Maximize dopamine and live life on cloud nine with laser focus, drive, ambition, euphoria & great energy

dopamin_chshire_cat

I want to share with you something you probably never heard before…or heard the opposite of what I’m about to tell you.

Dopamine is actually the happy hormone…Boom!

Serotonin has always been thought to be the happy hormone, but science is realizing that that is not the case and that serotonin is associated with a host of bad conditions.

> The High Serotonin Personality

Do you want to feel energetic, creative, focused, goal-driven, fulfilled, pleasure, happiness, bliss, excitement and enjoyment?

That, my dear reader, is the effects of dopamine. I wrote a whole article on the effects of dopamine, so be sure to check that out.

> The High Dopamine & Histamine Personality

For this article I want to discuss how to actually increase dopamine. Most people have reduced dopamine due to chronic stress, inflammation, bad diet, poor sleep, constant bombardment with technology, lack of good company and so on.

When dopamine is low, we need to do repetitive addictive things just to get a big squirt of dopamine in the brain for a couple minutes. Wonder why natural food taste so bland and you have no energy to put in the effect to create a good meal, whereas it’s soooo easy to just pop by the drive way and get a supersize everything?

Low dopamine.

Alright, let me just fill you in on how dopamine is created and a little on how it functions and then we’ll go over strategies and supplements to increase dopamine. If you want to skip this part, just scroll down to the strategies and supplements.

In short:

Dopamine is synthesized from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine and also from L-dopa by the enzymes phenylalanine hydroxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase and DOPA decarboxylase respectively.

Dopamine binds to 2 main receptor types, namely D1 and D2, but D1 consists of 2 subtypes (D1 & D5) and D2 consists of 3 subtypes (D2, D3 & D4).

Dopamine is then broken down by the enzymes monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) and catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT).

Dopamine is able to:

  • Reduce water retention
  • Increase testosterone
  • Improve cognition – mental clarity, ability to concentrate & focus, improved learning, memory, recall, well-being, solution seeking, creativity, etc.
  • Lower prolactin
  • Increase the metabolic rate & desire to be active and explore
  • Improve insulin sensitivity and glucose disposal
  • Lower serotonin synthesis
  • Release GABA and promote calmness

Symptoms of low dopamine include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • No creativity
  • No goal setting or ambition
  • Brain fog
  • Negativity (rarely happy)
  • Don’t enjoy much – anhedonia
  • Apathy
  • Low problem-solving ability
  • Anti-social
  • Fearful, nervous, anxious
  • Attention deficit, etc…

First I want to discuss with you a few easy strategies on how to increase your dopamine, then I’ll go over the supplements that will have the most potent effect of dopamine levels. 

 

8 Free strategies to increase dopamine

 

#1 Exercise

Exercise increases dopamine synthesis as well as its sensitivity by increasing dopamine receptors D2/D3 density (R, R).

Exercise is really one of the best, healthiest things you can do, if done correctly. Here is the best way to be active/exercise in order to increase not only your testosterone, but also your dopamine:

The Protocol that Smashes Serotonin and Endotoxin and causes Dopamine to Skyrocket!!!!

This dopaminergic diet is the best thing ever in a highly serotonergic Western environment.

#2 Get a massage

Although this can be expensive, it can also be free if you can find someone that would be nice enough to give you a massage. It doesn’t have to be long as even short massages can lead to an increase in dopamine.

Massage therapy can lower cortisol up to an averaging decrease of 31% (R).

A massage can also help you to recover from an injury faster, or loosen up a tight and tense muscle that might be pinching (R).

#3 Laugh

Laughter is always good medicine. Laughter is a positive sensation, and seems to be a useful and healthy way to overcome stress. People who laugh more tend to have lower cortisol, higher dopamine, stronger immunity and have a better sense of well-being (R).

“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…” – Mathew 18:3. It doesn’t mean to become childish (in an immature way), but rather to become like children by laughing more, being humble, forgive easily, live in the now and trust God, etc…

So remember to laugh more and stress less.

#4 Listen to awesome music

Music therapy (which you find pleasure in listening to) has shown to increase feelings of well-being and increase dopamine release in the striatal system (R). Although not all music has this effect, as ‘hard’ music can actually increase feelings of aggression and higher cortisol levels and lower dopamine (R).

Binaural beats can also be used to lower stress and increase dopamine. Binaural beats is basically a frequency that is able to changes you brain waves.

But above all types of music, the ‘music’ of nature has the most soothing effect on the human mind. Just go to the forest or ocean or just somewhere nice and quiet without the noise of the city, and just listen to the birds and bugs and the wind blowing through the trees, and it will have a very calming effect on you.

#5 Sunlight

Nowadays we’re indoors so much that we often forget what the sun feels like on our skins. The sun on it’s own can have a relaxing pro-metabolic effect and increase the synthesis of vitamin D.

Insufficient levels of vitamin D inhibits tyrosine hydroxylase, resulting in a disturbance in the dopamine pathway, thus, vitamin D is essential for optimal dopamine levels.

#6 Lower stress

As you can see, most, if not all of the strategies mentioned above has a side bonus of lowering stress. Chronic low grade stress and elevated cortisol absolutely steals the joy out of life. Stress and cortisol downregulates the dopamine system over time and can leave you in a low dopamine state, which make your very prone to addiction or some sort of addictive behaviour.

A few simple ways to lower stress is:

  • Breathe. Most of us are hunched over all the time and take short shallow breaths. This hunched over shallow breathing actually increases cortisol, lowers testosterone and prevents proper oxygenation of our tissues. Try to always keep your spine straight and shoulders back in a comfortable position. Suddenly breathing is automatically deeper and more relaxed and you do feel better.
  • Do yoga, Tai Chi or qi gong, or some other relaxing movement/exercise.
  • Prayer.
  • Listen to music. It doesn’t have to be chill step, but any music that you “feel” that moves you out of a stressed state.
  • Go relax in nature. Do forest bathing. This is also effective for getting away from wifi and EMF.
  • Grounding. Grounding has a potent effect at reducing stress and lowering inflammation.
  • Listen to nature.

And host of effective supplement as discussed in this article:

> Lower cortisol

#7 Posture

Superman

As mentioned above, posture is essential for lowering stress and proper breathing and also for boosting dopamine. Become constantly aware of your posture and try never to hunch over.

#8 Improve insulin sensitivity

Insulin resistance in the brain induces mitochondrial and dopaminergic dysfunction, leading to anxiety and depressive-like behaviors. Brain mitochondrial dysfunction with reduced energy production leads to increased levels of reactive oxygen species and increases levels of lipid and protein oxidation in the striatum and nucleus accumbens; the areas in the brain where there are tons of dopamine neurons.

Insulin resistant mice also exhibit increased levels of monoamine oxidase A and B (MAO-A and B) leading to increased dopamine & serotonin breakdown and overall lower levels (R).

Insulin can also be useful at increasing dopamine, as insulin causes a spike in brain uptake of tyrosine (and tryptophan). This will increase dopamine synthesis. Just be sure to take BCAA + phenylalanine + vitamin B6, to ensure more tyrosine is taken up to create dopamine, instead of too much tryptophan for serotonin synthesis. BCAA compete with tyrosine and tryptophan uptake in the brain, so by taking only BCAA will lead to a decrease in dopamine and serotonin synthesis in the brain and can lead to depression, anxiety, etc.

The reason I include it here in the “free strategies to increase dopamine” is because some of the ways to promote insulin sensitivity is absolutely free.

Here are a few great tips to improve insulin sensitivity:

9 Low hanging fruit to increase dopamine

#1 Drink coffee

Caffeine enhances dopamine signaling in the brain, which it does predominantly by antagonizing adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR). A dose of 300mg caffeine significantly increases the availability of D2/D3 receptors in putamen and ventral striatum areas of the brain and is associated with increased alertness (R), Caffeine doesn’t directly increase dopamine but increases dopamine sensitivity by increasing dopamine receptors.

> Coffee, the manliest drink

#2 Eat chillies

You don’t have to if you don’t like it, but if you’re like me, hot food makes you mouth water.

Capsaicin, the compound in chilies which make it hot, causes an increase in catecholamines, namely epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine (R). Capsaicin is neuroprotective and prevents dopamine neural degeneration as it is anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant. Capsaicin also reduces the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β)), and lowers the production of excess reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS & RNS) (R).

Capsaicin also increases thermogenesis and resting energy expenditure, and can aid in fat loss via β-adrenergic stimulation. However be careful not to take too much cayenne pepper powder on an empty stomach (who does that anyway lol), as it may burn your throat and gut like crazy. It’ll make you heave over like you got sucker punched in the gut; it’s not fun…trust me.

#3 Eat enough protein

The dopamine precursors, tyrosine and phenylalanine, is abundant in protein. Eating a good amount of protein, roughly 120g if you’re inactive, and between 150-200g if your active, will ensure that you have ample amounts of precursors for dopamine synthesis.

But only eating protein for the precursors is not the only reason to eat protein, but also because a low protein diet leads to a reduction in dopamine receptors as well (R).

 A few other amino acids that’re also great at boosting dopamine are:

  • Taurine – we rarely consume enough of this amino acid and our bodies isn’t really able to create enough of it. It would be best to supplement this one.
  • Glycine – Again, we don’t consume enough of it as we don’t really make broth anymore as we used to do decades ago.
  • Theanine – tea contains a fair amount of this amino acid, but sometimes bigger doses are required to block stress and increase dopamine.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that too much protein can lead to an increase in ammonia. Ammonia is neurotoxic and can lead to neurological damage and death of dopaminergic neuron and a subsequent reduction in dopamine.

Ammonia also alters the function of the blood-brain barrier and produces abnormal neurotransmitters such as octopamine (R). Ammonia also binds to the NMDA receptors and can induce anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, ADHD, addiction, brain fog, fatigue, feeling on edge, feeling “tired but wired”.

Vitamin B1, manganese, activated charcoal, ornithine, arginine and citrulline, Ceylon cinnamon, biotin and zinc can help to lower excess ammonia.

#4 Drink a little alcohol

Low doses of alcohol are shown to increase dopamine. But no need to indulge as your body doesn’t build up a tolerance to this effect and doesn’t need more every time for the same effect (R).

You should also be aware that alcohol, especially more than what your liver can take care of fast enough, actually really disturbs your sleep quality. It might feel like you sleep better, but the quality of your sleep actually went down the drain.

A few quick ways to increase alcohol metabolism in the body is to use:

  • 2g taurine
  • 200mcg molybdenum
  • 50mg vitamin B6
  • 100mg vitamin B2
  • 100mg succinic acid

This cocktail will rapidly metabolize alcohol and prevent the hangover.

#5 Eat salt

A high salt diet increases dopamine synthesis in the kidney by upregulating dopamine-producing enzymes (R). Dopamine’s role in the kidney is to regulate salt and water excretion and prevent hypertension. A low salt diet leads to less dopamine receptor activation and higher renin-angiotensin levels, thus more water and salt retention which could lead to hypertension (R).

Take note of the salt you eat and stay away from the normal mineral depleted, toxic excipient laden table salt. Get a good Himalayan salt, Aztec salt, sea salt or a dead sea salt.

#6 Improve leptin sensitivity

Leptin, the satiety hormone, increases striatal dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) binding (R). Leptin also increases nucleus accumbens tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity, leading to more dopamine synthesis (R). This is probably one of the major reason how leptin speeds up the metabolism, increases testosterone synthesis, lowers hunger and promotes fat loss.

Boosting leptin levels is not the answer, but improving its sensitivity is the key. Leptin sensitivity is increased mostly the same way you would promote insulin sensitivity, so check the FB post above at the insulin section.

#7 Clean the gut

Gut bacteria is a major source of neurotransmitters. Different strains create different neurotransmitters, which include acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, histamine & GABA.

The problem comes in when there is an excess of pathological bacteria that produces toxins (endotoxins) and an excess of the neurotransmitters you don’t want, such as serotonin, histamine and noradrenaline. 

There are two main strategies to go about this.

One is to reduce excess gut bacteria with natural anti-bacterial substances, such as oregano-, cinnamon- and/or thyme oil, nystatin, bitter melon, activated charcoal with coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, etc.

The other way to go about this is to modulate the bacteria with healthy food, such as cocoa powder, modified citrus pectin, pomegranate peel extra, dark and colorful fruits and vegetables (those that don’t give you digestive issues in the process).

Both methods are very effective and should be done simultaneously for the best effect.

#8 Eat a good amount of saturated fat

Saturated fat sources such as coconut oil, butter, cocoa butter, olive oil and fat from beef, lamb, bison, buffalo, shell fish and lean fish can protect from endotoxins (by binding to them and increasing their excretion), diabetes, heart failure, dementia, cancer, osteoporosis, glucocorticoid excess, etc. and are able to increase dopamine (RR). 

#9 Eat cocoa

Cocoa is a fantastic food to lower inflammation, reduce stress and increase dopamine.

Cocoa contains both bromocriptine and caffeine which increases dopamine. Cocoa increases cognitive performance and decreases free dopamine urine excretion (R). Epicatechin (a flavonoid in cocoa) consumption increases tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) levels in both hippocampus (1.51-fold) and cortex (1.79-fold) and decreases monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) expression (R). Epicatechin also decreases myostatin, a muscle growth inhibitor, and increases muscle building ability.

After the ingestion of carbohydrates, brain serotonin concentrations rise only when the protein component of the meal is less than 2% (R). 20-40% of cocoa’s calorie content is protein (depending on the source), which would be sufficient to negate any serotonin effect. Cocoa causes a release of opioids, such as β-endorphins in the hypothalamus (R), thus producing an euphoric and pain killing effect (R). Cocoa is also one of the richest sources of magnesium (R). I like to mix a tbsp raw cocoa in a glass of raw milk with some monk fruit sweetner/honey… tastes very wow. Cocoa can really lift up your mood, calm you down, make you feel happy and induce a pain-killing effect.

Now you know why people get some serious chocolate cravings when they’re under stress.

Finally, let’s look a supplements that can increase dopamine and will have the best effect on mood and cognition. 

If you feel overwhelmed with all the supplements, just start by using one and see if it works for you. If it don’t drop it and try another one. 

#1 Catuaba bark extract

This Brazilian medicinal plant has antidepressant-like effects by increasing dopamine (R). 

#2 Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid compound found in high concintration in club moss. Huperzine A acts to oppose neurotoxics and protect the cholinergic, dopaminergic, and noradrenergic systems (R). It’s neuroprotective, and increases dopamine as well as noradrenaline, both of which are involved in learning, mental alertness, mental clarity and memory forming. It’s a very good compound to use to keep the brain healthy. 

#3 Uridine

Uridine is used in the body for the synthesis of cellular membranes, nerve growth by stimulating nerve growth factor (NGF) and DNA/RNA formation. Uridine significantly increases potassium-evoked dopamine release in striatal cells and also increases dopamine receptor D2 turnover, which helps to increase dopamine receptors. (RR, R) Uridine is found in high concentrations in beer, brewers yeast and meat.

#4 Adamantane

Adamantane and its derivatives so far seem to possess the following properties: HDAC inhibitor (and thus anti-cancer), anti-cortisol, anti-serotonin, pro-dopamine, anti-diabetes, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-excitotoxic, NMDA antagonism (and thus antidepressant), anticholinergic, antihistamine, etc

Adamantane’s derivative, amantadine, binds to and acts as an agonist of the σ1 receptor and activation of the σ1 receptor boosts dopamine levels (R).

#5 Forskolin

Forskolin is able to stimulate dopamine formation from tyrosine via tyrosine hydroxylase and also via potassium-evoked stimulation (R). Forskolin also increases dopamine receptors as well as their sensitivity (R). Combining forskolin with artichoke extract makes for a very good nootropic.

#6 Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, which increases resilience to stress, reduces cortisol and significantly increases GABA. It’s also able to increase dopamine, but at very high doses increases serotonin, so don’t go overboard with this one (R). Ashwagandha also increases glutathione (master anti-oxidant defense system in the body) and GPx levels in the striatum (part of the forebrain) (R). I recommend 300-500mg before bed.

> Ashwagandha, the tripple A herb: anabolic, androgenic & adaptogenic

#7 Shilajit

Shilajit is a natural substance found mainly in the Himalayas, formed for centuries by the gradual decomposition of certain plants by the action of microorganisms, and contains over 85 minerals and trace elements. It is a potent and very safe dietary supplement which restores the energetic balance. Shilajit increases GABA & dopamine and doesn’t increase serotonin like ashwagandha does. Shilajit also helps cope with stress and lower cortisol (R).

#8 Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens contains L-Dopa, which is directly converted to dopamine. The problem with l-dopa, is that it’s rather rapidly metabolized so the effect is mostly short term, maybe around 3-8 hours depending on how fast your body metabolizes it.

#9 Piracetam

Piracetam is a psychotropic drug, which significantly increases the dopamine levels in the cerebral cortex and in the striatum, as well as the 5-HT (serotonin) level in the cortex, while reducing the serotonin level in the striatum, brain stem and hypothalamus (R).

A great combo to put piracetam on steroids (Ben Greenfield’s suggestion) is to combine it with a little Dihexa cream on the neck and a few squirts of intranasal Cerebrolysin.

  • Piracetam – (NeuroActive (use link to get 10% discount))

#10 Taurine

Taurine is generally neuroprotective and cytoprotective (R). Taurine is a close analog to GABA and is thought to function through the same “receptors”.

DIPA formation, but not 5-HTP formation is significantly enhanced by taurine in a dose-related manner in all brain regions studied, indicating an increased synthesis of both dopamine and noradrenaline and not serotonin. Leading to better well-being, energy, mental clarity and enhanced memory forming (R). 1-2g daily can be used long term.

> Taurine article

#11 Glycine

Glycine binds to its receptors and increases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (R). Glycine is also a GABA agonist and increases relaxation, calmness, yet not sedative. Use 5g on a daily basis.

> Glycine article

#12 Theanine

Theanine (gamma-glutamylethylamide) is one of the major amino acid components in green tea and can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Theanine potently lowers cortisol, is anti-anxiety and panic, which makes it a powerful adaptogen. It also increases dopamine. “Co-injection of glycine receptor antagonist, strychnine, reduced theanine-induced changes in dopamine.” (R) In other words, theanine increases dopamine similar to glycine, by activating the NMDA receptor.

> Theanine article

#13 Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is part of the lipid membrane and stabilizes dopamine binding sites allowing it to exert a powerful stable action. Dopamine forms hydrogen bonds with each of the phospholipids in the lipid membranes, namely PS, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, with the greatest affinity to PS (R). So dopamine requires PS to exert it’s actions.

#14 CDP-Choline

CDP (cytidine diphosphate)-choline increases dopamine and improves fluidity of the brain neuronal membrane (R). Uridine also increases CDP-choline levels.

#15 Vitamin C

Vitamin C upregulates tyrosine hydroxylase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme of dopamine biosynthesis, thus leading to more dopamine production (R). Vitamin C also protects dopamine neurons from oxidative stress and therefore their survival during toxic or harmful situations.

#16  Provide the precursors – phenylalanine & tyrosine

As dopamine is made from phenylalanine and tyrosine, supplementing these amino acids can help increase dopamine levels. Take 2-3g tyrosine or 2g phenylalanine first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Take it with 5g BCAA immediately with or after taking the phenylalanine or tyrosine. Phenylalanine seem to work better for most people.</p>

#17 Provide cofactors

The enzymes that convert phenylalanine, tyrosine and l-dopa to dopamine requires vitamin B3, B6, folate, iron and BH4 as cofactors.

Vitamin B3 is needed for converting 5,10 methylene-THF (a methylated form of folate in the folate cycle) to BH4 (part of the tetrahydrobiopterin salvage pathway). When folic acid (an unnatural form of folate) is ingested, it requires vitamin B3 to be converted to THF in the folate cycle, and then requires vitamin B6 to be converted to 5,10 methylene THF, and then again needs B3 to be converted to BH4. Whereas natural dietary folate is immediately converted to methyl THF in the folate cycle, which then requires vitamin B2 and B12 to be converted to THF and then so on to BH4. BH4 is then used in the synthesis of L-tyrosine and L-dopa.

Make sure to consume enough of these cofactors through your diet for optimal dopamine synthesis.

Excellent sources of:

  • vitamin B3 include red meat, organ meat, chicken & turkey breast, fish, etc.
  • Vitamin B6 include red & white meat
  • Folate include leafy green vegetables, organ meat and lentils
  • Iron include red meat, organ meat such as liver and kidney

Supplements:

  • B-complex – (Amazon, iHerb)
  • Iron – (Amazon, iHerb). Have you iron checked before you supplement. Check for ferritin, transferrin, iron saturation, ceroluplasmin and hemoglobin.

#18 Blackcurrant

Blackcurrant is a delicious berry choke full of super healthy polyphenols. Eating the berries or supplementing blackcurrant extract inhibits dopamine degeneration via the enzyme MOA-B (R).

  • Blackcurrant powder – (Amazon, iHerb). Start with 1 tbsp per day or 2 caps.

#19 Epicatechin Gallate (EGCG)

EGCG exerts a modest inhibitory effect on L-DOPA methylation by inhibiting COMT, plus it has a strong neuroprotective effect against oxidative damage and degeneration. EGCG is one of the strongest natural COMT inhibitors (R). However, COMT not only breaks down dopamine, but also histamine, noradrenaline, serotonin and estrogen, so if you are a slow metabolizer it might be better not to use EGCG, similar to vitamin B3.

#20 Phenibut

Phenibut is a full agonist to the GABA-B receptor, which is sedating, but at higher doses, phenibut loses its selectivity of GABA-B, and gains additional activity as a GABA-A agonist. Additionally, phenibut has been found to increase dopamine levels within the brain (R). However, beware, this can be a very dangerous and addictive supplement, because it creates such as fantastic euphoria and enhances all your senses. It is however a great supplement to use when going to a party/concert instead of getting wasted on alcohol. Start with 400mg and see how you react. Up the dose up to 3g if necessary, but if you’re going to use such a big dose, then use it only once per week or more preferably, once a month.

  • Phenibut –  (NeuroActive (use the link to get 10% off))

#21 Creatine

Creatine activates the adenosine and dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, which is known to have anti-depressant and pro-energizing effects (R).  Creatine is also a potent natural survival and neuroprotective factor for developing nigral dopaminergic neurons (R).

#22 Aspirin

Aspirin prevents dopamine depletion and protects against neuron toxicity (R, R). The main reason aspirin helps to prevent a drop in dopamine is because it lowers cortisol or prevents the rise in cortisol due to a stressful event. Remember, stress releases a lots of dopamine and then with chronic stress, total dopamine production drops dramatically.

Aspirin also increases tyrosine hydroxylase and will ensure lots of dopamine production.

  • Aspirin – (Amazon). Start with 1 tablet. Use with 100mcg vitamin K2 (MK-7) or 1g vitamin K2 (MK-4). If the aspirin is hard on your stomach, use with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp glycine.

#23 Essential oils

Most, if not all, essential oils have an anti-stress effect and helps to lower cortisol and increase dopamine (R, R, R, R). You can use a diffuse, but just sniffing the oil once is enough to have an effect.

Carvacrol is a phenol present in the essential oil of many plants and is the major component of the essential oil fraction of oregano and thyme. It acts in the dopaminergic system and not with the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems, making it useful as an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant. 

Just be careful with lavender as it’s estrogenic and can contribute to man-boobs.

#24 Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is a neurosteroid and the precursor to all other steroids such as DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, etc. It increases dopamine in the brain as well as amplifies the dopamine response of other dopamine increasing agents such as morphine (R).

#25 Magnesium

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It has been recognized as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium is also shown to increase the sensitivity of dopamine receptors (R). Magnesium inhibits the NMDA receptor, thus exerting a calming effect (R). Acute NMDA activation releases dopamine, but chronic activation leads to a significant reduction in dopamine levels. This is one major way how stress depletes dopamine. Magnesium has a potent anti-stress effect and protects dopamine drop depletion.

> Magnesium article

#26 Zinc

Zinc is a very important cofactor for more than 300 enzymes and is required for the modulating of melatonin and dopamine (R, R). A deficiency in zinc results in low affinity and decreased uptake of dopamine to dopamine transporter protein.

> Zinc article

#27 Copper

Dietary copper-deficient animals show a reduction in noradrenaline and dopamine concentrations, together with a depressed tyrosine 3-monooxygenase activity, possibly by neural loss due to depressed cytochrome c oxidase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) (R). SOD is part of the body’s oxidative defense system which protects neurons and catecholamine (dopamine & noradrenaline) from damage and oxidative stress. Liver (beef/mutton), cocoa powder and oysters are the best sources of dietary copper.

#28 Ginkgo Biloba

This herb inhibits dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake by inhibiting the MOA enzyme and has a positive effect on cognition and attention. However, this inhibitory effect was only seen for noradrenaline after 14 days and not for dopamine or serotonin, which might indicate a tolerance. (41) Best to cycle Ginkgo Biloba one week on and one week off, or 3 days on 3 days off.

This herb is not specific to boosting dopamine, so should not be used as a sole means of boosting dopamine.

#29 Curcumin

The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, potently inhibits MOA which prevents the breakdown of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline (R). Curcumin is similar to Gingko at boosting dopamine and should not be used as a sole means of boosting dopamine. If you have serotonin dominance, it would be best to stay away from this substance as it might just make everything worse. 

#30 Vitamin A

The active form of vitamin A (retinoic acid), when bound to its receptors, increases the expression of the dopamine receptor D2R. The liganded retinoic acid receptors are specific transcription factors that are essential for full expression of D2R. (56) As protein, vitamin D, steroidogenesis and exercise increase, so does the need for vitamin A.

> Vitamin A article

Foods rich in vitamin A include, pumpkin, butternut, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beef-, lamb- and chicken liver, papaya, eyeballs, etc.

#31 Schisandra 

Schisandra has pro-dopaminergic properties, and blocking the D2 receptor, inhibits the positive effects of this Schisandra. But it not only works through D2 or by increasing dopamine, but also by inhibiting NMDA, increasing GABA and noradrenaline (R). Pretty sweet herb.

As always, thanks so much for reading my article.
If you found it helpful and insightful please like and share so others can also benefit from this information and feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any questions for me.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Luis says:

    Hi Hans
    Can phenylalanine and tyrosine develop tolerance?
    And l-tyrosine isn’t just a precursor to dopamine but also for melanin so it can induces melanogenesis and for some people the amount of black spots in the skin can increase rapidly in occurence and size.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15308046
    Thank you

    1. Hans Amato says:

      Hi Luis,
      I don’t think it would build a tolerance, unless the enzymes that converts phenylalanine to tyrosine and tyrosine to L-dopa gets downregulated for some reason. But then again, it’s not a tolerance and I haven’t seen any evidence on that.
      Fuad Lechin, a very good neuroscientist uses only 50-80mg of tyrosine with his patients, and I don’t think that dose would be a concern.
      However, I rather just eat large amounts of protein as that should provide enough precursor amino acids to create dopamine.

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