Category Archives: Catecholamine

Nutrition – Part One

Good Nutrition for Your Recovery


Everyone’s body, and especially the brain, needs the proper nutrients in the correct amount to work well. Neurotransmitters in the brain require specific nutrients to work effectively so information can be transferred from one brain cell or neuron to another. The most important food is protein, which is made up of amino acids.

If your brain doesn’t have the amino acids it needs, you may be more vulnerable to addictive substances that mimic those amino acids. Mimicking in neurotransmitter sites promotes addictive responses in your brain. Taking enough amino acids is necessary if you want your brain and body to work right and to be less susceptible to addiction and mental health issues.

Your brain also needs many other nutrients to function properly. For example, the brain is two-thirds fatty acids and cholesterol, so you need to provide those nutrients for it to work at its best. Feed your brain and you’ll have one less roadblock in recovery.

Note: Amino acid research started in the 1970s. Research in the mid 1980s showed that amino acid supplements increased the success rate of drug addicts in recovery. Yet, most recovery programs don’t know about the body’s amino acid requirements or use them in their recovery process. You may have to inform your treatment program of this essential resource for successful recovery.


Neurotransmitters and Their Effects

Amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. The following outlines the four vital neurotransmitters and their roles, including:

  • The amino acids that affect them
  • The symptoms of deficient amino acids
  • The drugs and activities that are desired for a higher level of brain function
  1. Endorphins: The natural pain reliever
    • DPA (D-phenylalanine) or DLPA (DL-phenylalanine – L form also stimulates) are used for the symptoms:
      • Physical or emotional pain, including flooding
  1. GABA: The natural relaxer
    • GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) is used for the symptoms:
      • Anxiety, sleep problems, stress, or tension
  1. Catecholamine: The natural stimulators
    • L-tyrosine is used for the symptoms:
      • Apathy, depression, low energy, poor concentration
      • Lack of focus or motivation
      • Being irritable or stressed
      • Desire for stimulating or risky sports and activities like gambling and unsafe sex
  1. Serotonin: The natural mood elevator
    • 5-HTP or tryptophan are used for the symptoms:
      • Anxiety, depression, negativity, worry, or stress

Blood sugar balance is also a vital issue in addiction recovery because imbalance causes cravings. It can be helped with the amino acid L-glutamine.

  1. L-glutamine: Natural blood sugar stabilizer
    • Hypoglycemic condition:
    • Blood sugar instability is balanced with L-glutamine
    • The symptoms are:
      • Blood sugar highs and lows
      • Processed sugars and carbohydrates, caffeine, and nicotine influence blood sugar instability
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