What Is L-Dopa?
L-Dopa (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) is a naturally occurring substance, which can also be synthesized. Many commercially available L-Dopa supplements are extracts of the plant Mucuna Pruriens. The L-Dopa benefits typically encompass a wide spectrum of needs and want in the nootropics community, including things like the improvement of memory, mood, and focus. It is an amino acid and a hormone which plays the chief role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, which have a major role in the neurology of the brain and whose mode of action has a profound psychological effect.
L-Dopa is produced in the brain through the pharmacological role of the enzyme L-Tyrosine. L-Dopa, by acting as a ‘precursor’ (pro-drug) for dopamine, which in its pure form cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, has a major role in treating Parkinson disease, in which dopaminergic function a grossly damaged. In healthy individuals, higher levels of dopamine as a consequence of L-Dopa supplementation have their nootropic and general health effect expressed as increased control over locomotion and fine movements, mental sharpness, better memory and memory recall, increased libido, general subjective feeling of ‘higher energy’ and, especially, a strong focus.
L-Dopa acts as a pro-drug for dopamine through DOPA decarboxylase enzyme and the synthesis into dopamine is best facilitated with the addition of extra vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements.
Health Benefits Of L-Dopa
Apart from L-Dopa’s use as primary therapy in Parkinson disease, where proper motor control, including fine movements, is difficult due to decline in dopamine receptors in particular parts of the brain, L-Dopa can have a beneficial effect on otherwise healthy individuals. Its primary effect is countering the decline in dopaminergic function which is naturally related to aging, by providing compensation for this decline.
Dopamine is known for coordination between mind and the body, a feeling of wellness, agility, libido and sexual arousal as well as brightening the mood. L-Dopa is known as a powerful antioxidant which functions by protecting the human organism from chronic stress and long-term negative action of free radicals which facilitate various effects of aging. L-Dopa benefits on health encompass a wide range of possibilities based on the individual and typically include increased energy throughout the day, aiding in stimulant withdrawal, increased sleep quality in dopamine-deficient individuals, and overall better perception of one’s environment.
Finally, habitual intake of L-Dopa in appropriate dosage slightly increases the production of testosterone among males. This has an implication for higher efficiency of strenuous body-building or similar athletic activity. In this case, a consultation with a doctor is recommended, primarily because the use of several substances in body-building communities is a common occurrence.
A similar supplement to L-Dopa is that of L-Tyrosine, (or, as is sold on this website, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, the XR version of the amino acid), yet L-Dopa is a stronger form, in that it is next up the line in the creation of Dopamine. Dopamine gets created in the brain by the chain of amino acids which comprise the neurotransmitter in this order: phenylalanine>>L-Tyrosine>>L-Dopa>>Dopamine>>norepinephrine. L-Dopa is the closest amino acid you can get to dopamine in the brain! It is the most direct route, and when taken by people with inadequate dopamine brain stores, or when used to recover from or enhanced stimulant-like drugs, it can prove a powerful nootropic for long-term use.
Nootropic Benefits Of L-Dopa
L-Dopa acts like a precursor of dopamine, the primary neurotransmitter that governs memory, learning, memory recall, and most of it, drive and focus. It is also a metabolic factor in the production of norepinephrine and epinephrine which increase metabolism and provide a boost in mental performance. Insofar mood-brightening is considered.
It is a very well known fact that many prescription (as well as illicit) drugs that boost dopaminergic function provide strong enforcement of the central nervous system’s ‘pleasure circuit’. This is an effect of synthetic anti-depressant Bupropion, the latest generation of anti-depressant which, unlike much-used SSRI (‘Prozac’ etc.), has no sexual side-effects and has a stronger effect in regulating the executive functions, which are a neurological basis for the task-oriented mind. However, L-Dopa’s natural dopaminergic function provides nootropic benefits without the side-effect of drugs by simply increasing natural production within limits that have benefits for the organism as a whole as well as through its mind-enchasing properties.
L-Dopa, acting as a precursor for dopamine, increases long-term memory, motivation, learning as well as focus on the subject, which may be preserved for a relatively long time, thus preventing procrastination, a result of the brain’s diminished executive functions which are restored through L-Dopa dopamine-creating effect. Executive functions are the capacity that we use to choose where to put our focus when sensory input overwhelms the mind. This procedure is exceptionally influenced by the levels of neurotransmitters we have in the brain and also by the affectability of the receptors on our neurons.
Dopamine gives a greater amount of our mental thoughtfulness regarding those things that give us joy and trigger the brain’s reward function, thus reinforcing the process of acquisition of relevant vs. irrelevant data. Norepinephrine is additionally vital for coordinating our vitality and inspiration towards finishing an assignment. One of the key ways of improvement of the creative mind is the effect of enhanced possibility to make correlations as well as discrimination regarding incoming information, thus enabling fast-paced rational thinking. L-Dopa has many benefits as a nootropic that stem from its ability to manipulate dopamine in crucial areas of the brain.
Due to a number of side effects (most of them seen only in high dosages), the dosage, apart from being individual and best achieved through trial and error, should never exceed 1.200mg in 24 hours. It is suggested that the initial dosage should start with 100mg daily, to be increased up to 800mg, taken in several dosages over a day.
Doses over 1,500mg may cause hyper-sexuality, priapism as well as transitory (drug intake-related) movement disorders in healthy individuals and are therefore not recommended. Note that there is no medical technology to evaluate both the quantity and patterns of distribution of dopamine and other relevant transmitters in the brain at any given time.
However, even if the indirect evaluation shows that user’s dopamine levels are normal, increasing L-Dopa may still help significantly with boosting of one’s cognition. The proper dosage is a compromise between individual perception and the uppermost quantity below which side-effects are unlikely.
While most effects of L-Dopa appear only after chronic ingestion of high doses, it is important both to mention them and to recommend a consultation with a doctor regarding the use of L-Dopa at the higher end of dosing.
Most significant side-effects of chronic overdose with L-Dopa are dyskinesia and other movement problems, excitability, anxiety, a transitory hair loss, overtly increased libido as well as lower grade of pseudo-hypomania.
Combination of anti-psychotic drugs on one hand (risperidone, olanzapine, thorazine, haloperidol etc.), which block some dopaminergic receptors as well as dopaminergic stimulants (i.e. Adderall, amphetamines) is strongly discouraged.
Is L-Dopa Legal?
While most preparations of L-Dopa are classified as ‘medical drugs’ by U.S. Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA), L-Dopa is treated as a natural supplement that is free for manufacture and distribution as well as legal to purchase, posses and use for personal benefits.
In most countries L-Dopa is a prescription drug, so investigation of its legal status regarding purchase, possession and use is recommended. L-Dopa doesn’t have a ‘recreational drug’ status, as regulated by World Health Organization as well international treaties, but it may be unavailable OTC in most countries, at least in forms in which substances which prevents its action on the peripheral nervous systems are added. There are many benefits of using L-Dopa on a regular basis, and mainly revolve around an adequate nutritional profile of the important amino acid. When diet alone is not enough to increase dopamine stores, supplements can in effect have an extremely beneficial ability to improve one’s brain function.
As a naturally occurring substance, L-Dopa has a key role in the brain’s signaling process primarily through acting as a precursor for the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine’s key role in executive functions of the mind as well as improvement of the mind-body coordination is of a crucial role for human health. Lack of so-called “highs” and “downs” is evident with the use of L-Dopa v.s most synthetic dopaminergic drugs.
L-Dopa provides natural production, brain distribution and mode of action that facilitates its nootropic effect. While in some cases its effects on libido and a general sense of wellness may make it a desirable substance, its powerful effect on memory retention and recall and well as focus on a goal-oriented activity accompanied by diminishing “fog” and mental fatigue are the primary nootropic benefits of L-Dopa. L-Dopa stacks well with racetam-class nootropics, such as pramiracetam and especially aniracetam, for combined effects on dopaminergic and cholinergic activity in the brain, providing focused and directed mental activity with boosted parameters such as memory and memory recall.
This makes L-Dopa a very potent nootropic effective especially for academic and professional environments, which greatly motivates complete execution of complex tasks.
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