What’s the interest in using plant-based L-Dopa? (as a supplement or pure)
One might legitimately wonder what the interest is in using a natural, plant-based L-Dopa, given that the molecule, whether synthetic or natural, remains L-Dopa.
To better understand this relevant question, let’s dive into the fascinating world of our organism to understand how it reacts to a synthetic component compared to a natural one. This exploration will help clarify why it may be useful to use a natural L-Dopa, as in our example, derived from the Vicia faba plant.
How does our body interact with natural and synthetic components?
Synthetic L-Dopa is, by definition, isolated and acts alone to compensate for the reduced capacity of neurons responsible for transforming L-Dopa into dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a crucial substance for countless motor and cognitive functions essential to our daily life.
In the natural world, compounds rarely act in isolation. L-dopa extracted from Vicia Faba benefits from the harmonious and intelligent alliance of many components present in the plant, each with a specific and complementary function to optimize the assimilation and use of L-Dopa.
To better grasp this idea, let’s imagine our body as a fortress besieged by an enemy, Parkinson’s disease, with multiple sources of aggression to weaken our ramparts. Synthetic L-Dopa alone could then be compared to an archer with a specific angle of fire trying to hold the siege, but alone.
Now, let’s imagine Vicia faba with its numerous trace elements as a coalition of warriors, each with unique skills and weapons, strategically collaborating to defend our fortress.
The archer (synthesized or natural L-dopa) is crucial, delivering precise shots, but the other warriors are also important, as they ensure a multifaceted defense. Some reinforce the fortress walls (improving absorption and favoring protection), others act as protectors (minimizing injuries and side effects), and some engage in reconnaissance and negotiation missions with the enemy (supporting general well-being). Together, they form a united front against the challenges of Parkinson’s disease.
Natural L-Dopa, acting as a team with other trace elements, is extremely useful for effectively combating multiple sources of aggression and attempting to restore balance, or even repelling the enemy to some extent.
Regarding Parkinson’s disease, synthetic L-Dopa does a fantastic job, especially in the first two years, and its discovery was an immense relief for the community of people suffering from this debilitating disease. However, it is often accompanied by side effects and loses efficacy over time, requiring higher doses. Just consult the notice or read well-documented studies on this subject to understand that its action is symptomatic and does not address underlying mechanisms.
We will now explore in detail why this teamwork is so important and examine some fundamental mechanisms.
The first challenge is for L-Dopa to reach the brain!
When we take L-dopa orally, it must first pass through the stomach, with its gastric juices, then through the intestines to enter our blood, which must then transport it to the brain where the center of transformation of L-Dopa into dopamine is located.
However, on this path, it undergoes many aggressions. It can oxidize, then there is a whole series of enzymes that convert L-Dopa into dopamine as soon as it arrives in the blood, and this process presents problems.
The evolutionary intelligence of our body foresaw that the brain had to be protected at all costs, as it is precious. Thus, a blood-brain barrier was set up ahead of the brain to filter the elements that can enter. L-Dopa, being a small molecule, can pass through this barrier, unlike dopamine, which is a larger molecule.
The challenge is then to slow down this transformation of L-Dopa into dopamine in the blood (inhibitor function), as this would make it ineffective and turn it into waste. To do this, synthetic L-Dopa needs another synthetic molecule, which is not always prescribed, as it also can have side effects.
On the other hand, nature, in the complex of trace elements of Vicia faba, has already naturally integrated components that slow down this transformation, allowing L-Dopa to cross the brain barrier for an extended period to reach its point of transformation. These elements, known as carbidopa, are present, among other things, thanks to the polyphenols naturally present in the plant. This natural synergy could explain why natural L-Dopa seems to be better tolerated and assimilated by the body than its synthetic form and produces results even for people who have had Parkinson’s for a long time. In general, natural L-Dopa, along with its team of trace elements, is very well tolerated.
But nature doesn’t stop there in its synergistic approach!
This teamwork goes far beyond. The Vicia faba team, in addition to L-Dopa, contains components that protect cells against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, considered among the main agents of aging and degeneration. These components, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, amino acids, omega-3, promote protection and even regeneration of neurons by stimulating what are called growth factors (BDNF), as shown by numerous scientific studies.
Some observations suggest that these trace elements, co-factors in Vicia faba, could even support the action of synthetic L-Dopa, among other things, by not being converted too quickly into dopamine, and thus enhancing its action.
Our body has its bodyguards!
It is interesting to note that our body is under constant surveillance. Over millennia and evolution, our body has accumulated a wealth of data on what suits it and what does not, establishing a sophisticated surveillance system, similar to a close protection team.
Our immune system is very intelligent, ensuring what can enter our body and what must remain outside or be destroyed. The main intrusion pathways are first through the intestines and mucous membranes but also through the blood and lymph, which require constant surveillance. We then have cell walls, the smallest units forming our body, which let some components pass and not others. As we have seen, there is also this famous brain barrier that filters components upon entering this precious territory.
Vicia faba, on the other hand, is one of the oldest plants in the world. Specialists estimate that its domestication probably took place between 7000 and 4000 BC, and the plant spread widely throughout the Mediterranean basin as early as the 3rd millennium BC. And as we have seen, the L-Dopa from this plant arrives with its team of natural co-factors, well recognized by the different units of our organic close protection.
On the contrary, the synthetic molecule arrives alone. In fact, to be quite accurate, it is not really alone since it is accompanied by stabilizers and excipients. So, ultimately, the synthetic molecule also arrives with delegates, but these are not always recognized by the body and can be considered in part as intruders to fight against.
By understanding this complexity of our organism, the idea of resorting to natural L-Dopa as a supplement can be a sensible consideration.
In summary, Vicia faba’s L-Dopa is like a whole orchestra playing the body’s symphony with multiple scores. Each component plays the right note at the right time to create harmonious functioning. The soloist, on the other hand, produces the necessary notes, but lacks all the richness and depth that a complete orchestra can offer.
The advantage of the synthetic molecule lies in its ability to be precisely dosed to the milligram, allowing doctors and patients to rely on a constant supply of L-Dopa in daily life.
Therefore, it is essential to choose natural products standardized in their L-Dopa content, such as AtremoPlus, with a dosage of 21.5 mg/g of L-Dopa. This way, batches always contain the same amount of L-Dopa to ensure safe and regular dosing for people and doctors who wish to recommend it.
It is interesting to note that the vast majority of AtremoPlus users take both synthetic L-dopa and L-Dopa from Vicia faba in addition, as a supplement. The feedback is excellent, even from people who have struggled with this problem for years or even decades, and whose effects of synthetic L-Dopa have significantly decreased over time.
This is a practical, observation-based response that suggests that nature still holds some secrets developed over millennia of evolution, and whose complexity we struggle to understand.
The scientific and medical community agrees that synthetic L-Dopa does an excellent job, especially in the beginning, but it is evident that over time, typically 2 to 5 years, its effectiveness decreases, and higher doses are needed. It could therefore be beneficial, especially at an advanced stage, to incorporate the benefits of nature as a supplement to improve the quality of life of people. Furthermore, adopting a strategy to protect against oxidative stress, associated with chronic inflammation, seems to be beneficial at all stages of this degeneration process.
We hope that this newsletter can contribute to a better understanding of the incredibly complex and well-regulated mechanisms of our body, especially in the area of L-Dopa and its assimilation.
This content may be important for people who need this natural solution. Thanks for sharing !
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Please note that this blog provides information about our dietary supplement AtremoPlus and related topics. This blog is not intended to provide medical advice.
If you have any medical questions, please contact your healthcare professional.
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