Any idea of how to maximize dopamine through diet? I see alot of stuff about protein and b vitamins and whole grains and blah blah but it's all pretty vague.
Dopamine is tied with higher T levels... dopamine and serotonin seems to antagonize eachother (so lower carb/higher fat better for dopamine?)
But dopamine is low in many with ADD and depression. I suffer from ADD bad. Currently trying high carb paleo (60% of cals) for a few issues that it really helps... but it makes my ADD waaay worse. I know my gut flora is sub optimal so this may be why.
EDIT: I am not interested in herbs.... what I am interested in is perhaps nutrients, diet ratios, timing, lifestyle....
Herbs are too much like drugs for me and a more of a band aid. What I want to know is how we can change dopamine deficiency naturally and sustainably.
Dopamine is made from the AA tyrosine. Eating a high protein diet promotes dopamine production. It is abundant in poultry, meat, dairy products, almonds and avocados. Its why we formed our large brains from an evolutionary point of view. Dopamine is the NT of our newest part of our brain, the frontal lobe. The majority of tyrosine that does not get incorporated into proteins is catabolized for energy production. One other significant fate of tyrosine is conversion to the catecholamines (NE, and EP). The catecholamine neurotransmitters are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine used in stress response tracts. The NT production line uses methyl transfers at several steps to accomplish this and it should be clear now why B vitamins are critical to neurons. They are the substrates that donate these methyl groups to make the final neurotransmitters.
Dopamine levels are transitory. For permanent change, you should be concerned with your dopamine receptors. In order to upregulate your dopamine receptors, you essentially have to keep dopamine levels low in your body.
The main thing is avoiding sugar,drugs, and anything else that induces cravings or addiction. Over time, possibly with the help of intermittent fasting and strength training, you'll generally feel more and more awesome.
In addition to tyrosine, the direct precursor to dopamine (as noted by the Quilt above), DHA and Vitamin B6 are important cofactors for dopamine synthesis. So increased fatty fish intake should be helpful.
Some foods to increase tyrosine: http://criticalthinkingnow.com/?p=184
Bill my brother. We have so many of the same issues, haha
Lately Ive been trying black coffee with a tablespoon of ghee. Freakin rocket fuel!!! I not only can concentrate better but have a much better mood and am much stronger at the gym. All signs of increased dopamine.
What's strange is that straight black coffee usually just gives me anxiety and doesnt boost my energy. Black coffee plus fat boosts my energy but my anxiety stays low. Who knows how that works...
What has also helped me a lot is lately I dont allow myself to do ANY internet surfing until after 3:00 PM. Its impossible to give up the internet so I only allow myself direct actions such as return an email or look up an address. The internet is a big dopamine booster but I think it messes with its regualtion. Ive been feeling much more "centered" since adopting this habit. I find it is especially hard in the morning as my mind is trying to wake up and will find any excuse to go online. There are some free habit apps on the iphone and im sure droid which helps make this a reality.
I know that you dont want to try herbs but Im also adding this for anyone who comes across this thread and has similar issues: Another option to try if you are a CA resident is medical marijuana. It boost dopamine and a small german study said it helped ADD. I dont use it often but I find if I eat it I can concentrate well, and can work out hard plus can roll with the punches much better. This is for sativa not indica.
Link to study (will open as a PDF)
You can take Mucuna pruriens as a supplement. The Now Foods brand is called Dopa Mucuna, and it makes a noticeable difference for me. (In a good way.)
Also, you can eat oysters, which are high in tyrosine — an amino acid that is converted to L-DOPA, a precursor to dopamine.
There is a saying,
== Eat less to get double, eat more to get trouble ==
It is said that food restriction increases dopamine receptors . So when you restrict food you enjoy everything and it works as antidepressant. link text
Otherwise there are ways that you can increase dopamine. You can do it by eating beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables. And it is great if you can eat sprouted seeds. Let me list some of them.
== Eat peanut for Niacin(B3), Folate(B9), Pyridoxine(B6), Phenylalanine(Essential amino acid,purported cognitive improvement), Tyrosine .
== Eat spinach for Folate(B9) .
== Try Aspartame sweetener for Phenylalanine(Essential amino acid,purported cognitive improvement).
Or there may be other reason for ADD. You may try choline source, like black mustard.
If you ask me for a tonic, I shall say that pushup, running, self-massaging(link text) and other exercises will make you feel good. I also play video games a little. And I do plan a project and make it happen. These activities increases dopamine.
Other hormone cortisol is increased on daytime and it increases dopamine. So going for sunlight is good idea to increase dopamine.
Information is just a bit of data, knowledge is putting them together, Wisdom is transcending them.
Read The Mood Cure - http://www.amazon.com/Mood-Cure-Rebalance-Rediscover-Well-Being/dp/0670030694 , and listen to Nora Gedgaudas' Primal Body Primal Mind podcast with Julia Ross about amino acids.
I have suboptimal gut bacteria and annoyingly bad ADD as well. I also enjoy brain fog and depression. My stool test showed no beneficial e.coli which is the bacteria responsible for making "folic acid, the amino acids Tyrosine, Phenylalanine and Tryptophan, SCFAs and also Co-Enzyme Q10". So I take 5-HTP (which converts to Tryptophan) which is amazing, and L-Tyrosine which has changed my world.
To help heal my gut I stopped my ADD meds and then coffee through a stepped down method. 5 days after stopping coffee I started taking Tyrosine. It is amazing. My brain feels like I took Vyvanse but without all the sideaffects that taking it would bring. After 3 days I actually had to reduce the dose cuz it started keeping me up at night. I AM IN AWE.
Sorry I can't tell you more about dopamine. Hope this personal story helps you a bit.
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