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What Is a Dopamine Supplement?

By C. Daw
Updated Feb 07, 2024
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Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter which is a chemical in the body that works to send messages to the nerves cells, allowing them to communicate with each other. This neurotransmitter works with the nerve cells that deal with the body’s learning, movement, memory, attention, and the brain’s pleasure and reward system. Dopamine is found naturally in many different types of food and is known to help fight depression, among many other benefits. While some people’s bodies are able to properly create and use dopamine, there are just as many other people who need to use a dopamine supplement.

Many people choose to use a dopamine supplement because they have low dopamine levels. Some causes of low levels can be the use of alcohol, caffeine, sugar or certain drugs. High levels of stress, a poor diet, and the use of some anti-depressants can also cause low levels of dopamine. People who are known to have low levels can have a wide range of side effects including depression, interference with motor control, certain addictions, poor attention and focus, or cravings. There is also a link between low dopamine levels and Parkinson Disease. Some problems can also occur with levels of dopamine that are too high. These high levels can cause anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks or hyperactivity.

Unlike some other supplements, a dopamine supplement does not provide the body with more dopamine to bring a person's levels up. Instead, these supplements are used to work naturally within the body to promote healthy production of dopamine with very little side effects. By releasing these dopamine receptors in the body it allows for increasing dopamine levels naturally. The dopamine supplement is also designed to help the body to make better use of the dopamine produced by working with foods that contain dopamine. Some of these foods that can help increase dopamine levels are almonds, bananas, avocado, lima beans and seeds like sesame and pumpkin.

By working naturally with the body to better utilize dopamine, these supplements are able to help those with both low and high levels of dopamine. Once the dopamine level can be brought back to normal by using a dopamine supplement many benefits can be seen. There will be an increased energy level with better memory and clearer thinking ability. Normal levels can also help decrease joint pain and help assist in drug and alcohol addiction problems. Dopamine supplements have been known to help reduce the effects of Parkinson Disease as well.

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Discussion Comments
By ceilingcat — On Aug 04, 2011

@Azuza - Yes, that does seem odd.

I think it's interesting that it's just as bad to have high levels of dopamine as low levels. That's why I think anyone who is considering a dopamine supplement should talk to their doctor.

If a lowered level of dopamine isn't your problem, and you take a dopamine supplement or something like that, it's probably going to make your levels too high! So it seems smart to get a proper diagnosis before medicating yourself.

By Azuza — On Aug 03, 2011

I think it's crazy that anti-depressants can lower your dopamine levels. Anti-depressants are supposed to make you, well, not depressed anymore! But too low dopamine levels can cause depression too. It doesn't make any sense!

By runner101 — On Aug 03, 2011

@amysamp - Just like you did not know that dopamine levels could be affected by supplements, I did not know that dopamine levels could be lowered by alcohol! I will have to remember that the next time I am feeling sulky with a hangover!

In answer to your question about increasing dopamine levels in addition to supplements - I have also read that exercise increases your dopamine levels.

I would readily agree with this fact, I am always much more energetic post-run or after another type of exercise. But I would have to say that my husband would heartily disagree, he is crabby before he runs, while he runs, and after he runs - and he is the happiest guy on the planet any time other than those three times!

With that being said, I realize dopamine affects more than our happiness, but you get the idea!

By amysamp — On Aug 02, 2011

Dopamine seems vital to our health and lifestyle. It seems it is intricate to being happy which is to many there sole goal in life: to live a rich and rewarding life that leads to happiness.

I was curious in what other ways one could increase their dopamine levels. It is great to know that nutritional supplements can help with dopamine. Does anyone know of any other ways to deal with a dopamine deficiency?

By seag47 — On Aug 02, 2011

Wow, it sounds like I need a dopamine supplement! I sometimes suffer panic attacks, I deal with anxiety on a daily basis, and I have joint pain. I can’t remember the last time that I felt really good. I go through phases of depression, and my energy level is at an all-time low.

I already eat plenty of bananas, almonds, and lima beans. My body must need a kickstart to produce more dopamine. I am going to ask my doctor about getting a supplement.

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