Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which plays a role in controlling the center of the brain associated with reward and pleasure. It is also responsible for motor function and hormone output. Dopamine works as a chemical messenger outside in the rest of the body and is responsible for vasodilation, urine output, reduction of insulin, and immuno-modulation.
In terms of disease, this neurotransmitter tends to be reduced in the neuro-degenerative disease called Parkinson’s Disease as well as ADHD and Restless Leg Syndrome.
Neurological Functions of Dopamine
– Neuro-muscular function
How is it produced
Dopamine’s precursor L-DOPA, is synthesized from the amino-acids Tyrosine and Phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is converted to Tyrosine, which is then converted to L-DOPA and then Dopamine is formed. Dopamine is further converted into norepinephrine and then epinephrine.
Consuming these nutrients in your diet will help to produce this neurotransmitter by providing the body with the raw materials needed.
Note that probiotics also play an important role in the production of dopamine and should be well supplemented.
– Fermented Foods
Mucuna Pruriens & Fava Beans – both of these contain L-DOPA and are seen to improve dopamine levels. Mucuna pruriens specifically, improves not only dopamine levels but also the function of the neurons located in the substanti nigra which are responsible for dopamine production. Studies suggest that Mucuna Pruriens may actually be a stronger L-Dopa source than the standard pharmaceutical L-Dopa drug.
Talk to an Ayurvedic doctor about the proper dosage of these herbs, including the use of drug carriers and metabolic stimulants to properly metabolize them.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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Written by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2017