched placebos were administered to 20 men in a double-blind, crossover study. Various tests of mood state and performance were then administered. Tryptophan increased subjective fatigue and decreased self-ratings of vigor and alertness, but did not impair performance on any of the tests. Tyrosine produced no effects in our young population compared with placebo, but did decrease reaction time relative to tryptophan. It may be concluded that tryptophan has significant sedative-like properties, but unlike other sedatives may not impair performance.",
author = "Lieberman, {H. R.} and S. Corkin and Spring, {B. J.} and Wurtman, {R. J.} and Growdon, {J. H.}",
year = "1985",
month = "8",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "42",
pages = "366--370",
journal = "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition",
issn = "0002-9165",
publisher = "American Society for Nutrition",
number = "2",

}

Lieberman, HR, Corkin, S, Spring, BJ, Wurtman, RJ & Growdon, JH 1985, 'The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior.', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 366-370.

The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior. / Lieberman, H. R.; Corkin, S.; Spring, B. J.; Wurtman, R. J.; Growdon, J. H.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 42, No. 2, 01.08.1985, p. 366-370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors on human behavior.

AU - Lieberman, H. R.

AU - Corkin, S.

AU - Spring, B. J.

AU - Wurtman, R. J.

AU - Growdon, J. H.

PY - 1985/8/1

Y1 - 1985/8/1

N2 - The neurotransmitter precursors tryptophan and tyrosine are present in a variety of foods. In order to document possible effects of tryptophan and tyrosine on human behavior, single oral doses of these substances and matched placebos were administered to 20 men in a double-blind, crossover study. Various tests of mood state and performance were then administered. Tryptophan increased subjective fatigue and decreased self-ratings of vigor and alertness, but did not impair performance on any of the tests. Tyrosine produced no effects in our young population compared with placebo, but did decrease reaction time relative to tryptophan. It may be concluded that tryptophan has significant sedative-like properties, but unlike other sedatives may not impair performance.

AB - The neurotransmitter precursors tryptophan and tyrosine are present in a variety of foods. In order to document possible effects of tryptophan and tyrosine on human behavior, single oral doses of these substances and matched placebos were administered to 20 men in a double-blind, crossover study. Various tests of mood state and performance were then administered. Tryptophan increased subjective fatigue and decreased self-ratings of vigor and alertness, but did not impair performance on any of the tests. Tyrosine produced no effects in our young population compared with placebo, but did decrease reaction time relative to tryptophan. It may be concluded that tryptophan has significant sedative-like properties, but unlike other sedatives may not impair performance.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0022103999&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0022103999&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 366

EP - 370

JO - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

JF - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

SN - 0002-9165

IS - 2

ER -