It would be very convenient if one could simply correct neurotransmitter imbalances with specific dietary changes. Unfortunately, even though many foods contain amino acids, it is not possible to design a diet where a person can obtain enough amino acids in the correct proportions to significantly increase specific neurotransmitter levels over time. Believe me, we’ve tried.
Why Diet Isn’t Enough
Diet alone can’t make up for specific neurotransmitter imbalances because the uptake of amino acids by the body is not selective: foods contain an array of amino acids and no food contains just the precursors needed to specifically affect only serotonin and/or dopamine. Therefore, when you eat food, your body takes up many different amino acids at random, making it impossible to target just the neurotransmitters we are trying to affect. This is where supplementation can play a pivotal role.
Amino Acid Therapy Can Help Drugs Work Better
Amino acid precursors of serotonin and dopamine have two primary applications. First, proper use of amino acid precursors will keep drugs that work with neurotransmitters from depleting neurotransmitters, thus allowing the drugs to keep functioning as intended. This is the situation when someone is taking a reuptake inhibitor that ‘stops working’. When we provide such a person with balanced amino acid therapy, we give the body what it needs to make the necessary neurotransmitters, which increases neurotransmitter levels. Drugs that work by shuffling around neurotransmitters (such as SSRI, SNRI and other medications) have more neurotransmitter to work with under this scenario so they can appear to start ‘working’ again. In this way, a person can continue to use the medication without fear of further neurotransmitter depletion due to the drug. In this case using amino acid therapy helps the drug do its job more effectively and efficiently.
Amino Acid Therapy Can Be Used to Eliminate the Need For Certain Medications
Second, proper use of amino acids can also serve as a stand-alone method to manage disease-like RND symptoms related to neurotransmitter imbalance. Many people, for one reason or another cannot or will not take certain medications. Most disorders and disease-like RND symptoms are not due to a drug deficiency; they are due to a nutrient deficiency or improper neurotransmitter function. By supplying the body the nutrients it needs to produce the correct balance of neurotransmitters, we can often restore proper function without the need for medication. In this case, amino acid therapy can provide a viable option to restore optimal neurotransmitter function, effectively eliminating disease-like RND symptoms without the need for medication.
I have been on Zoloft for over 25 years – first on 100 mg, and then increasing to 150 for two years. I have been slowly weaning off of it, and am now at 15.5 mg, which is a tiny amount, but I had so many withdrawal symptoms I am afraid to go lower (I have been at this amount for over a year).
I recently started using Neuroreplete and feel a lot better, However, lately I have been having increased agitation and insomnia. I read that Neuroreplete can make the side effects of the drugs more pronounced, and wonder if this is what is happening.
My question is… how do I taper down? Will it effect the amount of amino acids I am taking? If I lower the dose of Zoloft, will I need more amino acids to make up the difference in serotonin? If I feel good now, will lowering Zoloft throw off the balance?
Thanks for the inquiry – I am glad you are finding benefit using NeuroReplete to help with your taper; we often use amino acid therapy to help optimize neurotransmitter function, which can help eliminate the need for many medications and make the taper much more tolerable.
I can’t directly answer your questions above without speaking with you to learn more about your case/history. If you are working with a health care provider that is skilled in the use of amino acid therapy, I would direct you to them. If not, I’d be happy to help – please contact us and set up a consultation and we’ll keep you going down the right path.
I am doing amino acid therapy with my naturopath to help me get off seroquel and prozac. Since starting, I have felt increase fatigue, dizziness, and foggy brain. My doc thinks that is due to the other meds (prozac and seroquel). I have been nervous getting off of these because of withdrawal symptoms. Has it been your experience that being on the amino acid therapy would make withdrawal symptoms easier? and that I don’t need the 3-6 months to taper off?
Thanks for the inquiry. We have helped hundreds of people restore optimal neurotransmitter balance which can eliminate the need for many/most medications that work by shuffling around neurotransmitters in an attempt to lessen symptoms of (neurotransmitter) imbalance. It has been my experience that restoring optimal neurotransmitter function with amino acid therapy can lessen or eliminate withdrawal symptoms and assist with medication taper. It is not uncommon for the amino acids to help many medications work more efficiently; however, this also means that the side effects of the medications may become more pronounced. This can indicate the need for a dosage adjustment to one or more of the medications you are taking. You will have to work with your naturopath and/or prescribing physician to determine the taper schedule that works best for you.
Please let us know if we can be of further service – I wish you the best of luck!!
I would like to schedule a consult with you as soon as possible. I emailed the email provided. thank you
I have been on the dopamine dominant protocol. Everything was going along okay until my mucuna was upped to 20 pills 3x a day. Now my heart has been pounding relentlessly for an hour each time I take the mucuna. It’s really bad. Any idea what would make a person’s heart pound like this? It’s brought my progression to finding my balance to a screeching halt. 🙁
Hi Mike – thanks for contacting us. Your symptoms are most likely due to (a) an imbalance between serotonin and dopamine and/or (b) a dopamine fluctuation. Please speak with your provider about how to modify your amino acid dosing to accommodate as well as how to run testing to determine if you are having a dopamine fluctuation.
Hope that helps!
I’ll follow up. Thank you!!
I have PD and have been on this amino acid therapy for 2 years and 5 months. My PD does not seem to be progressing, and for the most part I feel really good. My provider has really helped me. I do have a few questions for you, if I may. My current daily dosage is 5.85g of D5 powder, 66g of Tyrosine powder, 7 pills of Neuroreplete and 6 pills of Cysreplete. I work full time and am not always able to take my midday supplements. so, on those days I take my supplements twice a day (morning and evening) and cut the midday dose. I still take the daily dosage, I just take it in two helpings instead of 3. Also, in the entire time I’ve been on this therapy, I’ve never had conclusive lab results. Per my provider all my results over the past 29 months show dopamine fluctuations. This is very frustrating because the labwork is not covered by my insurance and inconclusive results mean more powder every time even though I feel good. So, here are my questions. Is it ok that I’m altering how I take my daily dosage? Is it normal/typical to have so many inconclusive lab results over 2+ years? Is it possible to “over dose” on (or take too much of) these supplements? Sorry this is so long. I look forward to your response.
Hi Liz – thanks for contacting us!
Since you are currently under the care of a health care professional using amino acid therapy, I have to suggest that you field these questions with your current provider. I can tell you that altering your daily dose can cause neurotransmitter imbalances and may not be ideal. In addition, ‘over-dose’ of amino acids is extremely unlikely if you have been doing regular pill stops. Once more, there are a small minority of people that experience dopamine fluctuations that are never brought under control using tyrosine and/or amino acid therapy.
I’d be happy to speak with you if you’d like to discuss this issues further; please just contact us to set up a follow up consultation: https://amino-acid-therapy.com/contact-us/
I was on what my previous provider called “D5 Level II” and “D5 Level III” a number of years ago for weight loss and appetite management. I’m looking to do it again as the weight has creeped up. However, I no longer live near that provider. I know I was taking D5 (4 pills twice a day), D5 Extra (4 pills once a day), and CysReplete (2 pills thrice a day). It appears that D5 Extra has been discontinued. Is there a replacement recommended?
Hi Keith – thanks for the comment/question. Here is a conversion that you can use:
4 capsules D5 = 4 capsules NeuroReplete + 1 capsule Mucuna 40% (previously D5 Mucuna 40%)
4 capsules D5 Extra = 4 capsules RepleteExtra + 1 capsule Mucuna 40%
Hope that helps!