- Standardised to 15% natural levodopa (L-dopa), an amino acid precursor of dopamine
- Supports healthy nervous system function.
- Star product of Ayurvedic medicine.
- Guaranteed free from synthetic additives.
Mucuna pruriens 400mg is a dietary supplement containing Mucuna pruriens, a plant used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neuro-inflammation.
It is one of the best natural sources of L-dopa, the dopamine precursor, and contains several active ingredients which increase its efficacy: ursolic acid, betasitosterols, prurenienine and prurienidine.
Mucuna pruriens is a leguminous plant from Asia, commonly referred to as velvet bean, and part of the Fabaceae family. It is one of the best sources of L-dopa (4-5%), the precursor of dopamine.
But what marks it out is the number of molecules it contains which maximise the effects of the L-dopa, such as dopamine decarboxylase inhibitor (1) and various alkaloids like prurienine, prurieninine and prurienidine (2).
It also contains specific proteins (globulins and albumins) , beneficial fatty acids (oleic, linoleic and palmitic acid) (3), NADH (a co-factor important for health), coenzyme Q10 and highly beneficial sterols (ursolic acid, betasitosterols) (4).
Mucuna pruriens extracts have become increasingly popular over recent years, and there are several reasons for this.
The extracts contain L-dopa and natural molecules which act synergistically to maximise its effect. One clinical study showed that the levodopa in Mucuna was 2-3 times more powerful than the same amount of levodopa alone.
Unlike Mucuna pruriens extracts, clinical studies have suggested that the use of levodopa alone leads over the long term to dyskinesia (abnormal involuntary movements) (5).
The advantages of Mucuna pruriens are not solely due to its naturally high level of L-dopa. Experimental studies have shown neuronal effects from Mucuna pruriens devoid of L-dopa (6). It may be that NADH, in particular, helps increase endogenous production of molecules including dopamine, levodopa, norepinephrine and serotonin (7).
This is an extract traditionally used and recognised by Ayurvedic medicine. In present-day India, Mucuna pruriens seeds have always been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory (8) and as a complementary treatment for many conditions associated with ageing of the joints and age-related cognitive impairment (9). They are also used as aphrodisiacs.
Scientists have been interested in Mucuna pruriens for some years now and there is an abundance of scientific literature on its neuroprotective properties (10). Several studies suggest that it helps to inhibit inflammatory responses in the microglia, a population of glial cells and macrophages present in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and retina), which form the main active immune defence of the central nervous system.
In certain neurodegenerative problems, the microglia releases large amounts of nitric oxide in the brain following repeated inflammatory damage (11). This abnormal level of nitric oxide may be related to the development of certain diseases and the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in a specific region of the brain called the striatum. The only molecule which produces symptomatic relief from this chronic neuroinflammation is levodopa, the dopamine precursor, though it cannot be considered for long-term use because of side-effects after several years’ use.
Numerous studies have established that Mucuna pruriens extracts are safe to use, even at very high doses (15-30g compared with the 0.3g dose in the extract offered here) and over many weeks (12).
Trials have also shown a significant reduction in the development of dyskinesia when compared with the use of L-dopa alone.
However, it is not recommended in the case of:
You should also consult a health professional if you are on any anaesthetic, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, blood pressure-lowering or blood glucose-lowering treatment. It should also be noted that vitamin B6 may reduce the efficacy of the levodopa in velvet bean.
A daily dose of 2-5 capsules of Mucuna pruriens extract should be taken with water on an empty stomach.
For optimal efficacy, it is also a good idea to adopt the following measures throughout the supplementation period:
|Daily serving: 5 capsules
Number of servings per bottle: 25
|Quantity per serving|
|Mucuna pruriens extract, standardised to contain 15% L-dopa||2 000 mg|
|Other ingredients: Acacia gum, rice flour.|
Take 2-5 capsules with water on an empty stomach, or as advised by your therapist.
Caution: do not exceed the recommended daily dose. This product is a nutritional supplement and should not be used to replace a varied, balanced diet or healthy lifestyle. Keep out of young children’s reach. Store away from light, heat and humidity. As with all nutritional supplements, consult a health professional before taking if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffer from a health problem.
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