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Mucuna Pruriens And L-Dopamine


The mucuna pruriens plant is a now what many people consider a fast growing vine and member of the Fabaceae legume family.  This plant is native to various tropical locations in South America, India, Africa and the West Indies part of the world. The seeds or beans are beige, brown or black color and grow inside a 2-3 inch long curved pod that is known to cause irritation to the skin if touched by human beings. The word mucuna comes from the Tupi Amazonian tribe and Portuguese word “mucunán” and the Latin word prurire (pruriens) which makes reference to the itchy substance in the pod hairs that many people are allergic to. This plant is a legume nitrogen fixer; the plant has been used as an experimental cover crop to restore soil fertility that has been destroyed from agricultural use.

Mucuna is one of the highest natural sources of a unique amino acid called L-dopa or better known as (levodopa) which is an essential precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Adequate levels of dopamine are essential for mental functions, sleep, memory, motor skills, muscle coordination as well as the emotional state of a human being. Dopamine is a chemical that is known to calm and relax the nervous system which basically provides a shield and buffer that helps to essentially dope up the body against outside stresses.  This is a hormone that is essentially a feel good hormone and can be naturally stimulated through various activities such as dancing, exercise and pleasurable experiences through sexual acts.  Dopamine may be present in the body but sometimes is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier which is unlike L-dopamine.  Once in the brain, L-dopamine converts into dopamine through a process called decarboxylation.  L-dopamine is metabolized into dopamine through both the heart and brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter without which communication among the nerves within the brain would be impossible. There are several significant diseases of the nervous system associated with low levels or absence of the dopamine hormone.  Using mucuna derived from L-dopamine can be very helpful for any individuals with nerve-anxiety issues, mild to severe neurodegenerative disease or reduced cognitive capacities within the human body.

There are some experts that feel that mucuna is more effective when taken with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which is required for proper production and synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine.  However mucuna pruriens benefits have been successfully achieved in the ancient Ayurveda system without the use of B6 supplementation in the human body.  Additionally, some people believe that combining chlorella which is high in the B6 vitamin with mucuna allows the body to utilize the seed powder more efficiently.  Mucuna powdered extracts should always include at least 15% L-dopa for maximum effectiveness within the human body. The usage of this ingredient and release in L-dopamine can also help with reduction of stress as well as lowering the cortisol hormone in the body.

Here at NutraCap Labs we offer Mucuna Pruriens as one of our premium ingredients. Let us help you develop your next product with this ingredient for your supplement line. To get the process started log on to our website at


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