Aside from its powerful medical benefits, L-Dopa has been a great supplement both when used alone and in conjunction with other nootropics. But, what is L-Dopa and how does it work inside our body?
L-Dopa is a naturally occurring amino acid and hormone which is a form of Dihydroxyphenylalanine. In humans, it is created by the biosynthesis from the amino acid L-Tyrosine. It is also considered as an immediate precursor to Dopamine but unlike Dopamine, it can cross the blood brain barrier even when consumed orally. L-Dopa is converted into Dopamine by DOPA decarboxylase enzyme or aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. (1) (4)
Now when the body’s Central Nervous System is stimulated, it influences an increase in Dopamine levels. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory and learning capabilities, attention, pleasurable reward, behavior and cognition, and most especially for mood and sleep (5). With an increased level of this neurotransmitter, there will be a significant improvement in one’s mood and cognitive abilities. It may also be of great help to deal efficiently with stress, anxiety, depression, and even signs of OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, ADHD and ADD.
In addition to that, L-Dopa also serves to influence the catecholamines Epinephrine and Norepinephrine. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is the neurotransmitter involved in our body’s “fight or flight"response. It provides our muscles the energy to respond quickly and more effectively when faced in a threat (6). Meanwhile, norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter also being referred to as the stress hormone. As the name implies, it is responsible for our body’s ability to respond to stress and is also involved in the “fight or flight"response. Norepinephrine increases a person’s breathing rate and heart rate thus, increasing blood circulation. And with an increase in blood flow, there will be more glucose and oxygen delivered to our working muscles as well as to our neurons in the brain (7). With L-Dopa’s influence on the two neurotransmitters, there will be a boost in brain power and physical energy as well as an increase in metabolism and faster neuronal communication.
Aside from the cognitive and mood enhancement L-Dopa provides, it also serves to have an effect on our physical work. This is because studies have shown that L-Dopa works with the Pituitary Gland by stimulating the production of Human Growth Hormone or Somatropin. This is then responsible for our body’s cell growth, reproduction and repair. Because of this mechanism of action, body builders and athletes have sought L-Dopa a valuable addition to their regime since it positively affects the body’s recovery while increasing strength and lean muscle mass. In addition to that, studies have found that the drug also increases testosterone production is well. As a result, it will be of great benefit to those individuals who are aiming to have a significant increase in muscle mass while losing weight. This drug is an excellent aid for both weight and strength training.
Moreover, other health benefits that L-Dopa provides is its powerful anti-oxidant properties, anti-aging, and life extension benefits.