Posted by MB on August 8, 2001, at 2:29:30
In reply to Re: phenyalanine-DA precursor » MB, posted by Mitch on August 7, 2001, at 23:53:08
> > > > > Hi All,
> > > > >
> > > > > Does anyone know how caffiene affects the brain? Sometimes a Diet Coke is the only thing that makes me feel better. No, I'm not addicted, but I used to be.
> > > > >
> > > > > Sherry
> > > >
> > > > Sometimes caffeine is the only thing that makes *me* feel better also. Sometimes, however, it sends me into a panic attack. I think I'd be better without it but the depression of withdrawal is too severe. Laugh if you want, but I've considered going to inpatient rehab to get off of it.
> > > >
> > > > Another thing, NutraSweet has l-phenylalanine (an amino acid) in it, which is a precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine. Some argue that amino acid supplements can't increase catecholamine levels, but others are firm believers that l-phenylalanine supplements can boost these neurotransmitters and assuage depression.
> > >
> > > MB,
> > >
> > > Thanks for that info. I wonder why right after I get to work I am down at the pop machine getting a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi within an hour of getting there. I've noticed that I really don't care for non-diet sodas, interestingly.
> > >
> > > Mitch
> > I'm right there with ya. If I'm not going to drink coffee, I always go for diet coke...don't really care for diet pepsi. I've taken l-phenylalanine supplements (as well as l-tyrosine, which is what l-phenylalanine is converted to before it converts to dopamine or norepinephrine). I found both supplements very stimulating. I think l-phenylalanine can also be converted to various chemicals called phenethylamines which are stimulating. Whatever the mechanism, it seems that l-phenylalanine has mild stimulating properties. Could that be why we like diet and not regular????
> Wow, did you just use a "mental" nail-gun there? Phenylethylamines, well now isn't that the chocolate high thing? And come to mention it, venlafaxine (Effexor) is "related to the phenylethylyamines" (which can make me hypomanic). So *tyrosine* is a more immediate precursor then??? Well, well, I do crave aged cheese sauces (alfredos-cheddars), smoked/aged meats, and soy sauce! Gobble-gobble, yum-yum! (can't help that phrase I stole it from Kurt Vonnegut, JR.). I tried some 5-HTP and Omega3 stuf and it didn't seem to do any good. Perhaps what I ought to investigate is some l-tyrosine supplements instead. Interesting that these sorts of things are contraindicated with MAOI use....
> Thanks for that info. That might help my ADHD and seasonal depressions without worsening cycling or causing hypomania.
I think the stuff in aged cheeses that you have to be careful of when on MAOIs is *tyramine*, not tyrosine. Tyrosine is converted to l-dopa (which, by the way is a drug used to treat parkinson's disease) which is converted to dopamine, which is then converted to norepinephrine.
*Tyramine*, on the other hand, is tryosine without the group of atoms that make it an acid (called a carboxyl group). Tyramine can eventually be converted to norepinephrine, but bypasses the dopamine stage. Hey, here's a link to a really amazing flowchart that really blew my mind. All these chemicals are so intricately connected. check it out:
I think any of these chemicals can be dangerous on MAOIs. See all the molecules with N's on them? The N (nitrogen) with the three lines comming off of it (two lines going to hydrogens, and one line going to an electron pair) is an amino group. The structures with one amino group are "monoamines." MAO (monoamine oxidase) breaks these chemicals down, and MAOI-antidepressants inhibit this enzyme from breaking these chemicals down and they build up...which is good for depressed people when things like dopamine and norepinephrine build up. But tyramine, the stuff in aged cheese, can kill you when it builds up too much. Sorry if I just told you a bunch of stuff you already know, but I think this stuff is interesting, and I tend to ramble on about it...