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. More recent studies have found L-DOPA to be capable of increasing testosterone and luteinizing hormone as well.
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.
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.