L-Dopa, also known as levodopa, is an amino acid that the body uses to produce dopamine. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter used by the brain to send messages to different parts of the nervous system. L-Dopa is widely used as a dietary supplement. The majority of supplements are herbal extracts derived from mucuna pruriens, widely known as velvet bean, an herbal plant used for the management of male infertility, nervous disorders, and also as an aphrodisiac
L-Dopa is commonly prescribed to persons with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by sudden tremors in the limbs and an eventual loss of movement. L-Dopa, when taken as a supplement, can improve motor skills and create feelings of superior motility.
What Is L-Dopa?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is essential to the human body and serves several functions. It is received by dopamine receptors present in the basal part of the middle brain known as substantia nigra. Dopamine is involved in many aspects of the brain, including reward and feedback, motor skills, and arousal.
However, the body cannot create dopamine on its own, so this is where L-Dopa comes in. L-Dopa is made from another amino acid called L-Tyrosine. The brain then converts L-Dopa into useful dopamine. This particular property of L-Dopa has allowed medicine to advance more quickly in treating Parkinson’s and related diseases with ease.
What Are The Functions Of L-Dopa?
The primary function of L-Dopa in the body is to pass through the blood-brain barrier and reach the basal ganglia, where it is synthesized into dopamine. Apart from this, L-Dopa is also used to synthesize adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Adrenaline is the neurotransmitter responsible for controlling our fight or flight responses. Noradrenaline has similar effects. It also increases blood pressure, pulse rate, and fat breakdown to prepare the body for emergencies. As mentioned before, dopamine has several roles in the body, including regulating motor control, arousal, and other vital functions. L-Dopa, therefore, has essential parts to play.
What Is L-Dopa Commonly Used For?
Since its discovery, L-Dopa has been used for a variety of purposes.
- The most popular usage for levodopa has been for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological movement disorder. The most common symptom is sudden tremors that progress to violent tremors and paralysis. Because the brain loses its ability to generate dopamine in people with Parkinson’s, administering L-Dopa helps by allowing the brain to synthesize dopamine again.
- Levodopa administration is also helpful in controlling depression. Usually, L-Dopa is used together with other drugs to treat depression.
- Because L-Dopa can increase testosterone, it is frequently used as a sexual stimulant to boost testosterone levels.
Taking the correct dosage of L-Dopa for the conditions you are attempting to control is essential for effective disease management. If not handled properly, incorrect dosages can result in unexpected behaviors and a drug-induced neurological overload.
A daily dose of 300 to 600 mg is recommended to manage Parkinson’s disease (PD) effectively. Experts advise taking the amount in three or four equal portions throughout the day, rather than all at once. The administration should be long-term and continue for three to five years, with a regular check to see if levodopa intake is still required.
The use of levodopa for depression alone is not widely recommended. It can, however, be beneficial in cases where Parkinson’s disease and depression are present. According to some studies, certain patients improved when given a high but tolerable dose of levodopa or 500 to 600 mg per day, divided into four or five equal portions.
Testosterone deficiency is common in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have launched a study to determine whether dopaminergic therapy influenced testosterone levels. Male patients were given high doses of up to 600 mg per day. The study found that L-DOPA could prevent testosterone levels from dropping.
Mucuna pruriens, a natural source of L-DOPA, has been shown to increase testosterone levels in infertile men aged 25 to 40.
L-Dopa supplements are available in the form of herbal extracts. L-Dopa is extracted from the velvet bean plant with seeds containing up to 6.1% L-Dopa, nicotine, and other substances in trace amounts.
Best Mucuna Pruriens Supplement
Mucuna Pruriens Extract By Pure Nootropics
Pure Nootropics offers 90 vegetarian capsules of Mucuna Pruriens Extract for $15.99. Each serving of 2 capsules contains 1,000 mg of Mucuna extract total with 150 mg of this amount containing L-DOPA.
Not every Mucuna Pruriens Extract supplement displays the concentration of L-DOPA and Pure Nootropics stands out from its competitors by doing so.
The company also provides a certificate of analysis for this product which can be found here.
Editor’s note on Mar 26, 2022: This product is currently unavailable. We will update this review as soon as this item is back in stock.
Highly Rated Mucuna Pruriens Supplement
Mucuna Pruriens Extract By Double Wood Supplements
Double Wood Supplements’ Mucuna Pruriens Extract contains 210 capsules. Each serving contains 1000mg, equivalent to 2 capsules. The company recommends taking 2 capsules per day on an empty stomach but should not exceed 4 capsules in a single day.
It costs only $19.99 per bottle for 210 capsules, and it’s perfect if you’re on a tight budget.
Best Value L-Dopa Supplement
NOW Dopa Mucuna – 90 Veg Capsules
DOPA Mucuna by NOW Supplements is an excellent product for your neurological health and brain support. You’ll get 800mg Mucuna Extract and 120mg L-Dopa per 2-capsule serving. The company suggests taking 1 to 2 Vcaps with a meal, preferably early in the day. The capsule content is entirely vegan and gluten-free, and the manufacturing process ensures a high-quality product.
Now Supplement’s DOPA Mucuna is the most cost-effective supplement in this review, costing only $12.10 for 90 Veg capsules.
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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash