High serum phenylalanine in adult patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) causes neuropsychological and psychosocial problems that can be resolved by phenylalanine-restricted diet. Therefore, PKU patients must continue to adhere to phenylalanine-restricted diet for life, although the optimal serum phenylalanine level in later life has yet to be established. The purpose of this review was to establish the optimal serum phenylalanine level in later life of PKU patients. We evaluated oxidative stress status, nitric oxide metabolism, cholesterol-derived oxysterols, vitamin D and bone status, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in adult PKU patients according to serum phenylalanine level. Oxidative stress increased markedly at serum phenylalanine of 700-800 μmol/L. Serum phenylalanine higher than 700-850 μmol/L correlated with the disturbance of nitric oxide regulatory system. Adult PKU patients had poor vitamin D status and exhibited predominance of bone resorption over bone formation. In the brain, the levels of 24S-hydroxycholesterol, a marker of brain cholesterol elimination, were low at serum phenylalanine levels exceeding 650 μmol/L. MRI studies showed high signal intensity in deep white matter on T2-weighted and FLAIR images of PKU patients with serum phenylalanine greater than 500 μmol/L, with decreased apparent diffusion coefficients. Changes in most parameters covering the entire body organs in adult PKU were almost acceptable below 700-800 μmol/L of phenylalanine level. However, the optimal serum phenylalanine level should be 500 μmol/L or less in later life for the brain to be safe.