What Is L-DOPA?
L-DOPA is an amino acid and a hormone that is synthesized endogenously by both animals and plants. In human beings, the amino acid is formed via biosynthesis from the amino acid L-tyrosine.
L-DOPA is a precursor for the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, which are collectively referred to as catecholamine. The amino acid is also involved in the release of a neurotrophic factor from the brain and the central nervous system.
L-DOPA is a psychoactive compound that can be employed in the management of different diseases, including Parkinsonism. The compound can be manufactured, and it is sold in its pure form as a psychoactive agent.
The compound is also used clinically in the treatment of dopamine-responsive dystonia. L-DOPA also helps in the management of depression and anxiety. Individuals who are administered with the compound encounter improved concentration and confidence.
L-DOPA is found in different sources, including Mucuna pruriens. The plant contains a high content of the compound in its seeds and leaves. Other sources include the seeds of Tamarindus indica. The seeds have about 3.78 percent of L-DOPA. The compound can also be extracted from the seeds of Canavalia gladiate, which have about 4.22 percent of L-DOPA.
Uses And Health Benefits Of L-Dopa
Benefits For The Mind
L-DOPA promotes the release of the hormones that combine to provide a euphoric feeling. As a result, it is used in the management of conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression. The compound has been shown to improve symptoms that are associated with depression, including lethargy and even chronic pain.
L-DOPA also helps in the management of anxiety and depression. The depressed individuals acquire a calm feeling that is accompanied by energy and motivation once they are put on L-DOPA.
The compound also has a neuroprotective ability. Through its antioxidant property, it protects the neurons and the brain cells from damage by the harmful free radicals. As a result, it enhances the brain tissue integrity and organ function.
The amino acid is also capable of suppressing the symptoms that are associated with nervous system disorders. It ensures this by keeping the levels of dopamine neurotransmitter well-balanced in the body. Most disorders of the nervous system result from a lack of the dopamine neurotransmitter.
Complications due to lack of sufficient dopamine in the body are commonly seen among older people. Symptoms that present with the disorders include impaired motor control, together with various cognitive problems. L-DOPA has been shown to improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from the lack of dopamine.
Management Of Parkinsonism And Dopamine-Responsive Dystonia
The ability of L-DOPA to cross the protective blood-brain barrier makes it useful in the management of Parkinsonism and dopamine-responsive dystonia. The nervous system disorders occur due to the lack of dopamine. When L-DOPA is administered, it crosses the blood-brain barrier into the brain where it is converted to dopamine.
As a result, the concentration of the neurotransmitter is increased in the brain. The treatment of Parkinsonism using L-DOPA was demonstrated clinically by George Cotzias and his coworkers. He explained that once the compound enters the brain, it gets converted to dopamine.
The conversion is carried out by the enzyme aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. The enzyme is also known as DOPA decarboxylase. Vitamin B6 is required to facilitate the reaction. The vitamin is occasionally administered alongside L-DOPA in patients having Parkinsonism.
L-DOPA Benefits For The Body
L-DOPA has antioxidant properties. As a result, it protects body organs from damage by free radicals. The compound can also get rid of aging signs, such as wrinkles. L-DOPA reduces the visible signs of aging by stimulating the release of growth hormone in the body. The growth hormone promotes the development of healthy skin and the building of a lean muscle.
L-DOPA has also been shown to increase the metabolic process in the body. The increased metabolic process contributes to the breakdown of fats to provide the body with vibrant energy. The ability of the amino acid to burn fats and increase the energy levels in the body makes it an ideal partner for bodybuilding.
L-DOPA Benefits For The Reproductive System
The amino acid has been shown to work on different tissues in the body. L-DOPA has been referred to as one of the best tonics for both men and women. It is an aphrodisiac, and it has been shown to improve sexual health and libido in individuals taking it.
The compound has also been shown to promote normal fertility, including healthy sperm and ova. L-DOPA supports proper functioning of the reproductive organs, and it promotes appropriate secretions of the genital organs. Men given L-DOPA supplements encounter increased production of testosterone hormone. The sperm is also protected against damage by free radicals.
Risks And Side Effects Of L-DOPA
The most common side effect of L-DOPA are nausea and vomiting. They can be reduced by taking the medication with food. However, proteins reduce the absorption of L-DOPA.
Other less common side effects include abnormal thinking. The patient holds false beliefs that cannot be changed by the fact. The patient may also present with agitation, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, and a false sense of well-being.
Side effects that are related to the gastrointestinal tract include difficulty in swallowing, excessive watering of the mouth, and indigestion problems. Other less common adverse effects include blurred vision, double vision, arrhythmias, and dilated pupils.
Top Products Containing L-DOPA
L-DOPA 98% (60 Capsules) Mucuna Extract
The product from Health Solutions is said to increase the energy levels in the body. It also helps to reduce cellulite, as well as the levels of fats present in the body. Other benefits include improved bone density and decreased levels of osteoporosis. The product has an overall rating of 4.0 stars out of a possible 5 stars.
NOW Foods Dopa Mucuna
The product is designed to improve mood. It is a Standardized Velvet Bean Extract, and its L-DOPA extract is 15 percent. The product has an overall rating of 3.9 stars out of a possible 5 stars on Amazon. It is sold at $11.45.
Source Naturals Mucuna Dopa
The product has several health benefits, including promoting libido in both men and women. It also improves athletic performance as well as a healthy neurotransmission. The product has an overall rating of 3.8 stars out of a possible 5 stars. It is sold at $14.92.
L-DOPA Review Summary
L-DOPA is a natural supplement that has various health benefits. The compound enhances mood and increases the energy levels of an individual. It also helps bodybuilders and strength training athletes. The side effects that arise from its use can be minimized by taking small doses as directed by a healthcare provider.