• Affects Limbic system: reward, pleasure, motivation
  • Protects against autoimmunity: works with immune system and thyroid in particular
  • Affects Thyroid and regulates heart rate and blood pressure
  • Affects adrenal function, kidneys and T-cells
  • Affects Brain Power, Motor co-ordination, Cognition and learning
  • Dopamine dampens glutamate activity leading to enhanced memory and learning
Food habits and Weight Management
  • Controls metabolism – when metabolism is low, fat burning is low and fat accumulation is increased; low metabolism also leads to unconscious attempts to increase energy via use of stimulants and high energy yielding foods
  • Controls motivation via limbic reward – low dopamine leads to loss of emotional or physical satiation and continued uncontrolled eating and food cravings in search of dopamine reward
  • Low dopamine leads to not feeling happy and not recognising fullness / satiation with food; small snacks or meals not being sufficient and feelings of hunger after a meal
Hormonal interactions
  • Interacts with Growth Hormone, Testosterone, Cortisol and DHEA and Dopamine is involved in TSH release
  • Dopamine receptor sensitivity determined by Thyroid hormones which also determine dopamine levels (low TSH, T4, T3 leads to low dopamine)
  • Progesterone receptors modulated by Dopamine
  • Loss of power and symmetry impacts energy and drive, causing weight gain, fatigue and diminished libido
  • Depression and lack of motivation
  • Inability to experience pleasure, social anxiety and low sexual desire
  • Learning disorders, ADD, Addictions
  • Parkinson’s
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Mania, hypersocial and increased libido
Symptoms of deficiency
  • Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Inability to handle stress, anger and aggression whilst under stress, easy loss of temper
  • Inability to finish tasks, disorganised and late for appointments
  • Lack of focus, easily distracted
  • Desire to isolate socially and lack of concern for family and friends
  • Need to consume caffeine to be alert
  • Low libido
Causes of deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Low stomach acid: leading to low methyl donors
  • Antacids (inhibit stomach HCL) , Oral contraceptives, Hormone Relacement Therapy
  • H. Pylori
  • Low protein in diet
Food modulators
  • Protein rich meals: Game meat, Beef, Pork, Turkey; Fish; Eggs, Cheese
  • Oats, Chocolate
Herb and supplement modulators
  • Mucuna pruriens (from a bean), Blueberry extract
  • Phenylethyamine (PEA), DL-Phenylanine, L-tyrosine
  • Vit B6, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha Lipoic Acid

Adapted from:

Braverman, E. (2009). Younger (Thinner) You Diet. New York, N.Y.:Rodale.

Kharrazian, D. (2013). Why Isn’t My Brain Working? Carlsbad, C.A.: Elephant Press

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