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  • Mood-Booster
  • Increases Focus
  • May Help Reduce Feelings of Pain


DL-Phenylalanine is a combination of two stereo-isomers of the amino acid, Phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is far more common than its chemical mirror-image, D-Phenylalanine. Both the isomers have distinct benefits and the combination allows users to benefit from both. Effects of DL-Phenylalanine may include an improvement in mood, increased mental focus and physical energy, and reduced sensations of pain.


Phenylalanine and aspartame are commonly associated together, with the amino acid being an ingredient of the artificial sweetener. DL-Phenylalanine should not be consumed by people who suffer from the disease known as phenylketonuria. The recommended dosage for DL-Phenylalanine supplements is around 100 – 500 mg, daily. Do not exceed the recommended serving size. Please talk to your doctor before taking this supplement if you have any underlying medication conditions or are using any medication.


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  • DL-Phenylalanine is a composite of the two different forms (D- and L-) of the naturally occurring amino-acid, Phenylalanine

  • Benefits and effects of DL-Phenylalanine include mood lift, increased energy, improved mental alertness and focus, and possible pain relief effects

  • Dosage of DL-Phenylalanine is recommended at around 100-500mg daily

  • DL-Phenylalanine side-effects may include heartburn, nausea, headaches and raised blood pressure and high doses may induce tingling and numbness

DL-Phenylalanine reviews


Rather than buy some expensive blends that use DLPA, I am using 500mg of DLPA with 500mg of ALCAR, 100-120mg of DMAE, and one pill of 250mg of CDP Choline. I also usually take some Fish Oil (1g) with it. This is a great stack that I alternate with some other energizing/focus stacks. As always, LiftMode's products and service are of the highest quality and great value when compared to the competition. I have no hesitance in referring more to check out LiftMode.” – JW, LiftMode review


This works great for pain, and also works in synergy with my pain meds to help them work longer. Liftmode's product is superior to all other phenylalanine products I've found. Thanks, liftmode!” – Sam, Liftmode review



DL-Phenylalanine is a composite Nootropic compound made from two stereo-isomers (chemical mirror images) of the amino acid, Phenylalanine. This allows the user to benefit from both L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine, two interesting chemicals from very different backgrounds.

On the one hand, L-Phenylalanine is a naturally occurring compound found in meats and protein-rich foods and produces a number of desired effects including mood-lift, stress-reduction and an increase in energy and focus. When people talk about Phenylalanine, they are generally referring to L-Phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid (our bodies cannot synthesize it in sufficient quantities) and it is required for a large variety of functions in the body. It is also and is a chemical precursor to  the amino acid, Tyrosine (which is important for the production of epinephrine and norepinephrine). [1]

On the other hand, D-Phenylalanine is also found naturally (in some forms of protein), but in far lower concentrations than L-Phenylalanine. Today, this amino acid is primarily synthesized in laboratories, and it was first developed further in research as a potential painkiller compound. D-Phenylalanine has a remarkable ability to block pain signals from the central nervous system (CNS) and is known to bind to niacin receptors.[2]

DL-Phenylalanine is referred to as a Nootropic, with the combined effects of the two D- and L-form isomers. DL-Phenylalanine is important for boosting levels of catecholamines (norepinephrine and dopamine) in the brain – which helps with improving focus, increasing mood and energy and reducing sensations of pain.  As a result, there are numerous benefits to this dietary supplement, which we’ll explore below.



DL-Phenylalanine Benefits / Effects


DL-Phenylalanine has a wide variety of benefits to its use. These benefits include effects such as: mood-lift, increased energy and mental focus and pain relief. DL-Phenylalanine is currently used by some as a treatment for low mood, to reduce feelings of pain, and also to improve mental focus.

L-Phenylalanine is known to help the brain to produce neurotransmitters like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. These are crucial to proper functioning of the brain and the first two result in an increase in energy and focus, while dopamine is known to lift the mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

D-Phenylalanine is known to decrease the functioning of the enkephalinase enzyme, which may help with pain relief. Also, taking DL-Phenylalanine appears to reduce the occurrence of raised blood pressure associated with taking L-Phenylalanine alone. There is still room for a lot more research into the mechanisms, benefits and actions of both D- and L-Phenylalanine and specifically D-Phenylalanine which is synthesized in laboratories and not found in nature.


1.     Improves Mood


There have been many studies into the effects of DL-Phenylalanine on mood. In fact, DL-Phenylalanine has been examined in a number of clinical trials for its effects on mood, with a focus on people who suffer from depression. In one such study, 20 participants were given 75-200mg DL-phenylalanine over a course of 20 days. At the end of the study, 60% of the patients had significantly reduced symptoms and improved mood, and 20% were able to be discharged from hospital.[3]

Similarly, in the 1970s, DL-Phenylalanine was compared to a common anti-stress compound for effectiveness in reducing stress and improving mood. After the 30 days course, no statistically significant difference was found between the two compounds – both performed equally well at reducing feelings of stress and improving mood.[4]

L-Phenylalanine has been researched for its effects on mood when taken in combination with an MAO-B inhibitor. In one study, participats were given L-Phenylalanine with a common MAO-B inhibitor. The results showed that 90% of outpatients and 80.5% of inpatients responded positively to the course of supplementation.[5] In an important study using D-Phenylalanine and DL-Phenylalanine, at a dosage of 50 - 100 mg daily, researchers found that, over 30 days of supplementation, the majority of participants had improved significantly in their ratings for mood.[6]

These studies are not a comprehensive list of the studies that have been conducted on L-Phenylalanine, D-Phenylalanine, or DL-Phenylalanine. There are many more studies available with similar findings. Clearly, DL-Phenylalanine has the potential to contribute significantly to an improved mood.


2.     Increases Energy


The reason why people talk about DL-Phenylalanine’s ability to improve energy is because of this great supplement’s effects on catecholamine production in the brain. Catecholamines are a group of neurotransmitters that include dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine. Catecholamines are important for a wide variety of physiological functions, such as maintaining breath and heartbeat rate.[7] However, this group of potent neurotransmitters is best known for its links to the ‘flight-or-fight’ response.

During periods of acute stress, catecholamine production skyrockets. As a result, blood pressure rises, heart rate increases and the breath quickens. Simultaneously, we experience a ‘rush of blood’ – a significant improvement in mental focus and physical energy. Of course, in reality, this process is much more complicated, but the important thing to remember is that the catecholamines play a significant role in improving energy and mental focus.[8]

As we saw earlier, DL-Phenylalanine (and especially L-Phenylalanine) is the chemical precursor to the amino acid, Tyramine. Your brain uses Tyramine to produce the catecholamines. So, by taking a Phenylalanine supplement, the concentrations of Tyramine in your body increase, and your brain has the ability to produce more catecholamines, safely increasing energy and focus.


3. May Help to Improve Cognitive Performance


With regards to cognition, important progress has been made in understanding the roles of Tyramine and Phenylalanine. In a 2005 study, the first of its kind, researchers looked into the effects of a diet which was very low in Tyramine and Phenylalanine content. Their objective was to understand the effects of Phenylalanine depletion on cognition, to better understand mood disorders.

Furthermore, the disease called phenylketonuria is an inability of the body to metabolize (break down) Phenylalanine. What happens is that a very high – and toxic – concentration of Phenylalanine builds up in the blood. Don’t be alarmed though, if you had phenylketonuria you’d know about it by now. Symptoms are often managed by the use of a protein-free diet.[9] Importantly, some research surrounding this terrible disease focusses on its effects on cognition. People who suffer from phenylketonuria tend to have significant cognitive dysfunction – further evidence of the role of Phenylalanine in maintaining cognitive function.[10]

Although the above were examples of ‘negative’ studies– the first examining the effects of Phenylalanine depletion rather than intake, and the second the effects of toxic levels of the compound – both studies point to an important role in the maintenance of cognitive performance.


4.     Helps to Reduce Pain


The pain-relief benefits of DL-Phenylalanine are a direct result of the presence of D-Phenylalanine, which is thought to prevent the action of the enkephalinase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of enkephalins – important molecules that reduce the sensation of pain. By preventing the action of enkephalinase, D-Phenylalanine allows a greater concentration of enkephalins to build up in the blood, helping to reduce feelings of pain naturally.[11]

This is the most accepted mechanism of action by which D-Phenylalanine is thought to be able to produce its remarkable pain-relief benefits. The prevention of enkephalinase is also referred to as up-regulation of the ‘endogenous analgesia system’ (EAS), and has been shown to be active for DL-Phenylalanine supplements. [12]


5.     Possibilities for Other Health Benefits


There is still room for more research into the benefits of DL-Phenylalanine for different people in different environments. Some preliminary research has shown that DL-Phenylalanine may have the potential to be developed in future, for research into Parkinson’s Disease. However, there is a need for much more research into this.[13] Some evidence exists that L-Phenylalanine may have the potential to be developed in future to help reduce symptoms of Vitiligo, a rare skin disorder in which white, pigment-free patches develop over the skin.[14]

Furthermore, some researchers have proposed that DL-Phenylalanine can be used to help improve mental focus and attention. A study on nineteen participants who complained about having difficulties focusing showed positive results, prompting scientists to suggest further research.[15]


Disclaimer: It is important to note that studies which point to potential future applications of clinical relevance should not be taken to mean that the supplement has conclusive beneficial effects for all people. The above-mentioned studies are simply mentioned for interest sake. To say that a supplement has a clear benefit on something requires a very large amount of data and peer-reviewed material. Nevertheless, we believe that it is important that this information be accessible to our readers and to the general public.

DL-Phenylalanine has a number of potential effects and benefits. However, there is still room for further research. Many anecdotal reports have noted that this supplement significantly improves mood, energy, and focus for a number of people. In some cases, it may be an option to consider taking DL-Phenylalanine in conjunction with other supplements, as a supplement ‘stack’, in order to gain the most benefits in health.



DL-Phenylalanine Recommended Usage


There is a large amount of information online about the correct dosage of DL-Phenylalanine. It is not absorbed into the bloodstream as efficiently as L-Phenylalanine or D-Phenylalanine alone, so doses are normally a little higher than when taking either of the stereo-isomers alone.

Recommended dosage appears to be from around 50-500mg daily although some websites do reckon that users may benefit from taking up to 1000mg a day.


DL-Phenylalanine and Aspartame


On the internet, there is a lot of confusion about Phenylalanine and aspartame. Importantly, the chemical composition of aspartame is comprised of Phenylalanine combined with aspartic acid. Both of these ingredients are found naturally and are important for the production of amino acids and proteins in the human body.

There has been numerous health scares about aspartame, especially over the internet. Yet, it is important to note that no studies have yet found that aspartame is any more dangerous than any other type of sweetener. The metabolism (break down) of aspartame in the body results in a very small amount of methanol production.[16]

At high concentrations, methanol can be toxic. However, the concentrations of methanol produced during aspartame metabolism are far too low to be considered dangerous. Importantly, methanol is also found in many fruits and vegetables in quantities far higher than those produced during the break down of aspartame.

If you have any concerns about the links between Phenylalanine and aspartame (L-Phenylalanine being a chemical constituent of aspartame), or about potential health effects from aspartame, you are encouraged to consult with your doctor. Some studies have caused a bit of confusion, and a large amount of hype around this sweetener. Large, properly conducted studies have found no negative effects on human health from the consumption of aspartame. [17]


DL-Phenylalanine side effects and warnings


There have been some reported side effects of DL-Phenylalanine (also known as DLPA) use. DL-Phenylalanine side effects may include heartburn, nausea, and headaches as well as increased blood pressure.[18] L-Phenylalanine has been used alone in supplements for a while but is known to increase blood pressure. DL-Phenylalanine does not appear to exhibit this effect to such an extent.

At high doses of 1000-1500mg, users have reported feelings of numbness and tingling sensations.

Importantly, DL-Phenylalanine has the potential to interact with a number of medications. Do not use DL-Phenylalanine supplements if you are taking any medication. DL-Phenylalanine may not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you have any underlying conditions, please consult with your doctor before starting with DL-Phenylalanine supplements.

Very importantly, DL-Phenylalanine should never be taken by people with the rare disorder known as Phenylketonuria (PKU).



Medical Disclaimer: 

Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Please read and fully understand potential adverse effects before using this product. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not written by a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.



[1] Fernstrom JD, Fernstrom MH. Tyrosine, phenylalanine, and catecholamine synthesis and function in the brain. J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6 Suppl 1):1539S-1547S; discussion 1548S.

[2] Walsh NE, Ramamurthy S, Schoenfeld L, Hoffman J. Analgesic effectiveness of D-phenylalanine in chronic pain patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1986 Jul;67(7):436-9.

[3] Beckmann H, Strauss MA, Ludolph E. Dl-phenylalanine in depressed patients: an open study. J Neural Transm. 1977;41(2-3):123-34.

[4] Beckmann H, Athen D, Olteanu M, Zimmer R DL-phenylalanine versus imipramine: a double-blind controlled study. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr (1970). 1979 Jul 4;227(1):49-58.

[5] Birkmayer W, Riederer P, Linauer W, Knoll J. L-deprenyl plus L-phenylalanine in the treatment of depression. J Neural Transm. 1984;59(1):81-7.

[6] Fischer E, Heller B, Nachon M, Spatz H. Therapy of depression by phenylalanine. Preliminary note. Arzneimittelforschung. 1975 Jan;25(1):132.

[7] Catecholamines: Definition & Function,, available from [Accessed December 27, 2017]

[8] Landsberg L, Young JB. The role of the sympathetic nervous system and catecholamines in the regulation of energy metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Dec;38(6):1018-24.

[9] Romani C, et al. The impact of phenylalanine levels on cognitive outcomes in adults with phenylketonuria: Effects across tasks and developmental stages. Neuropsychology. 2017 Mar;31(3):242-254.

[10] de Groot MJ, et al. Pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction in phenylketonuria: review of hypotheses. Mol Genet Metab. 2010;99 Suppl 1:S86-9.

[11] Ehrenpreis S. D-phenylalanine and other enkephalinase inhibitors as pharmacological agents: implications for some important therapeutic application. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1982;7(2-3):157-72.

[12] Russell AL, McCarty MF. DL-phenylalanine markedly potentiates opiate analgesia - an example of nutrient/pharmaceutical up-regulation of the endogenous analgesia system. Med Hypotheses. 2000 Oct;55(4):283-8.

[13] Heller B, Fischer E, Martin R. Therapeutic action of D-phenylalanine in Parkinson's disease. Arzneimittelforschung. 1976 Apr;26(4):577-9. 

[14] Antoniou C, et al. Vitiligo therapy with oral and topical phenylalanine with UVA exposure. Int J Dermatol. 1989 Oct;28(8):545-7.

[15] Wood DR, Reimherr FW, Wender PH. Treatment of attention deficit disorder with DL-phenylalanine. Psychiatry Res. 1985 Sep;16(1):21-6.

[16] The Truth About Aspartame Side Effects,, available online from [Accessed December 27, 2017]

[17] The truth about aspartame, UK National Health Services,, available online from

[18] Phenylalanine, University of Maryland Medical Centre,, available online from