L-dopa is an amino acid natural to the body that forms in the liver. This amino acid is often used to treat Parkinson’s disease but there is some argument among doctors about its effectiveness. L-dopa in the human body is converted to dopamine in the brain that can create sensations of pleasure and can serve as a release agent for human growth hormone. If you want to get L-dopa, there is good news. Follow these instructions.
- Do your homework. L-dopa is being recommended as a supplement for everything from weight loss to Parkinson’s disease. Fitness websites are suggesting the supplement be used for body building because some studies have suggested that L-dopa helps release natural human growth hormone into the body and can facilitate muscle growth. As with any supplement being suggested to solve so many problems, there is little research and a lot of potential side effects so start researching from a variety of sources before purchasing L-dopa.
- Consult your physician. Until recently L-dopa was only available by prescription. Doctors prescribed the drug to slow the onslaught of Parkinson’s disease. Using drugs to alter brain chemistry is serious and dangerous so take the research you’ve done to your doctor for an honest opinion and discussions of the possible benefits and harm taking this drug could have.
- Parkinson’s patients should ask for a prescription from their doctor. All others skip to step four. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and your doctor is recommending L-dopa you should avoid an over the counter supplement. Instead your doctor should prescribe the optimum amount for your condition and monitor with other medications in case of adverse reactions between other medicines you are taking.
- Consider getting your L-dopa naturally. Another source of the amino acid L-dopa is through eating the legume that L-dopa comes from, the velvet bean. The seeds from this plant are available in Central America, India and Africa. They are even used in the making of coffee substitutes in Brazil. Check your natural foods store for velvet bean options and recipes.
- Purchase the supplement online. If you are convinced that L-dopa is right for you, you can purchase the supplement at any of the hundreds of online or in store nutritional supplement stores. Remember that supplements are not regulated by the FDA so there is little control over the amounts or possible side effects of such supplements.
Getting L-dopa may be as simple as logging on to a fitness supplement website. However, you should do your homework and talk to your doctor to make sure that this amino acid is right for you to avoid serious side effects.