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Home > Anti-aging Research > Dopamine


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Supplements that may increase dopamine:

Medications that may increase dopamine:

Alternative News:

  • How to boost happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine - CNET, 11/18/20 - "Almost everything that makes you feel "happy" is linked to one of the four happiness hormones: dopamine, serotonin, endorphin and oxytocin. Here are some ways you can boost them" - Note:  They keep claiming exercise but I've been exercising my entire life.  I think you get more bang plus anti-aging benefits by taking deprenyl.
  • This is your brain on fried eggs: Brain, motivation and eating a high-fat diet - Science Daily, 7/14/15 - "Fulton's study is the first of its kind to show that, regardless of weight changes, unrestrained intake of saturated fats can have negative effects on the controls of motivation by the brain. "As we were able to control for changes in body weight, hormones and glucose levels, we think that the fats may be affecting the dopamine system by a direct action in the brain," Fulton said. "We in fact have separate evidence that brain inflammation could be involved in this process, as it is evoked by saturated high-fat feeding"
  • Omega-3 reduces ADHD symptoms in rats - Science Daily, 8/23/13 - "The results show a clear improvement in ADHD-related behaviour from supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a faster turnover of the signal substances dopamine, serotonin and glutamate in the nervous system ... The new findings indicate that ADHD has a biological component and that the intake of omega-3 may influence ADHD symptoms ... we have without a doubt found molecular changes in the brain after rats with ADHD were given omega-3 ... We saw that the turnover of dopamine and serotonin took place much faster among the male rats that had been given omega-3 than among those that had not. For serotonin the turnover ratio was three times higher, and for dopamine it was just over two and a half times higher" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Ginkgo biloba leaf extract (EGb 761®) and its specific acylated flavonol constituents increase dopamine and acetylcholine levels in the rat medial prefrontal cortex: possible implications for the cognitive enhancing properties of EGb 761® - Int Psychogeriatr. 2012 Aug;24 Suppl 1:S25-34 - "As seen for isorhamnetin, the effect on neurotransmitter levels seems not to be a general effect of flavonols but rather to be a specific action of acylated flavonol glycosides which are present in EGb 761®. The direct involvement of these two flavonol derivatives in the increase of dopaminergic and cholinergic neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex may be one of the underlying mechanisms behind the reported effects of EGb 761® on the improvement of cognitive function" - See Ginkgo biloba at Amazon.com.
  • Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Protection from Carnosine in the Striatum of MPTP-Treated Mice - J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Oct 6 - "The preintake of carnosine significantly attenuated MPTP-induced glutathione loss, retained the activity of GPX and SOD, diminished oxidative stress, and lowered inflammatory cytokines and nitrite levels as well as suppressed iNOS activity (P < 0.05). MPTP treatment significantly suppressed GPX mRNA expression and enhanced iNOS mRNA expression (P < 0.05). Carnosine preintake significantly elevated GPX mRNA expression and declined iNOS mRNA expression (P < 0.05). Preintake of carnosine also significantly improved MPTP-induced dopamine depletion and maintained 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid levels (P < 0.05). These results suggest that carnosine could provide antioxidative and anti-inflammatory protection for the striatum against the development of Parkinson's disease" - See carnosine products at Amazon.com.

General Information:

Neurotransmitters in Various Disorders:
  Major Depressive Disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder Panic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Phobia Smoking ADHD Obesity
Serotonin X X X X X X      
Norepinephrine X X X     X X X X
Dopamine X           X X X
Source: American Psychiatric Association 155th Annual Meeting, May 18 - 23, 2002

News & Research:

  • Insulin in the brain influences dopamins levels - Science Daily, 11/18/21 - "Insulin lowers the dopamine level in a specific region of the brain (striatum *) that regulates reward processes and cognitive functions, among other things. This interaction can be an important driver of the brain's regulation of glucose metabolism and eating behavior ... In further studies, the researchers want to investigate changes in the interaction of dopamine and insulin in obese or diabetic participants. These people often suffer from insulin resistance in the brain. The researchers therefore assume that this resistance prevents the normal insulin-induced regulation of dopamine levels in the reward center" - Note: It begs the question whether insulin resistance can cause depression via lowing of dopamine.
  • Long-Term Cannabis Use May Blunt the Brain's Motivation System - Science Daily, 7/1/13 - "Long-term cannabis users tend to produce less dopamine, a chemical in the brain linked to motivation ... The researchers used PET brain imaging to look at dopamine production in the striatum of 19 regular cannabis users and 19 non-users of matching age and sex ... The lowest dopamine levels were seen in users who meet diagnostic criteria for cannabis abuse or dependence"
  • Feel-good hormone helps jog memory, finds study of seniors - Science Daily, 11/8/12 - "Half of the test participants had first taken a placebo and the remainder had taken Levodopa. This substance, also known as L-DOPA, is able to reach the brain from the bloodstream, and there it is converted into dopamine ... after six hours memory performance changed. Test subjects with Levodopa recognised up to 20 per cent more photos than the members of the comparison group. The ratio between the amount of Levodopa taken and the body weight of the test subjects proved to be decisive for an optimal dose" - Yeah but I think if I remember correctly, you buildup a tolerance to Levodopa and it no longer works.  IAS sells it.
  • Dopamine impacts your willingness to work - Science Daily, 5/1/12 - ""go-getters" who are willing to work hard for rewards had higher release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in areas of the brain known to play an important role in reward and motivation, the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. On the other hand, "slackers" who are less willing to work hard for a reward had high dopamine levels in another brain area that plays a role in emotion and risk perception"
  • Dopamine system in highly creative people similar to that seen in schizophrenics, study finds - Science Daily, 5/18/10
  • Ritalin boosts learning by increasing brain plasticity - Science Daily, 3/7/10 - "Ritalin boosts both of these cognitive abilities by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine deep inside the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers neurons use to communicate with each other. They release the molecule, which then docks onto receptors of other neurons. The research demonstrated that one type of dopamine receptor aids the ability to focus, and another type improves the learning itself"
  • The Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761((R)) and its main constituent flavonoids and ginkgolides increase extracellular dopamine levels in the rat prefrontal cortex - Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Jan 25 - "A single oral dose of EGb 761 (100 mg.kg(-1)) had no effect on monoamine levels. However, following chronic (100 mg.kg(-1)/14 days/once daily) treatment, the same dose significantly increased extracellular dopamine and noradrenaline levels, while 5-HT levels were unaffected. Chronic treatment with EGb 761 showed dose-dependent increases in frontocortical dopamine levels and, to a lesser extent, in the striatum. The extracellular levels of HVA and DOPAC were not affected by either acute or repeated doses. Treatment with the main constituents of EGb 761 revealed that the increase in dopamine levels was mostly caused by the flavonol glycosides and ginkgolide fractions, whereas bilobalide treatment was without effect. Conclusions and implications: The present results demonstrate that chronic but not acute treatment with EGb 761 increased dopaminergic transmission in the PFC. This finding may be one of the mechanisms underlying the reported effects of G. biloba in improving cognitive function" - See Ginkgo biloba at Amazon.com.
  • Can a Shot of Dopamine Make Your Future Look Brighter? - Time Magazine, 11/27/09
  • Citicoline affects appetite and cortico-limbic responses to images of high-calorie foods - Int J Eat Disord. 2009 Mar 3 - "Cytidine-5'-diphosphocholine (citicoline) has a variety of cognitive enhancing, neuroprotective, and neuroregenerative properties. In cocaine-addicted individuals, citicoline has been shown to increase brain dopamine levels and reduce cravings ... After 6 weeks, there was no significant change in weight status, although significant declines in appetite ratings were observed for the 2,000 mg/day group. The higher dose group also showed significant increases in functional brain responses to food stimuli within the amygdala, insula, and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Increased activation in these regions correlated with declines in appetite ratings ...These preliminary findings suggest a potential usefulness of citicoline in modulating appetite, but further research is warranted" - See citicholine at Amazon.com.
  • Differential D1 and D5 Receptor Regulation and Degradation of the Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor - Hypertension. 2008 Jan 2
  • Green Tea May Protect Brain Cells Against Parkinson's Disease - Science Daily, 12/13/07 - "green tea polyphenols protect dopamine neurons that increases with the amount consumed. They also show that this protective effect is mediated by inhibition of the ROS-NO pathway, a pathway that may contribute to cell death in Parkinson's" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Insulin's Brain Impact Links Drugs And Diabetes - Science Daily, 10/17/07 - "The researchers then restored insulin by pulsing the hormone back into the brain of the diabetic animals and found that the system returns to normal, indicating that the lack of insulin in the striatum directly affected amphetamine action"
  • Antidepressant-Like Effect of Cordyceps sinensis in the Mouse Tail Suspension Test - Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Sep;30(9):1758-62 - "Cordyceps sinensis (CS) has been known as a component of traditional medicines that elicit various biological effects such as anti-fatigue, immunomodulatory, and hypoglycemic actions. Since it has been well-established that fatigue is closely related to depression, we used the tail suspension test (TST) in mice to examine the antidepressant-like effects of hot water extract (HWCS) and supercritical fluid extract (SCCS) of CS ... these results suggest that SCCS may elicit an antidepressant-like effect by affecting the adrenergic and dopaminergic systems, but not by affecting the serotonergic system" - See cordyceps at Amazon.com.
  • Brain Chemical May Be Key in Eating Disorders - WebMD, 9/6/05 - "Dopamine is a chemical involved in weight, feeding behaviors, reinforcement, and reward. Now they are reporting that women who have recovered from eating disorders show abnormal levels of serotonin"
  • Dopamine May Play New Role in Depression - WebMD, 7/28/05 - "Current antidepression treatments are mostly based on the deficiency or imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine ... This new study highlights the importance of the dopamine system"
  • Study Links Low Iron to ADHD - WebMD, 12/17/04 - "Low iron levels in the brain are known to alter the activity of dopamine, a chemical involved in controlling movement. The researchers suggest that this could explain the observed link between iron stores and ADHD"
  • Sex, Sexuality, and Serotonin - Medscape, 7/20/04 - "From our study of the brain, we have some nice evidence that elevated activity of dopamine is involved in that intense sense of passion and arousal of romantic love. I also maintain in my book, Why We Love, that we're going to find out sometime that norepinephrine is also involved, largely because heightened activity of norepinephrine is also associated with focused attention, elevated energy, motivation to win a reward, elation, and 2 characteristics of romantic love -- obsessional following and object imprinting ... low activity levels of serotonin are going to be involved"
  • Reduction of Brain Dopamine Concentration With Dietary Tyrosine Plus Phenylalanine Depletion - Am J Psychiatry 160:1887-1889, October 2003 - "Healthy male subjects were scanned on two occasions: once after receiving a balanced amino acid drink and once after receiving a drink mixture from which tyrosine and phenylalanine were omitted ... Dietary tyrosine and phenylalanine depletion increased [11C]raclopride binding in the striatum by a mean of 6%. The change in [11C]raclopride binding correlated significantly with the fall in the ratio of tyrosine and phenylalanine to large neutral amino acids"
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Protect Against Parkinson's Disease - Doctor's Guide, 11/14/02 - "Studies show that NSAIDs can reduce dopaminergic neuron degeneration in Parkinsonian animal models"
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) The Essential Brain Nutrient - Life Extension Magazine, 9/02 - "Among its list of functions, phosphatidylserine stimulates the release of dopamine (a mood regulator that also control physical sensations, and movement), increases the production of acetylcholine (necessary for learning and memory), enhances brain glucose metabolism (the fuel used for brain activity), reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone), and boosts the activity of nerve growth factor (NGF), which oversees the health of cholinergic neurons"
  • Testosterone Deficiency & Depression, Does DHEA Raise the Levels of Bioavailable Testosterone in Men? - Life Extension Magazine, 8/02 - "The mood-improving action of testosterone is more likely to be due to the direct action of testosterone on the brain-possibly through raising the levels of dopamine, a very important "reward" neurotransmitter"
  • Depression Linked to Parkinson's - WebMD, 5/28/02 - "About 1.4% (19) of the depressed people (about 1.4%) developed Parkinson's compared with only 0.4% of the others ... the link may have a biological explanation, known as the "serotonin hypothesis." Not only do people with Parkinson's disease have lower levels of dopamine in the brain, studies have also shown that the brains of these patients also have reduced levels of another brain chemical, serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are known to be a key factor in depression" - Note: St. Johns wort is believed to increase all three of the brain's primary chemicals, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
  • Seeing, Smelling Food Triggers Drug-Like Effect on Brain - WebMD, 5/23/02 - "the dopamine system can be triggered by food when there is no pleasure associated with it, since the subjects don't eat the food"
  • Methamphetamines Kill Dopamine Transporters - Clinical Psychiatry News, 4/02
  • St. John's Wort: Effective, with Caveats - Nutrition Science News, 3/02 - "Using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, 47 percent of those taking St. John's wort improved compared with 40 percent of those taking the sertraline ... Hyperforin increases the effectiveness of norepinephrine, dopamine, L-glutamate, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), as well as serotonin. Researchers in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Frankfurt in Germany concluded, "no other antidepressant compound exhibits a similar broad uptake-inhibiting profile.""
  • Happily ever after? It's all in your head - CNN, 2/14/02 - See the video.  Claims that love is dependent on a cocktail of chemicals (dopamine, norepinephrine and PEA) and that oxytocin is responsible for bonding and that vasopressin is responsible for monogamy.
  • Parkinson's Drugs Not to Blame - WebMD, 1/22/02 - "But people on Mirapex or Requip were not any more likely to have daytime sleepiness. And they were no more likely to fall asleep while driving compared with people not on these drugs. In fact, sleepiness was not associated with any particular type of Parkinson's drug"
  • Augmentation Strategy Aids Treatment-Resistant Depression - Clinical Psychiatry News, 11/01 - "Pramipexole, a dopamine agonist, may be an effective augmentation agent for patients with treatment-resistant depression"
  • A New Natural Relaxant - Life Extension Magazine, 10/01 - "Theanine also increases levels of dopamine, another brain chemical with mood-enhancing effects"
  • Researchers Explore New Meds for Mood Disorders - Clinical Psychiatry News, 10/01 - "The dopamine system is an "underresearched area,""
  • Parkinson's Defense - Nutrition Science News, 5/01 - "In vitro studies support the theory that vitamins C and E suppress oxidative destruction of dopamine ... One approach has been to increase internal dopamine levels by molecules that occur naturally in the body, such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and cytidinediphosphocholine (CDP-choline). Another strategy has been Co-Q10 therapy to prevent mitochondrial oxidative damage that occurs in PD patients ... CDP-Choline (citicholine) occurs in the body and is closely related to choline, a nutrient in the B-vitamin family. Some evidence suggests citicholine may enhance the effects of L-dopa, possibly by increasing dopamine levels in the brain"
  • Caution in Treating PD Depression - Nutrition Science News, 5/01 - "SAMe depletes dopamine and can produce PD-like changes in animals ... Similarly, the herb kava (Piper methysticum) may counter the effects of dopamine"
  • Improving Dopamine May Help Obese - Doctor's Guide, 2/5/01 - "Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine and serotonin, as well as peptides and aminoacids, are involved in the regulation of food intake ... Of particular interest is dopamine since this neurotransmitter seems to regulate food intake by modulating food reward via the meso-limbic circuitry of the brain. In fact, drugs that block dopamine D2 receptors increase appetite and result in significant weight gain, whereas drugs that increase brain dopamine concentration are anorexigenic"
  • Brain dopamine and obesity - Lancet 2001;357:354-57 - "Strategies aimed at improving dopamine function may be beneficial in the treatment of obese individuals"
  • New study links obesity to brain receptors - CNN, 2/2/01 - "What this new study seems to say is that obese people don't have the normal amount of dopamine receptors in their brains"
  • Java Deters Parkinson's Disease - Doctor's Guide, 10/00 - "there is evidence that coffee, which keeps dopamine levels up, may help prevent Parkinson's disease in the first place"
  • Catecholamines Kick Out the Demons of Depression - Life Enhancement Magazine, 7/99 - "the amino acid phenylalanine converts to tyrosine, which transforms to dopamine"
  • St. John's wort continuing CME - Nutrition Science News, 7/98 - "Surprisingly, the extract was also shown to inhibit the synaptosomal uptake of norepinephrine as well as dopamine with potencies similar to those found with serotonin. The authors point out that while other antidepressant drugs inhibit synaptosomal uptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine (e.g. imipramine, desipramine) and others both dopamine and norepinephrine (e.g. nomifensine, amineptine), no drug shows this action on all three uptake systems."
  • St. John's wort - The Natural Pharmacist - "More recent research suggests that St. John's wort inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine"
  • Depression Protocol - Life Extension Foundation - "Tyrosine is used by the body to make the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, which play a role in elevating mood and keeping us alert; 500 to 1500 mg a day is recommended"
  • 5-HTP : The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia - Dr. Murray - "either L-tyrosine or D,L-phenylalanine used alone produced improvements in mood comparable to those seen with antidepressant drugs, but without the side effects (Table 2.7)." The reason appears to be that tyrosine and phenylalanine have many roles in the body. Besides being converted to dopamine and norepinephrine, they can be converted to other substances that have stimulant and mood-elevating properties. Phenylalanine (both in its D- and L-forms) increases the level of phenylethylamine (PEA), while L-tyrosine increases the levels of PEA and two other neurotrans-mitters, octopamine and tyramine. These compounds have stimulant and mood-elevating properties, and depressed patients have been found to have low levels of them."
  • NADH - The Natural Pharmacist - "NADH particularly plays a role in the production of energy. It also participates in the production of L-dopa, which the body turns into the important neurotransmitter dopamine"
  • Deprenyl Info and Studies - International Anti-aging Systems - "Actions of selegiline at different dosages include; MAO-B inhibition, dopamine re-uptake inhibition, reinforcement of defense against "oxidative stress", and substitution for trophic factors"
  • NADH, the supervitamin body and mind energizer - by James South MA - "The Birkmayers also found increased urinary excretion of dopamine metabolites in the patients, indicating there was an actual NADH induced increase in dopamine production"

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Neurotransmitter Regulation of Mood, Cognition, and Behavior

Stahl. Essential Psychopharmacology 1996 Foote. Psychopharmacology 1995.