Parkinson’s Disease Amino Acid Protocol

I receive dozens of inquiries on a monthly basis about an amino acid protocol that people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can use to improve their mental and physical function. Some of these people are not (and have not) taken any conventional medications for PD, such as carbiodopa/levodopa; but many are taking some combination of conventional medications and are not receiving relief from their symptoms. The problem is, everyone’s needs are different, so there is no one protocol people can follow to achieve optimal function. However, here I will detail the general process that should be followed in order to find each person’s optimal amino acid dosing. (more…)

L-Dopa/Mucuna Pruriens, Tyrosine and Tyramine Rich Foods

For those clients that are found to be dopamine dominant, including everyone that has restless leg syndrome (RLS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), we often recommend that they avoid foods rich in the amino acid tyramine while taking L-dopa/mucuna pruriens and/or large amounts of L-tyrosine. This is because that in some people, this combination can cause an abrupt increase in  blood pressure. (more…)

What Does a “Dopamine Fluctuation” Mean?

A person undertaking amino acid therapy will have periodic urine testing completed in order to determine if/how to adjust their amino acid dosing in order to optimize neurotransmitter function. Along the way, they may get a lab value for dopamine (or serotonin) that is much higher than is expected. This is often referred to as a “dopamine fluctuation”. We have provided a two part series discussing the dopamine fluctuation in more detail; here I wanted to provide a brief overview of what a dopamine fluctuation is and why it’s important to find and correct them as soon as possible. (more…)

How can I find a provider near me that uses amino acid therapy?

We get requests everyday from people looking for a practitioner in their area that uses amino acid therapy. The best place to start is to contact NeuroResearch at www.neurosupport.com and ask them if there is anyone near you that has taken a training with Marty Hinz, MD in your area; they have the most complete list of providers in the country and should be able to find someone you can contact. (more…)

The Real Power of 5-HTP and L-Dopa

Amino acid therapy involves the determination and administration of the amino acids and cofactors needed to optimize neurotransmitter function. In the vast majority of cases, this involves trying to optimize the function of the “centrally acting monoamines” which include serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. The centrally acting monoamines are synthesized from nutrients, including L-tryptophan, 5-HTP, L-tyrosine and L-dopa. These centrally acting monoamines form a system in which serotonin and the catecholamines (which include dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine) oppose one another; in  other words, optimizing the function of the centrally acting monoamines involves more than just giving ‘more’ of one precursor or the other; it also involves getting the balance right between them. (more…)