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<jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>Administration of a complex tyrosine-free amino acid drink acutely decreases manic symptoms. Although a nutrient-based approach to illness management is attractive, complex amino acid drinks are too unpalatable for repeated administration.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Aims</jats:title><jats:p>To assess whether a simple, branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) drink diminishes manic symptoms acutely and following repeated administration.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Method</jats:title><jats:p>Twenty-five patients with mania were randomly and blindly allocated to treatment with BCAA (60 g) or placebo daily for 7 days.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>Relative to placebo, the BCAA drink lowered mania ratings acutely over the first 6 h of treatment. In protocol completers there was a persistent advantage to the BCAA group 1 week after the end of treatment.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>A nutritional intervention that decreases tyrosine availability to the brain acutely ameliorates manic symptoms. Further studies are required to assess whether this approach has longer-term efficacy.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry


Royal College of Psychiatrists

Publication Date





210 - 213