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L-DOPA

L-DOPA is one of the few dietary supplements available that is found in exactly the same form as a prescription medication Carbidopa/Levodopa.

This direct precursor to dopamine is naturally occurring in high amounts in plants such as mucuna pruriens/velvet beans, vicia faba or broad beans, ginko biloba, along with vigna aconitfolia, prosopis chilensis, cassia floribunda, and much more.

What it does

L-DOPA is best known for its ability to increase the release of growth hormone[1][2][3]. More recent studies have found L-DOPA to be capable of increasing testosterone and luteinizing hormone as well[4].

Increasing growth hormone levels has been shown to help increase lean body mass, decrease body fat, and enhance recovery rates from exercise.

How it works

L-DOPA is an amino acid that is capable of bypassing the BBB (blood brain barrier) where it is then able to act as a direct precursor to neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and various catecholamines.

When L-DOPA converts into dopamine it is then able to agonize dopamine receptors, and agonization of these receptors has been shown to directly stimulate growth hormone production[5].

Dosing

Most dietary supplements provide L-DOPA via mucuna pruriens extract, standardized at various amounts. The total amount of mucuna pruriens extract does not matter, but instead the amount of total L-DOPA it is standardized to does.

Aim for 250-500mg of L-DOPA per day for maximum effects as shown in clinical studies.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3080462
  2. https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem-34-1-99
  3. http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/content/54/3/425.abstract
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18973898
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25253414