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…)

The Biochemistry Behind Amino Acid Therapy – Part 2

Our first post in this series established the role that transporters play in establishing optimal neurotransmitter synthesis, metabolism and reuptake. Again, based on the work of Marty Hinz, MD, Alvin Stein, MD and Thomas Uncini, MD, the Organic Cation Transporter Type 2 (OCT-2) seems to be the dominant transport system with regards to serotonin and the catecholamines (to learn more, please read The dual-gate lumen model of renal monoamine transport and  APRESS: apical regulatory super system, serotonin,and dopamine interaction). Let’s learn a bit more how and why these gates work and how we can optimize their function using amino acid therapy. (more…)

The Biochemistry Behind Amino Acid Therapy – Part 1

Neurotransmitter dysfunction is the root cause of a whole host of disorders, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, OCD, ADD/ADHD, migraines, trichotillomania, RLS and Parkinson’s disease. Every disorder that has been linked to centrally acting monoamines (i.e., serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and/or epinephrine) occurs because inadequate amounts of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and/or epinephrine exists. In order to optimize neurotransmitter function, the total number of these neurotransmitters needs to be increased in the system, the synapse or both. (more…)

Neurotransmitter Testing – How Many Tests Will I Need?

First things first – many labs can measure serotonin and dopamine in the urine (and/or metabolites of these neurotransmitters), but we have only found one lab – DBS Labs – that does so in a manner that allows us to fine tune amino acid dosing. Even though this test is often referred to as a “neurotransmitter test” the proper name for it is Monoamine Transporter Optimization (MTO) or Organic Cation Transporter Assay (OCT Assay). (more…)