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Mucuna Pruriens (also known as cowhage or Velvet Bean) is generally very safe.
This is because the natural L-Dopa content is low (only approx. 3 - 7%).
In addition, it has a wealth of compounds that create a balanced profile, courtesy of nature.
The main compounds in cowhage include: alkaloids, alkylamines, arachidic acid, behenic acid, betacarboline, beta-sitosterol, bufotenine, cystine, dopamine, fatty acids, flavones, galactose d, gallic acid, genistein, glutamic acid, glutathione, glycine, histidine, hydroxygenistein, 5-hydroxytryptamine, isoleucine, l-dopa, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, lysine, mannose d, methionine, 6-methoxyharman, mucunadine, mucunain, mucunine, myristic acid, niacin, nicotine, oleic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, phenylalanine, prurienidine, prurienine, riboflavin, saponins, serine, serotonin, stearic acid, stizolamine, threonine, trypsin, tryptamine, tyrosine, valine, and vernolic acid.
You may notice that among the compounds is serotonin, which tends to have a modifying or balancing effect with Dopamine and L-Dopa.
So you see, L-Dopa is only a part of the 'formula' contained in the bean. There ARE a lot of checks and balances in this wonderful bean.
It is also noteworthy that when Mucuna Pruriens was tested for effective treatment of Parkinson's Disease patients, it was found that considerably lower amounts of L-Dopa were needed as compared with the drug, Levadopa that is commonly prescribed.
People should NOT use Mucuna Pruriens if they are: pregnant or nursing / taking MAO (Monamine Oxidase) inhibitor drugs (which keep Dopamine from being broken down by monamine oxidase) / schizophrenics - bipolar sufferers / taking ANY drug, especially those that influence neurotransmitter function.
Also do not use if taking Coumadin or any anticoagulant drugs or in the prresence of any blood clotting disorder.
Use in patients with Parkinson's disease should be doctor supervised.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any herb or nutritional supplement to your protocol.
Beware of Mucuna Pruriens bean powder that is claimed to have more than 7 - 8% L-Dopa content.
**Mucuna Pruriens is often advertised as having much more L-Dopa content than that described above. I have seen 15%, 40% L-Dopa and higher.
No Velvet Bean plant can produce beans that potent naturally.
Such products have been altered by the addition of pure L-Dopa extract. It matters not whether the L-Dopa is extracted from macuna or not; it is just a bad idea to use it!
Overstimulation of the dopaminergenic neuronal pathways by taking Mucuna spiked with L-Dopa extract is a possibility which you can avoid by only using the bean powder in its natural state.
NOTE: Regretfully, it has been two years since I have been able to obtain a Mucuna Pruriens powder as excellent as that which inspired this article.
I personally trialled product from several of the top companies, giving each a good few months worth of use. Sadly, none measured up.
Because I unequivocally refuse to have any product up on my site that does not meet my standards of excellence, Mucuna Pruriens powder is no longer among the products I would recommend to you.
HOWEVER - take heart - there are some very effective ways to optimize Dopamine!
I will soon have the information you need to make informed choices.
Please stay tuned...
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