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Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Supplement Articles, L-Dopa
By Anna Lepeley, PhD | May 6, 2014



Supporting Optimized Hormone Levels With a Powerful Neurotransmitter Catalyst



Sometimes, it's just not happening.

You feel like you're doing everything right. You're getting to the gym; you're doing your workouts. You're trying to eat clean, taking your supplements, getting enough protein. You're getting your rest.

But the results aren't there. In fact, you could be getting a little softer. You're not bouncing back from workouts the way you once did. You go to bed tired, and wake up tired. So you vow to shake things up and restore your old vitality.

But maybe your malaise springs from something deeper, more hormonal in nature. And your answer might lie in a hardy legume of the tropics.

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Growth Hormone and Overall Wellness
Human growth hormone is exactly what it sounds like: it's a peptide hormone that facilitates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans. You produce plenty of it until you're about thirty, when production of human growth hormone (or HGH) begins to decline. By the time you reach age 40, your production of HGH is roughly half of what it was at 20. The decline of HGH has been associated with many less-than-beneficial health outcomes, including everything from increased body fat to loss of energy and bone density. It should come as no surprise, then, that researchers have devoted a lot of time and effort to seeking out supplemental means for supporting HGH production. One such avenue of investigation involves an extract of the velvet bean.

Mucuna Pruriens and Growth Hormone
Mucuna pruriens is a legume native to tropical regions with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicinal practices. One of its most noteworthy benefits is the support of growth hormone (GH) release.  When administered to trained males, Mucuna pruriens has been linked to support of circulating levels of GH at rest.(1) The active agent of Mucuna pruriens comes from the velvet bean seed, rich in non-protein amino acids and L-dopa (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine). L-dopa has been examined in research for its GH-supporting properties via facilitation of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH).(2) L-dopa, in combination with exercise, has shown to stimulate GH secretion to a greater extent than other GH-releasing triggers (i.e. arginine infusion).(3 )Mucuna pruriens provides a highly bioavailable source of L-dopa.(4)

Essential for the growth of children and adolescents, GH is just as important in adulthood. A 191 amino acid protein secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, GH is vital to anabolism of tissue growth, maintenance and regeneration. This translates to the accrual and preservation of lean body mass. Supporting GH levels may be associated with a number of benefits (i.e. increased protein synthesis [enhanced cellular amino acid uptake], stimulation of lipolysis [break down of fat for energy], stimulation of cartilage growth, collagen synthesis, glycogen sparing, enhanced immune cell function).(5) GH also elicits the release of IGF-1, which contributes to protein anabolism, working synergistically to increase muscular hypertrophy.(6)

Stressed and fasted states induce catabolism, threatening the integrity of muscle mass.  With adequate circulating GH, however, free fatty acids are used for energy along with induced lipolysis, sparing glucose and protein oxidation. Thus, GH may protect muscle mass during catabolic states.(7)  GH is also imperative in other physiologic states where muscle protein breakdown is evident. GH is sensitive to mechanical overload. The stress of resistance training requires GH for hypertrophic adaptation to moderate-to-high-intensity lifting protocols that incorporate higher volume and shorter rest periods.(8-10)  Furthermore, exercise protocols that elicit elevations in lactic acid are associated with GH release.(11)

Aging is correlated with an inevitable decrease in IGF-1 and GH, threatening the integrity of physical strength, muscle, and bone.(12,13) Supporting GH and IGF-1, and preventing their age-related decline, may combat these unpleasant side effects (i.e. loss of muscle mass, decreased bone mineral density). Furthermore, protecting GH levels may prevent negative effects on body composition, cognitive function, skin integrity (i.e. wrinkles), self-perception, energy, strength, sleep quality and libido.(14-16) Studies have shown that GH restoration and promotion may have favorable effects on body composition (increasing muscle mass while decreasing body fat), exercise performance, and overall quality of life.(17,18)

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Mucuna Pruriens, Antioxidant Defense and Virility
Shukla et al.(19) observed notable antioxidant activity with Mucuna pruriens administration, promoting replenishment of glutathione while decreasing markers of oxidative stress. Research suggests its antioxidant boosting effects may increase sperm production and motility.(20) Mucuna pruriens supplementation also resulted in modulated psychological stress reduction. In addition to optimizing antioxidant status, Mucuna pruriens has also been associated with support of testosterone and dopamine levels among test subjects.(21)  Mucuna pruriens has also been linked to possible libido-boosting properties.(22)

Supporting GH Release with
ProSource DopaTech-HGH

DopaTech HGH contains an ultra-high-quality extract of Mucuna pruriens, delivering the most bioavailable source of L-dopa for potent support of growth hormone release.  If you're concerned with the consequences associated with reduced growth hormone levels, DopaTech-HGH is the ultimate complement to both your overall wellness and physique/performance-enhancing efforts.
 
DopaTech-HGH, in concert with proper diet, exercise, rest, and supplementation, may support a physiological environment in your body for optimized muscle mass, decreases in body fat and faster recovery time. Optimize your body's natural growth hormone release, day and night, while reaping the benefits of your improved anabolic state with ProSource's DopaTech-HGH.


References
1. Alleman RJ, Canale RE et al. (2011).  A blend of Chlorophytum Borivilianum and velvet bean increases serum growth hormone in exercise-trained men. Nutr Metab Insights. 4:55-63.

2. Hanew K & Utsumi A. (2002). The role of endogenous GHRH in arginine-, insulin-, clonidine-, and L-dopa-induced GH release in normal subjects. European Journal of Endocrinology. 146:197-202.

3. Liberman B, Cesar FP, Wajchenberg BL. (1979). Human growth hormone (hGH) stimulation tests: the sequential exercise and L-dopa procedure. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 10(6):649-54.

4. Mahajani SS, Doshi VJ, Parikh KM. (1996). Bioavailability of L-DOPA from HP-200—a formulation of seed powder of mucuna pruriens (BAK): A pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study. Phytother Res. 10:254-6.

5. Baechle TR and Earle RW. (2000). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 2nd Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

6. Frystyk J. (2010). Exercise and the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor axis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 42(1):58-66.

7. Moller N, Jørgensen JO. (2009). Effects of growth hormone on glucose, lipid, and protein metabolism in human subjects. Endocr Rev. 30(2):152-77.

8. Kraemer WJ, Marchitelli L, Gordon SE, Harman E, Dziados JE, Mello R, Frykman P, McCurry D, Fleck SJ. (1990). Hormonal and growth factor responses to heavy resistance exercise protocols. J Appl Physiol (1985). 69(4):1442-50.

9. Boutcher SH. (2011). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. J Obes. 2011:868305.

10. de Salles BF, Simão R, Miranda F, Novaes Jda S et al. (2009). Rest interval between sets in strength training. Sports Med. 39(9):765-77.

11. Kraemer WJ, Fleck SJ, Dziados JE et al. (1993). Changes in hormonal concentrations after difference heavy-resistance exercise protocols in women. J Appl Physiol. 75:594-604.

12. Giovannini S, Marzetti E, Borst SE, Leeuwenburgh C. (2008). Modulation of GH/IGF-1 axis: potential strategies to counteract sarcopenia in older adults. Mech Ageing Dev. 129(10):593-601.  

13. Perrini S, Laviola L, Carreria MC, Cignarelli A, Natalicchio A, Giorgino F. (2010). The GH/IGF1 axis and signaling pathways in the muscle and bone: mechanisms underlying age-related skeletal muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Journal of Endocrinology. 205: 201-210.

14. Khan AS, Sane DC, Wannenburg T, Sonntag WE. (2002). Growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and the ageing cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular Research. 54:25-35.

15. Lange M, Thulesen J, Feldt-Rasmussen U, Skakkebaek NE, Vahl N, Jørgensen JO et al. (2001). Skin morphological changes in growth hormone deficiency and acromegaly. Eur J Endocrinol. 145(2):147-53.

16. Thorner MO. Theodore R. (1997). Woodward Award. Age-related decline in growth hormone secretion: clinical significance and potential reversibility. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 108:99-108.

17. Salomon F, Cuneo RC, Hesp R, Sönksen PH. (1989). The effects of treatment with recombinant human growth hormone on body composition and metabolism in adults with growth hormone deficiency. N Engl J Med. 321(26):1797-803.

18. Jorgensen JO, Pedersen SA, Laurberg P, Weeke J, Skakkebaek NE et al. (1989). Effects of growth hormone therapy on thyroid function of growth hormone-deficient with and without concomitant thyroxine-substituted central hypothyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 69(6):1127-32.

19. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA et al. (2010). Mucuna pruriens reduces stress and improves the quality of semen in infertile men. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 7(1):137-144.

20. Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla AA, Islam N et al. (2008). Effect of mucuna pruriens on semen profile and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma of infertile men. Fertil Steril. 90(3):627-35.

21. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Shankhwar SN, Rajender S, Jaiswar SP. (2009). Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertil Steril. 92(6):1934-40.

22. Suresh S and Prakash S. (2012). Effect of mucuna pruriens (Linn.) on sexual behavior and sperm parameters in streptzotocin-induced diabetic male rat. J Sex Med. 9(12):3066-78.


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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.





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