What is dopamine? Dopamine is a chemical element in the brain. It is amazing: it is this substance, as a true wizard, that allows a person to experience emotions of pleasure, in love, bliss, admiration, euphoria, all feelings associated with pleasure.
Brain cells are interconnected by special receptors. These neural structures of nerve cells send impulses to each other. And dopamine, a neurotransmitter, initiates this process. In this regard, in the case of a lack of hormone brain function deteriorates the ability to think, touch, be attentive, etc. That’s what dopamine is for.
The hormone dopamine, produced in the body during pleasure, causes:
- healthy sleep;
- quick and correct thinking processes;
- sexual satisfaction;
- enjoyment of food, etc.
The main role of dopamine in the brain is the creation of a “reward system.” Everything desired for a person – from fragrant strawberries to a new car – provokes an increased production of this neurotransmitter in the brain areas responsible for pleasure.
Both hormone and neurotransmitter
The true task of the hormone is to create motivation, stimulate a person to action, to achieve the goal. He inspires a desire to look for options. In terms of evolution, this is significant – in this way dopamine causes humanity to explore the planet and survive on it.
Important. Since the “happiness hormone” is also a neurotransmitter, its synthesis in the body occurs in several locations. As a neurotransmitter, it is synthesized in the brain, and as a hormone, in the medulla of the adrenal glands, in other organs and tissues (for example, in the kidneys).
His blood level increases after a burn, injury, shock. However, this dopamine in the brain practically does not arrive. It is the “brain” hormone that affects the work of nerve impulses.
Indicators of limited hormone levels
The role of dopamine in the body is high. But how to understand that it is time to increase the level of the hormone in the body? At the initial stage, the lack of a hormone does not manifest itself. But as time passes, the following signs will begin to indicate its deficiency:
- mood swings, depression, irritability;
- obesity, diabetes;
- lack of sexual desire;
- pathological fatigue, aggressiveness.
Note! The lack of the “hormone of happiness” can quite aggressively affect both the psycho-emotional state of a person and health in general.
Also, the cause of hormonal imbalance may be the use of saturated fats, which inhibit the production of dopamine. In general, the lack of this hormone leads only to negative results.
Important. It is worth knowing that this hormone can be cunning, because it is he who causes the common in our time addiction (play, alcohol, drugs).
It is time to act!
Have you noticed the symptoms described and do not know how to increase dopamine in the brain? There are several effective options. So, natural ways to increase dopamine:
- Systematic exercise contributes to the development of hormone pleasure. Do not neglect physical exertion and will soon notice an improvement in an emotional state.
- Being in love, flirting, liking to affect the level of dopamine. “Heart affairs” accelerate the heart rhythm, thereby making life brighter.
- Intimate relationships also contribute to the growth of dopamine in the body. Physical intimacy in a duet with mutual feelings for each other is the key to a great mood and good spirits.
Products to help get the “happiness hormone.”
Another simple method of maintaining dopamine within the normal range is the consumption of products rich in tyrosine. This amino acid is found in every cell of the body, as well as in protein foods. Where tyrosine is contained, dopamine will increase. Here is profitable cooperation.
Among the most common products that increase dopamine, emit:
- poultry meat;
- fish and seafood;
- dairy products;
- bananas, strawberries, apples;
- green tea.
Note! Smoking, alcohol, drugs block the production of dopamine, creating a deceptive euphoria. Nothing but this “poisoned” feeling of bliss, and provokes the development of a strong dependence.
Green plants to increase dopamine
How else to help the body produce dopamine? In the arsenal of doctors there are special drugs that level the effects of depression and at the same time increase the level of the hormone, as well as antidepressants. But nobody wants to use chemical additives. Then feel free to study the list of herbs that increase the “happiness hormone”:
- Ginseng copes with neuropsychiatric diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, quickly restores the body after suffering stress.
- Nettle is a healing multivitamin plant, a natural concentrate of vitamins — substances in its composition increase the level of dopamine.
- Dandelion soothes the body rather well by stimulating the synthesis of the hormone.
This list is rich in many more herbs and plants. They are invited to cook in soups, salads, insist and brew tea to increase the level of dopamine.
Frequent walks, balanced nutrition, restriction of bad habits – simple tips for maintaining the norm of the hormone dopamine. Irritability and aggression will never disturb. Make friends with dopamine and be happy!
1. Say no to instant gratification.
People are too dependent on external factors. If they notice that some drug (whether it be alcohol or drugs) brings instant satisfaction, they immediately fall into a network of addiction.
In addition to the well-known psychostimulants, unbridled spending, an irrepressible thirst for sex, a fascination for watching scenes of violence and pornography can be attributed to human weaknesses.
Any abnormalities should alert you. It means that the body in trying to get instant pleasure needs another portion of the beloved “potion.”
However, soon addictive occurs, and the usual dose seems to be negligible. Among other things, drugs and alcohol can lead to an addictive effect.
The next day, the instant pleasure is replaced by anger, irritation, unmotivated aggression and even a depressive state. For the pleasure obtained by artificial means, you have to pay.
The strength of natural dopamine production lies in the long-term effect. The person who has refused the pernicious passion instantly feels the difference. People get different addiction.
Now they want to improve the quality of life and strive for new challenges. Thus, the existence in this world is filled with meaning.
2. Creating a task list
At first glance, the creation of a checklist of tasks looks like a tedious chore and a lot of “office mice.”
What could be joyful in him? The feeling of deep satisfaction comes at the end of the day, at the very moment when you look at the items deleted from the list. So there is self-esteem, the euphoria from a successful day and joy.
If you do not feel the strength to perform global affairs, do not despair. Start small, and you will realize that each passing day was not in vain.
3. Put a hand on something
Nothing stirs the mind and overwhelms the heart with pride, like your creation. The easiest way to get the next batch of dopamine to people of creative professions, working in their favorite direction.
People say this: “When the eyes are burning, the work goes on.” But what should everyone else do, is it silently envious of the lucky ones? The answer is simple: do what you love in your free time. But, being carried away by the process, you should see objective feedback.
If you like to write poetry, then do not be afraid to publish your creations. The response of the reader will bring you a lot of positive emotions and satisfaction.
Have you ever created a sculptural masterpiece all your life? It is never too late to enroll in polymer clay modeling courses.
If you have not yet found creative potential, you can be carried away by fashionable hobbies: soap making, photographing, creating unique souvenirs or something else. Seeing the results of his work, a person bathes in pleasure.
4. Be active
A very important aspect in the production of dopamine is physical activity. Especially when it comes to sports in the fresh air. Imagine how wonderful it is to return from a frosty forest from a ski trip.
Your body received a charge of vivacity, the brain was saturated with oxygen, and the soul was peacefully moved by the quiet landscapes. In striving for activity, try not to overdo it.
Otherwise, the body will not notice loads of pleasure. If a smile is gone from your face during class, it’s time to take a break.
5. Record the heights reached
Imagine that you started a movement to storm your records. Probably for you, this path will be no less fascinating than the climb of climbers to Everest.
In order not to stray from the course, write down already overcome cutoffs (any achievements). If you put a reminder of your exploits in a prominent place, each time, assessing your current successes, you will feel a deep satisfaction.
6. Unique tandem
Dopamine increases its strength in tandem. Thus, the substance interacts with tyrosine, a chemical compound responsible for increasing the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. Get help triazine food.
You can eat bananas, avocados, chocolate, almonds, coffee, yogurts, eggs, chicken, and lean on watermelons. Instead of black tea, give preference to green. Everything else, the brain is accustomed to perceive food as a reward and pleasure. Therefore, your efforts will pay off doubly.
7. Listen to music
In difficult moments, when a person is hard or lonely, he necessarily includes his favorite musical compositions. Then come peace, tranquility, and rethinking.
It is scientifically proven that music can make us happy, it excites all the most intimate and bright feelings. It seems this process is never boring. According to scientists, listening to your favorite songs can be compared to going to a restaurant serving delicacies.
Only music will not affect the volume of the waist so that you can listen to it without restrictions. In the battle of the Titans, art was victorious. Unfortunately, the tide of dopamine stops, it is necessary to plunge again into silence.
And that means it’s time for you to get good headphones and listen to your favorite pieces not only at home.
Have you ever resorted to mastering the art of meditation, believing that its technique is extremely complex? Each person can meditate, you need to dissolve in this state.
Retire in the lap of nature, take a comfortable position, close your eyes and place your palms towards the sky. Now start listening to the sounds of the surrounding nature and slowly immerse your brain in thoughts.
Thus, you can free the mind from debris and slag. Purification of the brain will inevitably entail a surge of dopamine. Regularly practicing meditation, you will become a more calm and balanced person, which means you will easily withstand future stresses.
In case of lack of time
Take dietary supplements (curcumin, Ginkgo Biloba, or L-theanine) only if you do not have time to take classes that produce natural dopamine.
However, do not be like advertising victims and do not buy supplements from questionable distributors. Also, do not dwell on a simple way to solve the problem and take time to develop internal potential. Let your radical measures be only temporary.
The final, additional measure in our list will be the purification of the body from toxins, toxins, and bacteria. A contaminated body cannot function smoothly.
The immune system suffers first. Following it, all other functions start to work intermittently. Eat fermented foods, conduct regular detoxification, focus on productive sleep and discard junk food.
Manifestations of low levels of happiness hormone
Dopamine not only has one or another effect on the psycho-emotional state of an individual, but, being an adrenergic hormone, supports the functioning of the brain and central nervous system, the heart, and carries out the control function for a person’s weight and performance. A dopamine deficiency in the body causes an endogenous depressive state and leads to weight gain.
Chronic deficiency of this hormone causes problems in the metabolic system of the body, leading to obesity. At the same time, not only an oppressed psycho-emotional state is possible.
It may be accompanied by causeless irritability or inadequate aggressiveness. Subjects with persistently reduced levels of dopamine in the body are predisposed to such diseases:
- type II diabetes,
- Parkinson’s disease,
- decrease in potency
- psycho-emotional dysfunction of the brain.
Patients have dysfunction of the cardiovascular system, they are prone to chronic fatigue and may suffer from hallucinations.
At the same time, changes caused by a lack of a hormone bring discomfort not only to the patient himself but also worsen his social adaptation, occasionally causing unprovoked conflict situations with others.
Therefore, when diagnosing a hormonal imbalance, the patient should immediately consult a doctor who will recommend how to increase the level of dopamine.
Dopamine increase in the body
As shown by recent studies of endocrinologists, nutritionists and immunologists, dopamine deficiency in the body can be easily eliminated without resorting to complex drug therapy and the use of specific pharmacological drugs.
Today, along with medical drugs are widely used methods of traditional medicine and proper nutrition. Moreover, an increase in the level of the hormone contributes not only to its organization but also to a correctly formulated daily diet.
The diet should include food rich in tyrosine, which is a precursor of the nutrient substance DOPA. From it, dopamine is directly synthesized by the body.
These products include certain types of vegetables and fruits, seafood, hard cheeses, green tea, chicken eggs. Tyrosine contained in these products begins to double the body most quickly.
By including these products in your diet, a person provides your body with the necessary amount of tyrosine, which, after passing through the appropriate chain of biosynthesis reactions, relieves it of the problem of how to increase the level of dopamine. In addition to compensating for a hormone deficiency, many of these products have associated effects:
- beets and bananas have antidepressant properties,
- seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids prevents the development of allergic reactions,
- folic acid contained in apples and cabbage is necessary for the body to develop the immune and circulatory system,
- Catechin contained in green tea and apples is a powerful natural antioxidant.
Recently, biologically active gustatory and nutritional supplements have appeared, made by natural medicinal plants, which intensify the secretion of the hormone in the brain and adrenal glands.
Folk remedies to increase the level of dopamine
Many medicinal plants and special herbal preparations made from them contribute to the normalization of dopamine hormone production. At the same time, the use of medicinal plants is often more effective than optimizing the diet.
In many plant species, dopamine is contained in its pure form, and Ginkgo bilobed (Ginkgo biloba) can be called a natural source of this hormone.
Effective enough to restore the required level in the body and in particular in the brain tissues such plants as ginseng ordinary (Panax ginseng), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), nettle (Urtica dioica).
Ginseng can be used in the form of an alcoholic pharmaceutical tincture, and from dandelion and nettle, it is possible to prepare decoctions, tinctures, herbal tea or add it to salads.
The role of physical activity
Good enough to eliminate the deficiency of the hormone and to maintain its level at a physiologically adequate level is influenced by regular exercise.
Daily morning exercises not only contributes to the normalization of its content in the body but also improves health and mood.
This, in turn, contributes to the intensification of the production of not only dopamine but also serotonin, called the “hormone of good mood.” Therefore, morning jogging, cycling to work, evening walks are good prevention against stress and depression.
Active sexual (not necessarily diverse) life also has a beneficial effect on the normalization of hormonal background. Moreover, such emotions as love and affection also have a positive effect on the production of dopamine. Usually, love is accompanied by a feeling of complete self-satisfaction, joy, and happiness.
The influence of bad habits
Narcotic drugs, alcoholic beverages, and smoking have a very negative impact on the state of the entire orgasm, with the greatest harm to the neurons of the brain. Even if the drug breaking and hangover syndrome can be overcome, the psychological addiction caused by the production of an increased amount of dopamine remains for many years.
At the same time, psychostimulants in drugs and alcohol are replaced in metabolic processors, neurotransmitters produced by the body and reduce the natural level of reproduction of serotonin and dopamine.
No less harmful is the abuse of strong coffee drinks and tea. The caffeine contained in them lowers the production of hormones, which leads to premature fatigue, a decrease in the emotional state and poor health.
Drug recovery hormone production
The low content of happiness hormones can be increased by using various dietary supplements and medications that contain either dopamine hormone or catalysts, which intensify its production by the body.
All drugs and dietary supplements containing phenylalanine – an aromatic alpha-amino acid accelerate the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine.
In severe cases of mental disorders, accompanied by a decrease in hormonal levels, psychotherapists prescribe antidepressants to patients. However, this is an extreme case and treatment should be carried out strictly under the supervision of a physician. It is much easier to prevent abnormally low production of the hormones of happiness, using a balanced diet for tyrosine, giving up bad habits and leading a healthy lifestyle.
On the shelves of municipal pharmacies you can see the drug “Dopamine” (“Dophaminunt”), which is based on the stimulation of the dofominovyh receptors. Of course, self-prescribing and injecting the drug is strictly contraindicated.
It has a fairly high concentration and has a rather specific effect on organs that are not responsible for the synthesis of the “hormones of happiness.” Usually, doctors prescribe intravenous injections, when there are serious, weighty clinical indications, and, as a rule, the treatment is carried out in a hospital.
At the same time, sick patients with psycho-emotional dysfunction caused by dopamine deficiency, after reading recommendations on medical websites and Internet forums, consider that “Dophaminunt” is intended for the treatment of their illness. This is a profound error that can be dispelled by any qualified physician.
Low mood, depression, unwillingness to communicate and pessimistic views of the future – who does not know such a state? It would seem that there is no reason to be sad, but the mood is still “at zero,” and you can not do anything about it.
Fortunately, things are not so hopeless. Certain hormones are responsible for our internal well-being, among which dopamine, or “pleasure hormone,” is not the last. And it is in our power to make the body develop a generous portion of this “solar” hormone and give us a great mood.
Stimulate the production of pleasure hormone!
Among the main ways to stimulate dopamine production, the following are especially effective:
- Eating foods containing tyrosine, responsible for the synthesis of the pleasure hormone. The list of such products include eggs, fish and seafood, beets, apples, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, as well as ginseng and green tea, unique in their beneficial qualities. Superb stimulates the process of eating vegetable salads with the addition of nettle and dandelion.
- Active physical exercise not only energizes you but also activates the production of serotonin and dopamine. So, do not sit still, waiting for the spleen to leave you finally, but do a good run or work out on the simulator, and you will certainly notice how your well-being has improved!
- One of the most effective incentives for the production of joy hormones is physical intimacy between a man and a woman. During this process there is a powerful release of serotonin and dopamine, completely banishing depressive thoughts and tuning optimistically!
- Love! It is said that she can perform miracles, returning a person hope and joy in life. The state of being in love only causes our body to produce a powerful dopamine release, which, in turn, gives us a feeling of lightness and flying, like adrenaline, makes our hearts beat faster and helps us stay full of vitality and energy after sleepless romantic nights.
What prevents the production of the hormone dopamine?
- The most bitter enemies of the pleasure hormone are alcohol and drugs. They block the natural production of dopamine while creating a person the illusion of high mood and well-being. This is the basis of addiction to drugs and alcohol, and subsequently – complete dependence on them.
- Saturated fats. The products containing them not only adversely affect the cardiovascular system, causing the blockage of veins and arteries but also significantly reduce the level of dopamine in the body. The same happens with the use of products containing sugar.
- Excessive use of coffee. A temporary increase in serotonin levels after consuming a drink containing caffeine occurs in parallel with the decline in the production of the pleasure hormone.
Interesting facts about dopamine
In addition to the fact that dopamine can reach its maximum level in a state of love, it is also the “culprit” of betrayal, gambling propensities, and extravagance. Excess dopamine lowers blood clotting. In addition to its positive effect on our mood, dopamine also helps to cope with hypotension and serves as a good helper in the treatment of kidney diseases.
Dopamine – the main symptoms of deficiency
And right away the good news is that the level of pleasure hormones is easy to control with a simple diet, physical exertion, and communication with loved ones. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain by the efforts of the adrenal glands, is responsible for the work of the brain, the heart, the central nervous system, our weight, and the psycho-emotional background.
When it is released into the bloodstream, we are doing what we truly love, and as a result, we feel happy, full of strength, perform brave deeds. In general, we live to the fullest.
Dopamine deficiency can result in:
- Problems with weight, obesity, development of diabetes
- Bad mood, irritability, loss of interest in life and depression
- Decreased libido
- Feeling tired all the time
- Malfunction of the cardiovascular system
- Parkinson’s disease
- Anhedonia – a disease, the development of which a person completely loses the ability to enjoy
What can cause low rates: poor lifestyle choices, abuse of fatty foods, alcohol, sweets. These factors not only inhibit the production of hormone but also provoke the development of addictions, including from strong drinks, drugs, overeating, gambling.
A person is ready to look for positive emotions and good mood anywhere, even for a short period, not realizing that he is deceiving himself. For example, after a stormy night with strong drinks in the morning, we always feel depressed – and this is natural because the hormone of joy is reduced to a minimum.
By the way, the release of dopamine cause not only positive emotions but also negative ones. For example, severe shock from injury or burn. But such a hormone does not enter the blood.
Dopamine is quite cunning. When figuring out how to increase its content in the blood, it should be taken into account that the most significant number of molecules is produced not at the time of the tide of happiness, but the moment of its anticipation.
The hormone begins to work, forms our habits and taste preferences, motivation. His real task is to encourage the conquest of new peaks. That is why we often feel deep disappointment, having achieved the desired.
Dopamine – 5+ ways to raise levels in the body
In the early stages of lack of pleasure does not manifest itself – life goes on, as usual, everyone has ups and downs. But at some point, the dopamine problem becomes so evident that a person causes discomfort not only to himself but also to his relatives, breaking down and frustrating with his sour look. But the means, how to increase compensation for the lack of their own, without resorting to drugs, weight.
This replaceable amino acid stimulates the production of the hormones of happiness, adrenaline, improves mood, sports performance, fights depressions in the lung stages. Tyrosine is indispensable for those who resist dependence on caffeine, drugs, and alcohol.
The fuel of joy is contained in:
- Almond and Walnuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Dairy products
- Green tea
Spoil yourself with chocolate
Tip: do not do in the struggle for positive emotions without chocolate. Inveterate sweet teeth need to know that one tile should be enough for an average of 4-5 days.
Dopamine is endowed with the property of rapidly oxidizing, while the use of a sufficient amount of antioxidants reduces this process in the cells responsible for its production.
Include in your diet:
- Green and orange vegetables and fruits, broccoli, asparagus, green smoothies, carrots
- Colour and Brussels Sprouts
- The nuts
- Sunflower seeds
Surely you noticed that after training the mood rises, even if initially there was neither strength nor desire to go to the gym. And this is not surprising: half an hour-hour of running, exercising on simulators, swimming and stretching stimulate the growth of dopamine and serotonin while being a preventative measure for depression and depression.
Tip: move more. Even if you are not in the mood for squatting or doing cardio, go for a walk in the park. For any physical activity, the body and the brain will say “thank you.”
Observe sleep mode
7-8 hours of complete rest provides a feeling of vitality for the whole day and the necessary level of pleasure hormone. By the way, it can be raised to a critical state, completely abandoning sleep. After sleepless night dopamine is more than enough. However, you will hardly feel good.
Make love regularly
During physical intimacy, which brings joy to both partners, there is a huge release of the hormone into the blood. This guarantees you a good mood and well-being.
Tip: Pure dopamine is found in the ginkgo plant. It is taken in the form of bad, to improve performance medication. Herbal remedy improves blood circulation in brain cells and normalizes the transmission of nerve impulses.
Train your brain
Dopamine is considered to be a hedonist substance. Set yourself small goals and make the brain rejoice. It is important not to defend a doctoral thesis or jump with a parachute to turn on holiday mode but to activate pleasure centers and produce the necessary hormone artificially. Two days without social networks and coffee? Two stops on foot instead of the subway? Yes, you’re just great!
Above, we have already said that dopamine is produced during the anticipation of pleasure. At the moment when you want candy, cake, and ice cream, its level is the highest. With the first piece of the biscuit will have disappointment. With the third – remorse. When you begin to eat, the enjoyment is as if dissolved in the air. Learn to manage it – choose the right products, and it will be much less to pull on the forbidden.
How to increase the level of dopamine in men?
The strong half of humanity, often the weak, is at risk in the ability to enjoy their own life – men are more susceptible to bad habits, smoking, drinking alcohol, and irregular and fatty food in a hurry. At a time when the girls go shopping or do their hair, the boys go to the pub and reach for a cigarette. When the hormone of joy reaches a critically low level, the man begins to feel bored at all, continuing to move in a vicious circle of his passions.
The optimal solution to the problem is regular physical training, sleep, nutrition, and rich personal life. The maximum level of dopamine levels reaches during the state of love.
Dopamine – how to improve with medication?
You can take them, of course, solely on doctor’s prescription, but there are some safe, almost traditional medicines. These include ginseng, nettle, dandelion.
Adding these plants to soups, teas, salads are guaranteed to increase the number of pleasure molecules.
It is also important to ensure that meals are frequent, varied and drink at least one and a half liters of water per day. Water gives energy and relieves stress.
Of course, there are a lot of drugs for artificial control of hormone levels. Indications for appointment are:
- Hyperactivity syndrome, when concentrating on something specific just does not work
- Protracted depression, which a person cannot cope with on his own
- Parkinson’s disease
People with schizophrenia suffer from an excess of dopamine – they, on the contrary, are prescribed drugs that control and suppress its production.
It is worth remembering that the drugs work during their admission and when the therapy is stopped, the problem returns, therefore only balanced nutrition, athletic exertion, physical intimacy and surrounding yourself with a maximum of positive emotions will give real results.
To make it easier to overcome the path from sadness to joy, psychologists advise using the principle of regularity. Dreaming of getting everything at once, we program ourselves to fail, and in pursuit of quick emotions, we also endanger health. Seeing a big goal in front of you, divide it into any number of small ones – each meager victory will throw a sufficient amount of pleasure into the blood and give a good mood.
Dopaminomimetics promote hormone accumulation in the synaptic cleft or excite dopamine receptors located in the brain (in the basal nuclei, the hypothalamic zone or the substantia nigra). Dopaminomimetics include anti-Parkinsonian drugs and prolactin inhibitors. Dopamine can also be combined with other active ingredients.
Drugs in this group are taken only on prescription and after the diagnosis. It is not recommended to take such drugs in the presence of the following diseases/conditions:
- oncological diseases;
- severe violations of the kidneys and liver;
- endocrine system diseases;
- pregnancy and lactation;
- individual intolerance to the components of the drug.
It is necessary to take drugs with care as the increased level of dopamine can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, lowering of arterial pressure. Overdose can lead to side effects, including convulsions and hallucinations.
In order to maintain the level of the hormone is normal, it is necessary to engage in physical exercise. Exercises / sports need to choose those that bring joy and pleasure.
By the means that stimulate the production of the hormone, and include drugs. But when they are used, the number of dopamine-sensitive receptors decreases rapidly, and irreversible changes occur in the brain.
How to raise dopamine levels with foods
For the hormone level to be normal, a person needs to eat right and make sure that the diet contains enough vitamins, micro and macro elements, antioxidants, amino acids, and unsaturated fatty acids.
Together, food a person gets about twenty amino acids. Eight of them are considered indispensable, since the body cannot synthesize them, or they are produced in insufficient quantities.
Amino acids are used by the brain to synthesize dopamine. The most important role in the formation of this hormone is tyrosine. It is found in many high protein foods. The most popular sources of tyrosine include:
- Parmesan cheese;
- legumes (soybeans, beans, lentils);
- lean meat (chicken, beef, turkey);
- seafood (salmon, shrimp, halibut, mackerel, tuna, crabs);
- seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame);
- nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, pine).
Also, to increase the level of dopamine requires the use of such amino acids as betaine. It is an antioxidant, protects blood vessels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and decreases fat mass, contributing to muscle building. The source of betaine is seafood and wheat germ. In industrial conditions, it is synthesized from sugar beet.
Antioxidants prevent the negative effects of free radicals on nerve cells and are actively used to treat diseases of the nervous system.
The hormone dopamine is very easily oxidized, and antioxidants reduce free radical damage to brain cells responsible for its production. A large number of these substances are contained in the following products:
- berries (blueberries, cranberries, plums);
- legumes (beans, beans);
- nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios);
- spices (cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, oregano);
- vegetables (broccoli, beetroot, red pepper, onion).
Particular attention should be paid to vitamin B 6. It regulates the exchange of macronutrients in the synthesis of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine. The use of products rich in pyridoxine, allows you to maintain the level of hormones in the normal range. In the diet should be present:
- sunflower seeds;
The functioning of the nervous system, as well as the production of neurotransmitters used by neurons to exchange signals, supports folic acid. Also, she is directly involved in the conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine to produce dopamine. A large amount of folic acid is found in spinach, parsley, turnip, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, and lentils.
Unsaturated fatty acids
These acids are necessary for the normal functioning of the body and contribute to the production of dopamine. The diet should contain the following products:
- fatty fish;
- vegetable oils.
The use of these products not only makes it possible to maintain the level of the hormone in the norm, but also reduces the risk of developing heart disease, rheumatism, and also prevents the appearance of malignant tumors.
2. Ginkgo Biloba
3. Increased testosterone in men: causes, effects, symptoms
How to increase dopamine levels with the help of medicinal plants
To increase the dopamine in the body, use medicinal plants:
- Ginseng. The root of this plant has many beneficial properties. It contains saponins, materials, peptides, polysaccharides, vitamins, macro-and microelements. Funds based on ginseng are used for neurosis, mental and physical stress, neurasthenia, neurocirculatory dystonia. They contribute to the development of the hormone and strengthen the body.
- Ginkgo biloba. The leaves contain flavonoids, glycosides, and terpenoids. Plant-based products are selective serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. They are used to improve concentration, memory, anti-vertigo.
- Dandelion officinalis. The leaves of the plant – the source of taraxanthin, vitamins, saponins, trace elements. The roots contain triterpene compounds. The use of dandelion-based agents soothe the nervous system and increase the production of the hormone.
- Hypericum The plant contains micro and macro elements, vitamins, tannins, saponins, phytoncides and traces of alkaloids. Means by Hypericum provide increased production of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine. They contribute to the normalization of the nervous system, metabolism, arrest vascular spasms and have a tonic effect.
In order for the hormone level to be normal, a person needs to eat right and make sure that the diet contains enough vitamins, micro and macro elements, antioxidants, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids.
Effect of lifestyle on dopamine production
Since the level of dopamine in the body increases in response to positive emotions, it is necessary for everyday life to look for activities that lead to their appearance.
To maintain the level of the hormone is normal, it is necessary to engage in physical exercise. Exercises/sports need to choose those that bring joy and pleasure. This can be jogging, cycling, swimming, training on simulators, walking. In this case, not only increases the level of the hormone but also improves metabolism and normalizes weight.
Regular sex can ensure the production of dopamine. It forms pleasure in a person and causes a feeling of happiness. The hormone is produced not only after sexual satisfaction but also in anticipation of it or the presence of positive memories.
Massage has a beneficial effect on the skin, subcutaneous layer, joints, tendons, lymphatic and nervous system. Since the procedure improves all metabolic processes in the body, there is an additional release of dopamine. After the massage, the person feels vigorous and active.
The level of the hormone in the body affects sleep. Invigorating drugs stimulate the release of dopamine, bypassing dopamine receptors. During wakefulness, the amount of this hormone increases significantly. Stimulants can cause prolonged insomnia.
On the other hand, if a person goes without sleep for a long time, his attention is disturbed, he becomes distracted, and he may commit inadequate actions.
Studies conducted by scientists from the National Institute of Addiction Medicine in the United States found that lack of sleep leads to a decrease in the number of dopamine receptors, while the level of neurotransmitters remains unchanged.
So that the number of dopamine receptors does not decrease, a person needs a full sleep, lasting at least 7 hours.
A great stimulant for dopamine production is a favorite activity. Regardless of what exactly a person is busy, his emotional background improves. The main thing is that the result of this lesson meets expectations.
For the level of the hormone in the body for a long time to be within the normal range, it is enough to give the hobby about an hour a day.
What is dangerous about dopamine deficiency?
Dopamine is often called the hormone of joy. In the human body, it is responsible for the following functions:
- regulates muscle contractions;
- controls the periods of wakefulness and sleep;
- generates sexual attraction;
- participates in thought processes;
- forms chemical dependence.
Dopamine along with serotonin and oxytocin is responsible for feeling happy and joyful. Also, it is dopamine that makes a person achieve his goals and allows him to concentrate on the way it is necessary for productive activities. Because of this, it is called the motivation hormone.
Experiments conducted on laboratory mice indicate that when the level of the hormone dropped to a critical level, the animals became so passive that they did not even try to look for food, but died of starvation. That dopamine allows you to maintain interest in life.
It was not possible to establish the exact cause of the decrease in the level of the hormone. But the factors affecting this process include:
- Bad habits.
- The use of large amounts of food, which is composed of saturated fats.
- The use of antidepressants that affect the suppression of monoamine receptors.
Dopamine is also called a hormone of concentration and purposefulness. If the behavior leads to the satisfaction of desires, the brain potentiates a certain amount of the hormone for the future, making waiting pleasant.
The fact that the body lacks dopamine is indicated by the following signs:
- loss of taste for life, apathy, and lack of motivation;
- chronic fatigue that is not preceded by physical or mental activity;
- depression, which results in thoughts of suicide;
- problems with memory and mental disorders;
- irritability and irritability, often turning into aggression;
- sleep disorders in the form of insomnia or increased sleepiness;
- craving for sweets and caffeine, alcohol, narcotic substances;
- concentration problems;
- weak sexual desire, in which interest is lost in the opposite sex and lack of interest in sex in general;
- chronic stress;
- metabolic disorders, as a result of which a person has excess weight, which is very difficult to get rid of.
In turn, many disorders and diseases are associated precisely with changes in the level of dopamine. These include:
- Parkinson’s disease;
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
- chronic fatigue syndrome;
- the presence of harmful habits;
- chronic musculoskeletal pain;
- involuntary contractions of body parts and muscle tremors.
For dopamine levels to remain normal, it is necessary:
- lead a healthy lifestyle;
- eat right;
- do sport;
- lead a regular sex life;
- avoid stressful situations;
- sleep at least 7 hours a day;
- give enough time to your hobbies;
- to refuse from bad habits.
Dopamine is an essential substance that is responsible for the ability to get pleasure, and its lack can negatively affect not only the psycho-emotional but also the physical condition of a person. Therefore, you need to monitor their health carefully and to avoid lowering the level of this hormone.
Dopamine neurons are few: only about seven thousand of the eighty-six billion neurons existing in the CNS produce dopamine. That is why the dopamine system is often violated. A lack of dopamine in the body causes endogenous depression, leading to metabolic disorders.
The following features determine the decrease in the production of dopamine in the body:
- lack of motivation, excessive analysis of benefits and costs;
- loss of interest in life, apathy;
- bad mood, boredom;
- irritability and aggressiveness;
- violations of the plasticity of the movement;
- anxiety, anxiety, fear;
- memory impairment;
- violation of spatial orientation;
- poor sleep, restless legs syndrome;
- reduced ability to draw correct conclusions from negative experiences and learn from their mistakes;
- decreased libido;
- hormonal imbalance, weight gain.
Diseases characterized by low levels of dopamine include depression, anhedonia (inability to enjoy), attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue, anxiety and compulsive disorders, Parkinson’s disease, social phobias, erectile dysfunction, psycho-emotional dysfunction of the brain, and cardiovascular dysfunction systems and diabetes mellitus type II.
With age, there is a gradual dying off of cells that produce dopamine; memory deteriorates, the concentration decreases. With a sharp decrease in dopamine synthesis, symptoms of coordination disorder and movement disorders occur, parkinsonism develops. Parkinson’s disease is also manifested in non-motor disorders (low mood, sleep disturbances, anxiety, dementia, weight gain or weight loss, vision problems).
During love in the body, dopamine is intensively produced, it is he who is responsible for the desire of the lover to achieve the goal, to strive for the complete possession of the object of love.
Drugs that combat tremor and muscle rigidity, which are prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, are effective only in the early stages of the disease. Modern methods of treatment of Parkinson’s disease, aimed at stimulating the affected areas of the brain, are being developed, for example, the method of transplantation of stem cells producing dopamine.
The increase in dopamine production also has its manifestations:
- excessive vigor, motor hyperactivity;
- intermittent and inconsistent flow of thoughts;
- impulsive actions, extreme activities with a threat to life;
- sexual fetishism, manic in pleasuring oneself, including sexual pleasure;
- painful suspicion, delirium, hallucinations;
- unmotivated conviction in their superiority and significance;
- aggressiveness towards those who hinder the achievement of goals;
- different types of addictions – drug, food, sexual, computer, gambling, shopping, addiction to gadgets, etc .;
- psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder.
Modern biochemical studies link schizophrenia with an excess of dopamine in the nervous system.
Studies of addictions show that sudden bursts of dopamine and the activation of neural circuits associated with reward and approval, cause a weakening of the response of the brain to the enjoyment.
Excessive accumulation of dopamine in the brain leads to the fact that the process of dopamine is disturbed, the brain adapts over time, new receptors are formed, dopamine ceases to act.
It reduces the feeling of pleasure caused by a chemical or type of behavior. A dopamine trap arises that causes addicted people to act again and again to find a source of pleasure.
The next surge of dopamine helps to improve the condition for a short time, at the same time reducing the sensitivity of dopamine receptors.
Since sugar triggers the release of dopamine in the pleasure center, it can cause addiction, like dependence on alcohol, nicotine or drugs.
The emergence of dependence can be assumed by the following symptoms: addiction, excessive prioritization, loss of control, abuse, ignoring negative consequences.
Hyperstimulation of dopamine receptors gradually reduces sensitivity to dopamine. Low receptor sensitivity increases the risk of developing alcoholism, drug addiction or other painful addictions.
Psychostimulants increase the concentration of dopamine in the synaptic space by blocking the physiological mechanisms of dopamine reuptake, and amphetamine acts directly on the mechanism of dopamine transport, stimulating its release. Alcohol blocks the action of dopamine antagonists.
It has been found that a rapid increase in dopamine levels can also be caused by the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index, and especially sugar. There are also so-called psychological drugs: behavior that causes a significant rush of dopamine, obsession with thoughts that bring pleasure.
Drugs increase the production of dopamine in the brain 5-10 times, while they irreversibly change dopamine neurons. It is proved that narcotic substances have a stronger stimulating effect on the reward system than any natural factors.
Repeated addressing the addictive factor causes associations between pleasure and this factor, dependent people need to continually increase the dose. This is called addiction or tolerance. The emergence of chemical tolerance leads to the development of metabolic disorders that can seriously damage the functioning of the brain.
Dopamine helps the brain to choose the right strategies of behavior, is responsible for the formation of desires, motivation, efficiency, perseverance, purposeful activity and emotional perception.