Mucuna pruriens is a legume known as “velvet bean” or “Cowhage” containing a phenolic compound in the seeds, L-Dopa (1).
Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa 15%) Capsules Benefits
- Stress support (ref)*
- Promotes sexual health in males (ref)*
- Precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine (ref)*
Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa 15%) Capsules Mode of Action
Mucuna belongs to the sub-family Papilionaceae which includes 150 species of legumes. Mucuna is indigenous to tropical and sub-tropical areas and is regarded as a food source due to its viable proteins and digestibility. It was widely cultivated in eastern India and southern China and is cultivated for food use in Africa, Asia, America, and the Pacific Islands (1).
“Cowitch” and “cowhage” are the names the English gave to Mucuna for the species that have long hairs on the pod which cause stinging and itching by mucunain. The other species of Mucuna that have silky hairs which do not sting are known as “velvet bean” (1).
Mucuna’s seeds contain L-Dopa which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine (1). L-Dopa, or Levodopa, is the main constituent of Mucuna, along with nicotinic acid, serotonin and the precursor 5-HTP, tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids, bufotenine, beta-carboline, mucunain (which causes itching when it comes into contact with skin), behenic acid, CoQ10, NADH (nicotine adenine dinucleotide), Inositol (D-chiro inositol and myo-inositol), selenium, iron, magnesium, and other saponins, flavonoids, anthraquinones, terpenoides, cardiac glycosides, and tannins (2).
Mature seeds contain between 3-12.5% L-Dopa, and the leaves contain only 0.5%(2). L-Dopa is a direct precursor of dopamine and can also be directly synthesized from the non-essential amino acid tyrosine, or indirectly from acidphnylalanine, an essential amino acid. Both amino acids are found in protein and tyrosine is the most abundant in food sources (3).
L-Dopa synthesizes dopamine in the body after ingestion through a rapid conversion in the peripheral tissue (2). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which functions in a neuromodulatory system known as the dopamine system, consisting of dopaminergic pathways and cell groups. Dopamine is involved in motor control, executive functions, reinforcement and reward, motivation, and arousal. Other functions it influences include nausea, lacatation, and sexual gratification. Dopamine is also involved in some aspects of pleasure-related cognition (3).
Dopamine circulating in the bloodstream is small and can be produced by the digestive system or sympathetic nervous system. Dopamine receptors in the peripheral tissues may receive the dopamine or it can be metabolized and converted in norepinephrine and then released by the adrenal glands (3).
Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa 15%) Capsules Dosage
Pure Nootropics’ Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa 15%) Capsules provide 800 mg of Mucuna seed extract (min. 15% L-Dopa, naturally occurring) and 120 mg of L-Dopa per 2 capsules. Suggested use for adults is 2 capsules by mouth daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa 15%) Capsules Side Effects and Toxicity
Mucuna is generally well tolerated, and most common side effects are gastrointestinal symptoms. Side effects may include headache, sweating, palpitations, diarrhea, flatulence, dry mouth, pruritus, rash, changes in urine color, and symptoms of psychosis have been noted (4).
If you are taking any medications, please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with Mucuna.
DO NOT TAKE if you are taking Aldomet (methyldopa). A major interaction may occur which may lead to central nervous system toxicity (4).
DO NOT TAKE if you are taking MAOI (Monamine Oxidase Inhibitors) such as Nardil (phenelzine), Parnate (tranylcypromine). A major interaction causing extremely high blood pressure may occur. Not all MAOI are contraindicated with the use of Mucuna (4). Please consult your healthcare practitioner for more information on MAOIs and Mucuna.
If you are undergoing anesthesia, discontinue supplementation at least 2 weeks before surgery as use of Mucuna and anesthesia have caused cardiac arrhythmia (4).
If you are taking antidiabetes medications, Mucuna may interact and cause hypoglycemia (4).
If you are taking antipsychotic medications, such as Thorazine (chlorpromazine), Clozaril (clozapine), Haldol (haloperidol), Prolixin (fluphenazine), Zyprexa (olanzapine), Compazine (prochlorperazine), Trilafon (perphenazine), Seroquel (quetiapine), Risperdal (risperiodone), Navane (thiothixene), Mellaril (thioridazine), and others, Mucuna may decrease their effectiveness (4).
If you are taking tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil (amitriptyline), Anafranil (clomipramine), Sinequan (doxepin), Norpramin (desipramine), Pamelor (nortriptyline), Vivactil (protriptyline), a moderate interaction may occur which may cause high blood pressure and uncontrolled movements (dyskinesias) (4).
For further information, please see our References Tab above.