The relationship between consumption of tyrosine and phenylalanine as precursors of catecholamine at breakfast and the circadian typology and mental health in Japanese infants aged 2 to 5 years
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- Journal of Physiological Anthropology
DOI 10.1186/1880-6805-32-13
Keyword(s)
  1. Birth season
  2. Circadian typology
  3. Infants aged 2 to 5 years
Abstract(s)

Background

This study aims to examine the relationship between tyrosine and phenylalanine intake at breakfast as precursors of dopamine, and scores on the Torsvall-Åkerstedt Diurnal Type Scale and of mental health in Japanese infants aged 2 to 5 years.

Results

An integrated questionnaire was administered to parents of 1,367 infants attending one of ten nursery schools governed by Kochi City or a kindergarten affiliated with the Faculty of Education at Kochi University (775 answers for analysis: 56.7%) in May and June 2008. Questionnaires included the Torsvall-Åkerstedt Diurnal Type Scale and questions on sleep habits (onset, offset, quality, quantity, and so on), meal habits (content and regularity of timing), and mental health (depressive states). Amount of tyrosine and phenylalanine intake was calculated based on a breakfast content questionnaire and data on the components of amino acids in foods. Infants who ingested more than 800 mg of tyrosine or phenylalanine at breakfast per meal were more morning-type than those who ingested less than 800 mg (ANOVA: P= 0.005). However, this relationship disappeared in the ANCOVA analysis (with the covariance of tryptophan intake, P= 0.894). Infants who ingested more than 800 mg of the two amino acids at breakfast showed significantly higher mental health scores (lower frequency of depressive states) than those who ingested less than 800 mg (ANOVA: P = 0.004). This relationship remained significant when ANCOVA analysis was performed with the covariance of tryptophan (ANCOVA: P= 0.017).

Conclusions

These results suggest that tyrosine and phenylalanine ingested at breakfast are not related with circadian phase, but are relate with mental health in infants.